Dietician cleared of ‘lack of competence’ for ‘baffling’ advice

  • 10 Dec 2009
  • Reading time 2 mins
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NHS Dietician Katie Peck was this week cleared of wrongdoing after the Health Professions Council ruled that there was no proof of any misconduct. Among the 16 charges bought against Ms Peck, colleagues claimed she gave no ‘clinical reason’ for advising diabetic clients to:

• Avoid caffeine and alcohol

• Supplement chromium

• Avoid high-sugar fruits such as pineapple, grapes and ripe bananas

• Increase intake of oily fish

• Avoid the use of white flour and sugar

• Boost nutrient intake at meals.

It’s been reported that her dietician colleagues found her approach ‘baffling’. Yet there is plenty of clinical evidence to support the benefit of this advice for diabetics to both control blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Supplementing chromium, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for diabetics. The Diabetes UK website quotes Richard Anderson of the US Department of Agriculture: “Essentially all the studies using chromium picolinate supplementation for impaired glucose intolerance and diabetes showed a positive effect.” Furthermore, a systematic review in the top diabetes journal Diabetes Care reports: “Among participants with type 2 diabetes, chromium supplementation improved glycosylated hemoglobin levels and fasting glucose.

Chromium supplementation significantly improved glycemia among patients with diabetes.” It’s also widely acknowledged that high glycemic-load (GL) foods such as sugar, refined white flour, alcohol and even fruits such as pineapple, grapes and ripe bananas raise blood sugar, whereas eating low-GL foods stabilise it. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, for example, monitored the health of 42,000 middle-aged men over a six-year period and found that those who ate a high-GL diet were one and half times more likely to develop diabetes than those who ate a low-GL diet. Another study came to an almost identical conclusion looking at the diets of 65,000 middle-aged women. (Find out more about the Holford Low-GL Diet here.)

Most people are now aware of the health benefits of eating oily fish. For diabetics, it’s especially recommended, as the Diabetes UK website advises: “People with diabetes are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease and are therefore encouraged to try to eat oily fish at least twice a week.” It seems to me that dietician Katie Peck has been giving some really sound advice that, sadly, many other less well-informed dieticians choose to overlook. And with someone being diagnosed with diabetes every 5 minutes in Britain, surely anything that can be done to prevent or reverse more cases should be applauded. For a more enlightened approach to Preventing and Reversing Diabetes, read my special report.