The Sceptical Nutritionist is my response to the dogma that has found its way into advice about healthy eating. Even well respected scientific organisations and nutritionists now weave ideological viewpoints into advice that is supposed to be evidence-based nutrition.
The draft Australian Dietary Guidelines, released for public consultation at the end of 2011, is a good case in point. Two ideological strands are evident. The first is what I call dietetic dogma, the tendency of dietitians to cling to old healthy eating advice long after science has proved it to be of little value. A focus on limiting intake of total fat and added sugar is typical of dietetic dogma.
The second ideology at play is the New Nutrition Science, which argues that traditional nutrition science is too ‘reductionist’ and needs to be reconceived in a broader social, environmental and ethical context. Ethical eating is an interesting concept but it is not necessarily the same as healthy eating and can even be in conflict with it.
My aim is to shine a light on current healthy eating advice and nutrition debates and attempt to sort the science from the dogma.