Low carb guru Professor Tim Noakes again found not guilty of misconduct

Jack Woodfield
Thu, 14 Jun 2018
Low carb guru Professor Tim Noakes again found not guilty of misconduct
Professor Tim Noakes who has been embroiled in a court case about giving nutritional advice online has once again been found not guilty of misconduct.

It is the second time he has been acquitted. Having been found not guilty in April 2017, an appeal meant it went it back to court.

The case came about after Prof Noakes offered information on the micro-blogging site Twitter suggesting breastfed babies could be weaned onto a low carb, high fat diet.

The Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HSPCA) accused him of "unprofessional conduct" for giving "unconventional" advice to a breastfeeding mother.

The tweet dates back to 2014 and since then Prof Noakes has defended himself at a series of trials. He was also at risk of losing his medical licence.

But Prof Noakes, formerly a high carb advocate until he changes his views upon examining the science, knew his message was correct. Throughout the trial he has frequently reiterated his stance that current international dietary guidelines - where high carb consumption is still recommended for people with and without diabetes - are not based on rigorous evidence.

Prof Noakes won the first case in April 2017, during which the panel heard that the tweet was scientifically correct and could cause no potential harm. But the HPCSA appealed the ruling and a new appeal committee‚ including a doctor and a lawyer‚ was established.

Four of five committee members of an independent panel had ruled there was no evidence to support that Prof Noakes had acted in capacity as a doctor.

The judgement said: "The argument of the Appellant that the Respondent provided unconventional advice of breastfeeding babies is not persuasive and is rejected. Wherefore, it is the unanimous decision of the members of the appeal committee that the appeal be dismissed."

Following the outcome, Professor Noakes told TimesLIVE he felt "intense relief".

He added: "Relief that it is finally over and that the appeal judgment was again 100 per cent in our favour as was the original judgment. This chapter is finally closed. I just hope that all the effort put in by myself and my team will help move the dietary guidelines forward to the benefit of the health of all South Africans."

Professor Noakes is a world-renowned South African scientist and low-carb advocate whose book, The Real Meal Revolution, promotes the benefits of a low carb diet.
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