Holford and Burne’s Food is Better Medicine than Drugs is “packed with sound science and statistics”, according to the Daily Mail

Lydia Slater, writing in the Daily Mail, argues that Burne and Holford’s book Food is Better Medicine than Drugs is one of the “best of the New Year diet books”. It claims that the book is “packed with sound science and statistics” and advises that it is “Great for…people with chronic conditions”.

We would beg to differ, having gone through this book in frankly rather tedious detail but still failed to adequately cover the errors contained within. In terms of examples of problems with the book, one might note that it took us a number of posts just to detail some of the errors in Holford and Burne’s work on statins.

I am left wondering whether Slater did not adequately research the book before writing her article – after all, a simple google will reveal a number of criticisms – or whether she knew of the criticisms but was happy to run the story. Referring people with serious conditions – the Mail article cites potentially fatal conditions such as asthma and heart disease – to such an unreliable resource is grossly irresponsible.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Holford and Burne’s Food is Better Medicine than Drugs is “packed with sound science and statistics”, according to the Daily Mail

  1. The life of a Daily Mail fiction writer must be so ennervating – knocking together a list of nonsense from 10 books that caught your eye at the supermarket check-out, handing it in and then having the nerve to submit an invoice to be paid for it.

    Let us not forget that Holford & Burne waxed lyrical about the influence of fish oil on pain – and some time later have still not noticed that the paper upon which they rely has been retracted.

    The FIBMTD book claims that there is scientific support for chromium and cinnamon in the treatment of diabetes. We differ in our interpretation of the literature and, oddly, so would some of the authors of those papers.

    No matter how much Holford sticks his fingers in his ears, the outcome of studies doesn’t support his enthusiasm for homocysteine as a crystal ball for health.

    Who can forget the opinion of the magnificent Prof Sanders who likened Holford’s scholarship to a standard that resembles that of a women’s magazine in scientific understanding and rigour?

  2. Wulfstan

    still failed to adequately cover the errors contained within

    Can I guess that this is through lack of time rather than lack of material to critique (given the amount of effort it took for you to assess the statins bilge?

  3. Yes. There simply isn’t enough time in the day for anything close to a comprehensive account of errors in that book…

  4. “Who can forget the opinion of the magnificent Prof Sanders who likened Holford’s scholarship to a standard that resembles that of a women’s magazine in scientific understanding and rigour?”
    Ah, yes. I’m listening again to the Rise of the Lifestyle Nutritionists as I write this. I’m currently enjoying the discussion of Block et al and Holford’s interpretation of it (the bit about Holford’s complaint that association studies were excluded from the meta analysis of RCTs really is excellent too). I also remember that the questions raised by the experts on this show led to the comedy goldmine that was “Patrick’s full responses to Radio Four’s questions”. Happy days.

    [Prof Sanders also (in the same show) referred to nutritional therapists “feeding on the detritus that comes out from the scientific community”, which was one of my favourite quotes.]

  5. Prof Sanders would be a gift on BBC’s Grumpy Old Men.

  6. Pingback: Patrick Holford: “conventional medicine, doesn’t have a very good track record” « Holford Watch: Patrick Holford, nutritionism and bad science

  7. Gregg Billingsley

    The people behind this website are either: 1. ‘Naughty boys and girls’ who refuse to eat their greens. 2. The standard ultra conservative medical types who are always with us to laugh and oppose new medical science until it’s about 20 years old (on average.) Which is fine unless you are ill and the current meds don’t work. People like you never seem to have suffered personally at the hands of this slow moving dinosaur. Or 3. Representatives (knowingly or unknowingly) of the largest most powerful business in the world doing their bit to protect the bottom line. Strange how regular jobs-worth doctors think ‘medicine’ is just a synonym of ‘pharmaceutical.’ I would go for option 1 though myself. It would be too scary to think that big pharma is so concerned about nutrition that they set up a whole website just to discredit Holford.

    Admin edit: 1 wrong – we eat our greens. 2 wrong, wrong and wrong. 3 – wow, wrong again.

    In fact – wrong is pretty much the blanket response to your opinions – but, quite possibly, that isn’t news to you.

    Correct that no-one is sponsoring this website.

  8. Pingback: Patrick Holford, GL Diet and Satiety Plus the Misrepresentation of Some Research: Same Old, Same Old « Holford Watch: Patrick Holford, nutritionism and bad science

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