How the NHS failed me and mine.
What it did, to the most important person
in my life and how it could happen to you unless
we do something about it!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Andrew Lansley, Evidence Based Nutrition and the NHS.

Chis Kresser aka the healthy sceptic highlights the fact, that the new 'Dietry Guidelines for Americans' is not an evidence based document in any way. Considering it is the first complete update since 1977, with the intervening years being significant, in that despite the uptake of low fat, high carbohydrate diet, both CVD, CHD and Diabetes have increased dramatically. The Committee, seems to have conveniently ignored this fact in its deliberations and closed it's mind to any view, outwith conventional one's peddled by the moron's that govern Healthcare in the US and of course, in the UK as well. Because it is certain, that these guidelines will form the basis for those recommended for UK citizens be they Diabetic, Obese or suffering from heart disease

 Some scientists, so affronted by the lack of science displayed by the report and its lack of evidence in its conclusions, have seen fit to write a critique. You can read this here.  It is important to do so, to realise the depth of stupidity that is often displayed in advice handed down to the populace by this or indeed almost any Government.

In the UK, we will soon see, the closure of the Food Standards Agency (hurray) with the role being assumed by the Dept. of Health (boo). And we are told by the Secretary of Health, one Mr Lansley that;  “I am committed to improving the public’s health by providing evidence-based advice to support people in making healthier choices. The transfer of nutrition policy in England to the Department of Health means we can give the general public more consistent information". 

I do not know, whether to be pleased to hear this or not. It depends greatly, which evidence he will base this policy upon, and whether there is any real desire by the current coalition, to make a sea change in policy that will effect real improvements in Health, for the populace and at the same time save money, because there is little doubt in my mind that basing criteria for nutrition upon  real evidence based guidelines, will indeed achieve significant cost savings and real improvements in health.

If we are to view some policy decisions already made, such as the 'scrapping' of the piss poor Private Finance Initiative for Schools, which would have seen huge, but 'off balance sheet' costs being borne by council tax payers to fund schools, planned by  'NuLabour', then there is hope. So far this model, for Hospital building has created worse constructs, than would otherwise have been the case, together with huge costs to the Taxpayer. For instance, the new Birmingham 'super' Hospital, as reported in Private Eye, will cost some £2.6bn over 35 years for a build cost of £627m. However in that same journal we learn that despite the criticism leveled at 'NuLabour' for their "flawed PFI model"  by a Mr. Osborne, that there are now "no plans to review the use of the private finance initiative, as a procurement vehicle in the National Health Service".

The future looks even bleaker for justice and candour too. With the emphasis on GP commissioning and Foundation Trusts as the future of Healthcare, we will no longer have any sort of public scrutiny of , well just about everything. Public access, to what will be Private Consortia, in the case of GP's and closed meetings, as is the case with Foundation Trusts, will make the public even less informed than now. Which is little hard to contemplate. As 'social enterprises' they will also be immune to Freedom of Information requests. If the LibCons, really want enjoin with people in discussing our futures, this decidedly seems the wrong way to go about it. Nothing new there then!


  1. The expression 'Evidence-based medicine' is an oxymoron.

  2. Yes, Willow it is, in the context of 'Official' advice. But in the case of evidence based nutrition, which is surely close to both our hearts, you see me often, battering my head against the closed door of guidelines that have little to no evidence of efficacy. You often do the same. Certainly that seems to be what blogs are for.
    As someone steeped in science, I cannot forgo the principle of evidence. It is alleged to be the fundamental guidance of all Healthcare and Dietry advice. But it is deeply flawed, and littered with anomolies and untruths that are more urban myth, than any, sound evidence backed formula for health.
    Oxymoron it is, currently, but the landscape could be changed by the application of truth to the scene.