Tag Archives: food

People Successfully Convinced that Healthy Food Is Expensive So Resorting to Supplement Pills: Patrick Holford and Vitazyme

Patrick Holford on ITV Lunchtime 16 April 2008
Former Visiting Professor Patrick Holford is Head of Science and Education at Biocare so he has a substantial and understandable interest in selling supplements. Creating a large-scale market for supplements depends upon several factors. The factors include convincing people that:

  • they have clinical or ‘sub-clinical’ vitamin or mineral deficiencies
  • the food that is commonly available and forms their regular diet is deficient in vitamins, minerals and other micro-nutrients
  • there is good evidence that supplements improve health or are adequate prophylactics.

All of these claims will be familiar from regular media items or the work of those with self-conferred expertise in nutritionism. Continue reading

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Patrick Holford Responds to Radio 4 Programme and Misses the Point: Part 2b

We are going to look at something interesting about the relationship between Food Is Better Medicine Than Drugs (FIBMTD) and the Food for the Brain Child Survey 2007. The former was written by Holford & Burne, and the latter by Holford & Fobbester.

The Food for the Brain Child Survey 2007 (pdf) is irredeemable. There is nothing to be done to salvage the report because the data collection and analyses are seriously flawed. There are serious issues concerning the survey questions and this is yet another object lesson in why research must be conducted using standardised and validated questionnaires. The data were farcical even before the revelation that Professors Holford, Philip Cowen and David Smith (amongst others) want us to believe that something of statistical significance can emerge from a comparison of 2 outlier groups from an unrepresentative survey of 10,222 children. Outlier groups of 32 and 42 children which, when added together, make up 0.72% of the children (or 2.36% or so if you are just looking at the SAT group, but the point holds that these 74 children are the entire prop for the dietary recommendations). Continue reading

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Food for the Brain: Child Survey: Review Part 10

Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University (and also Head of Science and Education at Biocare) and Drew Fobbester are joint researchers and authors of the Food for the Brain Child Survey, September 2007 (pdf). We have previously examined the overview of the literature in this report and found that it was misleading and irrelevant. Unfortunately, the reporting and analysis of the survey data look to be even worse: there are frequent errors in the graphs and even more frequent misinterpretations. Because of these mistakes, it looks as if few of the claims are accurate.

For Part 8 of this review we looked at the alleged benefits of eating dark green leafy vegetables. For this post, we look at the claims for fried/and or takeaway food (FTF): however, Holford Watch can not find evidence to support any of the important claims. Continue reading

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Food for the Brain: Child Survey: Review Part 8

Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University (and also Head of Science and Education at Biocare) and Drew Fobbester are joint researchers and authors of the Food for the Brain Child Survey, September 2007 (pdf). We have previously examined the overview of the literature in this report and found that it was misleading and irrelevant. Unfortunately, the reporting and analysis of the survey data look to be even worse: there are frequent errors in the graphs and even more frequent misinterpretations. Because of these mistakes, it looks as if few of the claims are accurate.

The FFTB report was heavily publicised at its launch. Much of the publicity highlighted the purported benefits of eating dark green leafy vegetables, both for behaviour and good SAT scores. After examining the data, Holford Watch can not share the optimism for these claimed benefits and finds that there is insufficient data to support them in a robust manner. Continue reading

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Food for the Brain: Child Survey: Review Part 6

Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University (and also Head of Science and Education at Biocare) and Drew Fobbester are joint researchers and authors of the Food for the Brain Child Survey, September 2007 (pdf). Holford Watch was disappointed by the report’s literature overview. We approached Patrick Holford and two members of the Scientific Advisors who had approved the data analysis with our questions about the FFTB report data but we did not receive any answers. Our comments about the data analysis and presentation of the data reflect our confusion. Continue reading

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Food for the Brain: Child Survey: Review Part 5

You might recall that in early January we had mail from Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University. We responded to him and took the opportunity to ask some questions about the Food for the Brain Child Survey 2007 (FFTB) (pdf) for which he is co-author. Well, we wrote that email 3 weeks ago and have received no response. Continue reading

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Food for the Brain: Child Survey: Review Part 3

Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University (and also Head of Science and Education at Biocare) and Drew Fobbester are joint researchers and authors of the Food for the Brain Child Survey, September 2007 (pdf). This is the third of three Holford Watch posts in which we explain why the literature overview in the FFTB Child Survey is inadequate: some of the claims made in the review are not supported by relevant references or studies of sufficient quality. Part 1 discusses the claims relating to supplements and children’s diet. Part 2 examines the claims made for the benefit of a balanced glycaemic load diet for children. For Part 3, we discuss the claims for the alleged incidence of food sensitivities and gluten sensitivity.
Continue reading

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