Tag Archives: addiction

Drink and Drugs News Reproved By Its Well-Informed Readers

Food for the Brain - A Sell Out and we couldn't agree more

Food for the Brain - A Sell Out and we couldn't agree more

Drink and Drugs News was recently unwise enough to carry a piece from Visiting Professor Patrick Holford: Regain your brain (pdf) (DDN). That lamentable article closely resembled the piece that Holford had previously published in Addiction Today (12 Keys to ‘Unaddicting’ Your Brain) and is a further elaboration of his familiar tactics in the arena of both addiction and self-publicity. However, DDN readers are less than impressed and have written it to express themselves on the matter of Holford’s espoused expertise in addiction, research and science. Continue reading

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The Mail believes that Holford is an “holistic doctor”: Updated Twice

Despite what the Daily Mail tells you, Patrick Holford is neither a doctor nor a qualified nutritionist

Despite what the Daily Mail tells you, Patrick Holford is neither a doctor nor a qualified nutritionist

The People’s Medical Journal has now taken to conferring its own medical degrees and an early recipient is Patrick Holford. In an article on addiction to painkillers bought over-the-counter, the Daily Mail reports that

Unhappy with her GP’s suggestion of more, potentially addictive, medication to help ease her dependency, Chris followed a diet and vitamin regime prescribed by holistic doctor Patrick Holford to wean herself off the tablets. [Back-Up URL version in case the Daily Mail alters the text.]

As readers will probably know, Holford is not a doctor, not even a holistic one. But, to be fair, the Daily Mail’s conferment of a medical degree has about as much standing as his own honorary qualification in nutrition awarded to him by the institution he founded. (What a thrilling and unexpected tribute that must have been.) Continue reading

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Holford on Kim Hill’s Radio New Zealand show

We were concerned to hear Patrick Holford featuring in a truly disappointing interview on Kim Hill’s Saturday morning radio show: he was given over 50 minutes, almost unchallenged, to assert a whole manner of dubious claims. Patrick Holford – introduced as a “British nutritionist” – was allowed to share his wisdom on such things as addiction, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer. I can’t deal with this all here – you really need to listen to the show in its entirety to fully appreciate how often it hits you round the head with the stupid stick – but I will note a few low/highlights. I should also say that we did e-mail the show before broadcast to raise some concerns; however, they chose to give Holford the opportunity to share his wisdom with their listeners, almost unchallenged. Continue reading

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Sue Arnold Praises Patrick Holford’s How to Quit, in the Guardian

There are times, Virginia, when it’s all I can do, just to keep from breaking down. It’s not April 1 yet, somehow, Sue Arnold has put up a review of Patrick Holford and David Miller’s How to Quit in the Guardian. Gullibility exudes from every syllable, so one shrugs when Arnold reveals that she followed some EST and personal awareness courses that have left her “permanently scarred”. Sadly, she seems to have learned nothing from this encounter with people who are well-intentioned but lack an evidence-base for their enthusiasms. Continue reading

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The Economist – A Graceful and Gracious Coda to L’Affaire Treatment on a Plate

Food for the Brain - A Sell Out and we couldn't agree more

Food for the Brain - A Sell Out and we couldn't agree more

Just a note to say that after our disappointment concerning The Economist and Treatment on a Plate and the news that it was written by Jerome Burne, there is a graceful and gracious coda to l’affaire: Clarification: Treatment of drug addiction. Continue reading

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Who Wrote About Food for the Brain in The Economist: Conflict of Interest?

In a recent burst of autobiographical disclosure and outrage I posted The Economist: The End of a Childhood Illusion.

I can’t begin to describe my disappointment that The Economist somehow veered from its olympian standards and published a piece of such gob-smacking credulity that I was left waiting for the volte-face punchline that didn’t come. More extraordinary is the fact that The Economist links to Food for the Brain (FFTB) and lends its gravitas to that organisation by carrying this article about its recent conference (you may recall the awfulness of the lamentable Food for the Brain Child Survey 2007, details in further reading).

Treatment on a plate displays shoddy scholarship that is a strong warning sign that there is either a substantial misunderstanding or an undisclosed conflict of interest: this is not typical of The Economist…which makes this article all the more dispiriting.

Thanks to an impeccable source, we have learned the identity of the writer. Continue reading

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The Economist: The End of a Childhood Illusion

When I was 12-years old I had a run of history and science projects that absorbed all my interest and exhausted the resources of my local library. Inexplicably, I was granted in-library reading privileges at the University Library. I was free to consult not only books but academic journals and popular reviews. For the first time, I saw publications that I had only read about: London Review of Books, Time Magazine, Paris Match, The Economist, New Yorker. I was overwhelmed by the glamour and gravitas of these periodicals: the smell and weight of the paper stock, the photo-journalism and, above all, the quality of the writing and editing. Continue reading

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