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Monday, February 12, 2007

Dr Poo...

...ain't no doctor after all.

'TV nutritionist Gillian McKeith, star of the You Are What You Eat programme, has agreed to drop the title Dr from her company's advertising following a complaint to the industry watchdog. Gillian McKeith was the subject of a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority over her use of the title "doctor" on the basis of a qualification gained by correspondence course from a non-accredited American college.'

Erm, now I don't want to pick this 'humiliating McKeith' story apart too much, on the grounds that it's so childishly satisfying, but I'm a little confused by this really rather old new suddenly 'becoming' a story. As rumour would have it, didn't Holland & Barrett or one of the many stockists of her products get a little upset about this very thing a few years ago? As I recall, they were rather put out at having paid serious promotional cash to a hatchett-faced, seriously ill-looking old crone who'd somehow convinced them that her noddy, out-of-a-cracker PhD was actually a real qualification.

Oh well. If nothing else, the story has prompted some extremely lovely vitriol from McKeith's many detractors from the (legitimate) world of science and medicine. Such as this from a particularly fabulous article in The Guardian:

'McKeith is a menace to the public understanding of science. She seems to misunderstand not nuances, but the most basic aspects of biology - things that a 14-year-old could put her straight on.

She talks endlessly about chlorophyll, for example: how it's "high in oxygen" and will "oxygenate your blood" - but chlorophyll will only make oxygen in the presence of light. It's dark in your intestines, and even if you stuck a searchlight up your bum to prove a point, you probably wouldn't absorb much oxygen in there, because you don't have gills in your gut. In fact, neither do fish. In fact, forgive me, but I don't think you really want oxygen up there, because methane fart gas mixed with oxygen is a potentially explosive combination.'

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