Local health district says no to low carb diets for diabetes


Now my saga with the Southern NSW Local Health District administration.

The Southern New South Wales Local Health District (SNSW Health), my former employer, oversees health services for about 200,000 residents. When somebody lodged a complaint about my low carb approach for patients with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes with the DAA (Dietitians Association of Australia), SNSW Health also got into the act.  They came up with specific conditions for my return to practice — this was before I was officially sacked.

Remarkably, they specifically said:

“Nutritional advice to clients must not include a low carbohydrate diet. Jennifer will be advised on the information that she may provide to clients…. ”

Can you imagine having to tell a client with diabetes, who has lowered his BGLs, lost weight and come off all diabetes medications by reducing his carb intake, that he now has to start eating more carbs because SNSW Health says so !?

In any case, I was prepared to go back to work and fight this from within the organisation. That was not to be.  As I was getting my head around returning to work, DAA informed my employer that the Association had found me guilty of professional misconduct and deregistered me.  DAA’s “Far Deeper Issues” Revealed . SNSW Health immediately went along and fired me.

To bring their obsession into clear view, just before my dismissal, SNSW Health circulated a memo to their executive and dietitians.

It read: “As a result of a recent investigation, please be advised that Southern NSW Local Health District requires adherence to the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) Practice Guidelines for Dietitian Management of Diabetes.”

Of course, they admitted that DAA doesn’t actually produce clinical practice guidelines, but that it has produced a Nutrition Manual for use in hospitals and other facilities. So: “As an interim measure, all dietitians employed within Southern NSW Local Health District are directed that all diets prescribed for Diabetics must reflect the principles of Diabetic Diets outlined in the 2014 DAA Nutrition Manual”, which unsurprisingly doesn’t include low carbohydrate diets. In fact, for people with type 2 diabetes, the DAA manual recommends ensuring a regular carbohydrate intake and to spread carbohydrate over the day.

And to make sure all bases are covered, just before firing me, as described above, a suggested script  had been prepared saying that “specific referrals that are received for a low carbohydrate diet from GP’s will be directed to the attention of the local Allied Health Manager who will contact the GP regarding the PP directive.” and, “Further discussion may then occur about the notion of a low carbohydrate intake diet not currently supported by the DAA.”

It’s not easy to be a dietitian in Australia advocating carbohydrate restriction, but even worse to be a person with diabetes in the SNSW Health district where you are denied the choice of a low-carbohydrate diet.

This breakdown in health care may not be evident to the government and a lack of oversight may have allowed this to get out of hand at the local level. I’d like to think that my experience could allow me to be a catalyst for positive change and I would like to suggest that, if you agree that this is a serious problem — not being allowed to offer all beneficial therapies to patients — you might join me in bringing this to the attention of the NSW Health Minister. Hopefully she will initiate some action.

If you think that this is a serious matter, could you please write to the NSW Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, expressing your concerns;  an inquiry or hearing on this issue is reasonable to ask for.

Could I ask that you also post your letter here or leave a comment? Thank you.

The Hon. Jillian Skinner, MP
GPO Box 5341

Email:   office@skinner.minister.nsw.gov.au



37 thoughts on “Local health district says no to low carb diets for diabetes”

  1. Argh! What madness! Have they not read the science? Been following the reputable research that keeps on coming out from all over the world about the benefits of a ketogenic diet in the management of insulin-resistance, inflammatory disease etc? Medical negligence on their part.
    Happy to lend my support.

    1. Agree, medical negligence! Having spent time with Prof Noakes in South Africa and attending the 1st LCHF (low carb healthy fat) conference iin Cape Town listening and learning from experts from all over the world, I CANNOT believe Australia and DAA remain stuck in old ways. We have over 30 years of evidence and statistics proving that low fat, moderate to high carbs dont work to lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and metabolic syndrome! In South Africa I used LCHF in many patients, not all ketogenic but low carb, with great results, not only weight loss but wellness!! Lower insulin doses, some patients coming off meds, gut healing! But it goes much deeper than that, education designed to make us regurgitate info given rather than teach us to understand studies and question dogma – because when we become thinkers, we are threatening to “the powers that be”!

  2. If my car breaks down, I phone the RACV for roadside service. I don’t contact the board members … well-meaning ‘suits’ who thankfully stick to what they know as they know what they don’t know, and don’t meddle with the mechanics and their methodologies.
    Having healed my body from a range of inflammatory conditions (GERD, IBS, asthma, crippling osteoarthritis pain, migraines … to name a few) with a Ketogenic diet, and shedding 25 kilos with amazing ease, I was not diabetic …. yet.
    So thoroughly addicted to sugar, I was on a very slippery slope … which has been halted in its tracks, thanks to one basic thing that we CAN control – diet.
    Science the world over is recognising the amazing benefits of a low carbohydrate diet to many individuals ….. Diabetics being advised to consume carbs throughout the day is tantamount to throwing water on a drowning man!
    So when, prey tell, will an industry association with more clout than common sense, cease their heavy-handed, ‘head in the sand’ conduct and embrace current worldwide scientific research? … ‘current’ being the most important word here.
    Jennifer, your patients have lost their life-line …. An extremely sad day for both you and them.
    My email to The Honourable Jillian Skinner, MP is being sent now.
    Happy to lend my support – and enraged that this situation has gone the way it has ….. The definition of embarrassment rings loudly in my ears: Being caught in public being oneself!
    Too proud to back down, apologise, correct a wrong-doing , admit an error has been made …… and holding on for dear life to incorrect information in the hope of maintaining one’s position as head of an organisation of outdated methodologies.
    That position must pay well as leader of a flock of mindless sheep!

  3. This is my submission to Ms Skinner.

    Dear recipient,
    I would like to express my dismay at the ruling to continue old inappropriate carbohydrate guidelines for diabetes sufferers. It appears that the original information perpetuating this theory stems from the belief that some carbohydrate in the diet stimulates the pancreas to battle on, as it were, against the continuing onslaught of serum glucose.
    Like the now discredited fat – CHD non science, this advice deprives sufferers the opportunity to cure or control their disease. A disease that is now recognized as the inability to manage carbohydrates in the diet. It is understood that this food group is both low in nutrients and in fact not required at all in human nutrition.
    I strongly suggest that you examine the new science on this subject and urgently pursue action to end the suffering.
    I probably don’t have to point out to you that these nutrition myths have been perpetuated by powerful self interest groups like the food and pharmaceutical industries.
    Yours sincerely,
    Chris Andersen

    Sent from my iPad

  4. One has to wonder how it is possible that insurance companies haven’t put a stop to this!

    They are interested in making money, naturally.

    The best way for them to do so is to minimise spending, which equals healthy patients paying their fees, not requiring treatment of any kind.

    Mistreatment of patients is bad for their business, no?

    Anyhow, I trust that you’re steadily working towards taking those imbeciles down.

  5. The low fat, low calorie, starch based high fibre diet they recommend was never tested against the very low carb, high fat, high fibre diet that was the standard of care before the introduction of insulin. It just crept in and the carb to fat ratio kept increasing due to the lipid hypothesis.
    Only in recent decades have there been comparative trials between the low fat, low calorie diet and the very low carb diet and the very low carb diet ALWAYS produces greater reductions in medications, greater drops in HbA1c, and greater drops in triglycerides than the low fat diet. It IS the better diet for diabetics. It may not be to everyone’s taste and the low calorie diet has it’s uses, but it is the best choice for those that can stick to it, adherence is not inferior to other diets, and safety is a lot better than the safety of a higher medication requirement, higher blood sugars, more hypos if on insulin, and higher TGs that most people experience eventually on a higher carb diet.
    Diabetes can be controlled so effectively by carbohydrate restriction that patients with type 2 diabetes and their doctors frequently use words like “reversal”, “remission”, and even the C-word, and patients with type 1 diabetes have sustained normal BG and HbA1c counts.
    Whatever you want to call it, it is a choice all persons with diabetes should have.

  6. 31 years ago I graduated from Deakin University hoping to become a dietitian – it was my dream for many years but back then I saw the madness of what I had to prescribe in the way of a diet to someone who was sick, it was not only the diet for diabetes but PEG feeds, heart disease, weight loss etc. I chose not to become one but rather call my self a nutritionist and walk to the beat of a drum that was very different to what I was taught. Thank goodness I’m not beholding to the DAA, they would have deregistered me decades back.

    1. Cyndi, I am glad you shared your alternative path here. In this way you avoided having a ‘monkey on your back’ right from the very start.

  7. The actions of the DAA are tantamount to professional genocide. One can forgive ignorance, but wilful rejection of empirical evidence as to the efficacy of low carb nutrition is incomprehensible.

  8. I totally agree with all the comments. There is more money for the big companies with people being sick and diseased than if they were healthy. Maybe the diabetic society see themselves as unemployed if all or most of the people with diabetes enjoy a “reversal” of the condition due to this woe.

  9. Take it from a Type 2 Diabetic.

    Carbs and medications are just making things worse for us. Just going in a circle. We need physical and emotional support to stick to a low carb diet and we need doctors and other professionals on board.

    The answer is not in growing more grains and pharmacies and running a big chunk of our economy on it. It can be in sustainable and organic/biodynamic/free range source of meat/veges/fruits.

  10. This is the email I sent in:

    Dear Hon. Jillian Skinner,

    I am writing to express my concerns with the recent sacking of Jennifer Elliott, Dietitian with the Southern New South Wales Local Health District.

    Being a type 1 diabetic myself, I have been following a low carb healthy eating plan for several months. I have more than halved my insulin requirement and my blood tests are the best they have ever been in my 20 years of living with type 1 diabetes. There are hundreds of diabetics that have these same results.

    Diabetics deserve the right to be exposed to this option of meal plans and healthy eating. The thought that Jennifer was sacked for helping people to implement this life changing eating plan is absolutely disgusting.

    I am requesting a hearing or inquiry in to this issue. It is terrible to think that a life style change which can save people’s lives is not even able to be spoken about by our dietitians.

    Kind regards,
    Emma Hegarty

  11. Here is my email. Best of luck, Jennifer!

    Dear Hon. Jillian Skinner,

    I am writing to voice my serious concern over the recent firing of dietitian Jennifer Elliott by the Southern New South Wales Local Health District on the grounds that she recommended lower-carbohydrate diets for people with diabetes.

    As a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator from the United States who uses a low-carbohydrate approach to managing diabetes, I have witnessed first hand what carbohydrate restriction can accomplish: improvements in blood glucose control and lipid profiles, reductions in medication dosages, increased satiety, and better overall health and quality of life. Patients deserve the opportunity to speak with a dietitian who is well-versed in low-carbohydrate diets and can customize an eating plan to suit their individual needs. Jennifer Elliott has the knowledge, experience, and insight to do this exceptionally well.

    I would therefore request a hearing or inquiry on the matter of her dismissal.


    Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE
    Low Carb Dietitian, LLC

  12. This is the letter I sent to the Hon. Ms Skinner

    Dear Ms Skinner

    I write to express my concern about the actions taken by the DAA in de-registering Jennifer Elliot as a dietician, on the basis that promoting low carb high fat (LCHf) diets for people with metabolic syndrome / insulin resistance has no scientific basis.

    It is wholly alarming that the DAA have chosen to take this stance, as the scientific evidence is overwhelming.On the contrary, the standard advice both given and taught to dieticians and nutritionists has no empirical evidence. It has been wrought on the basis of a flawed hypothesis and very flawed (dare one say fraudulent) research conducted by one Ancel Keys. It has never been proven. (This is a good starting point to find the basics http://authoritynutrition.com/23-studies-on-low-carb-and-low-fat-diets/).

    I have been a nurse for over 40 years and have been both a proponent and subsequently a victim of this appalling advice, which set me on the path of very poor health despite trying hard to adhere to the advice. And I’ve watched as my patients have suffered the same fate. Fortunately I have now taken the time to read the research and made the change to an LCHF lifestyle and have completely reversed many of the ill health problems I suffered.

    The economic burden to this country, and that of the greater western world is unprecedented, with no end in site. How will the health budget cope over the next 4 decades with the exponential rise in western diseases (hypertension, type 2 diabetes, dementia, cancers) which are currently at epidemic levels? We’ve taught our students that these are progressive, irreversible diseases. It is simply not true. With proper dietary policy these conditions CAN be successfully managed.

    I call on you to conduct a full enquiry into the actions and practices of the DAA as a matter of urgency. The health of the nation may depend on it.

    Yours sincerely
    Ingrid Berry (Registered Nurse)

  13. This is the letter I just sent:

    The Hon. Jillian Skinner, MP
    GPO Box 5341
    SYDNEY NSW 2001

    Dear Honorable Skinner,

    I am writing with regard to Jennifer Elliot, one of a vanguard of health professionals who is actually interested in providing patients with protocols that work – not protocols that have become standard based on shoddy evidence and overwhelmingly poor outcomes.

    As someone who has begun managing my blood sugar levels using the low-carb diet and who is very sensitive to carb intake, I *know* from my experience and the experience of many others that the low carb eaters fare MUCH better than those who do not pursue this option. Both of my parents have type II diabetes, so I have watched this condition – and various erroneous dietary advice from well-meaning but ill-informed medical professions – wreak havoc on my parents’ bodies. They have both needed increasing amounts of insulin to treat their conditions, have never been given the sound advice that *no, you will be unlikely to be able to eat carbs regularly and maintain good health, because — without drugs — your body can no longer metabolize them properly*, and as a result they, like so many others, have been dragged down the lousy outcome medical model that has been so established and so incredibly unsuccessful. Diabetes outcomes are not improving based on the models you and the DAA are touting. This is a fact.

    And, while you and others may be terrified of having either pharmaceutical companies mounting a backlash against you OR fear setting up professionals in your industry for lawsuits because you have registered professionals giving “non-traditional” advice, it would be really nice and humane of you to recognize what you seem not to know (but HEALTHY, MED-FREE Type II diabetics do): the carb-based approach is an utter failure. It does not address the problem at its source and lulls patients into a false sense of what they can and cannot do.

    Have you made your recent decision based on truly good, peer-reviewed studies or based on knee-jerk industry reaction? When I say “good” studies, I mean those not funded by significant stakeholders in pharmaceuticals, insurance, or professional bodies that do an extensive comparison of medication-free health outcomes of type 2 diabetics on carb-based diets versus low-carb diets. If you can present that evidence to the public, it would be very helpful. Maybe we healthy type IIs would actually feel like we could trust our doctors and governments to look out for us; sadly, most of us have lost so much faith in the medical industry that we have little choice — as *our* health and survival are at stake — but to look to those courageous, thoughtful, non-doctrinal medical professionals like Jennifer Elliot to help us find the way to true well being.

    That is all.

  14. NSW Health Minister
    The Hon. Jillian Skinner, MP
    GPO Box 5341
    SYDNEY NSW 2001

    Email: office@skinner.minister.nsw.gov.au

    Re: My letter in support of nutritionist Jennifer Elliot.

    Your honor,

    Nutritionist Jennifer Elliot promotes a whole foods diet void of processing, sugars, grains, starches and industrial vegetable oils. These diets include animal and plant based sources including natural fats like monounsaturated and saturated.

    Diets such as these address inflammation and oxidative stress by reducing the optional fuel dietary carbohydrates. These diets remove unnecessary added empty calories from carbohydrates, sugars and processed foods while providing the necessary proteins, fats and micronutrients essential to health.

    I see nothing controversial with Jennifer’s approach. Many randomized controlled trials over the last 15 years supports this approach addressing the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease worldwide. The rapidly ageing low fat low calorie dietary guidelines (backed and heavily promoted by the junk food industry) now 30+ years old have failed pitifully when it comes to addressing the treatment and prevention of chronic disease.

    As a family physician based in Denver Colorado I have been using the low carb high fat (LCHF) approach for my patients, in all ages safely and effectively for over 15 years. We only see improved health, weight and metabolic markers using these types of diets.

    I am in full support of Jennifer Elliot and her dietary approach. Just because her sound advice does not conform to a standard of care (backed by a half century of weak evidence and politics) that has failed miserably, I see no legitimate reason to justify the actions of the Dietitians Association of Australia and The Southern New South Wales Local Health District.

    To the contrary, I am appalled at the unprofessional manner in which nutritionist Jennifer Elliot has been treated. I request that there be a full hearing an inquiry as to this matter.


    Jeffry N. Gerber, MD
    Board certified family physician
    Denver, Colorado, USA

  15. I sent this email to the minister….

    Dear Minister Skinner

    I am writing to you to express my deepest concerns about the Southern New South Wales Local Health District (SNSW Health) dismissal of dietitian Jennifer Elliott (http://www.babyboomersandbellies.com/blog/2015/09/local-health-district-says-no-to-low-carb-diets-for-diabetes/)

    I have followed Jennifer’s blog posts detailing her case and I believe that a severe miscarriage of justice has occurred.

    Firstly, in regard to Jennifer’s de-registration by the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). If you take what DAA says, it appears they took this action because they didn’t like Jennifer’s notes on one client (hardly their role or a good reason you’d think). The DAA say that they follow AHPRA’s guidelines in investigating complaints, but this is clearly not the case. I ask that you have this matter looked into eg by the Health Ombudsman or AHPRA itself.

    Secondly, I wonder why the SNSW LHD relied on DAA’s finding of professional incompetence when they obviously made no such finding themselves. I think this should be looked into as well.

    And lastly, how on earth did the SNSW LHD make the decision that low carbohydrate diets are not evidence based, when they clearly are. Jennifer provided the evidence for this, which must have been completely ignored. I think whoever in the LHD found against
    low carbohydrate diets should be made to explain, as their motives or intelligence is highly suspect.

    Advising Jennifer, and presumably, all dietitians, that low carbohydrates should not be recommended to diabetic clients, when by definition, diabetics have problems metabolizing carbohydrates, is outrageous!! This advice is particularly concerning given that the CSIRO is now, themselves, recommending low carbohydrate diets for diabetics.

    I ask that you initiate an inquiry to answer these concerns.

    I look forward to your response.

  16. I had gestational diabetes so bad that I was injecting with insulin 4 times a day. I was lucky enough to figure out that bread and cereal were spiking my sugars and decided to follow a low carb diet and keep an eye on my sugar readings. As soon as I started eating LC my readings were normal. I have never been one to follow doctors or health professionals advice if it is obviously not working, but most people would. I follow a LCHF diet now and control my Ankylosing Spontilits and Hypothyroidism symptoms pretty well with it. Everyone should know about the results and have the option to eat this way if they want to give it a go. I tend to think it is all about the money – food manufacturers and drug companies would lose a lot of money!

  17. Hi Jennifer,

    its a shocking state of affairs when the nsw health system steps in and advises that you cant say low carb – I find it hard to believe its actually written as LAW for dietitians and they cant force you to do that. They will need to come up with 100% scientifically backed proof as to the reasons why.

    I think its time a new dietitians association be formed – one that promotes healthy whole foods , keeps up to date with latest trends, is not bought by the food industry with biased studies paid for by them.
    we could call it – The Dietitians and Nutritionists Council of Australia

    I’m serious – I bet you would get quite a lot of registered dietitians coming on board.

    the fight and the science will win out…



  18. Email sent today from my official American Oil Chemists’ Society account. (What the heck. I’m retiring in December.)

    To the Hon. Jillian Skinner, MP:

    I send this from the United States as both a writer about fats and oils and as a type 2 diabetic. As you have heard from other correspondents, SNSW Health has taken a decision that will leave diabetics in their area in sad shape. Low-carb, high-fat diets clearly are therapeutic for a number of disease states, most particularly for diabetes. There is nothing in the literature indicating any safety concern. A great deal of recent research has shown how very bad science became codified into the high-carbohydrate (a nonessential macronutrient), low-fat dietary dogma that has led to skyrocketing rates of obesity and diabetes. In addition, the research has shown no association between saturated fat and cardiac disease or stroke. Unfortunately, not everyone keeps up with the research…including, apparently, SNSW Health.

    I myself am anecdotal proof of the efficacy and safety of LCHF eating. I’ve lost 70 pounds, painlessly, without counting calories or doing anything other than watching carbohydrate intake. Best of all, though, my blood glucose is normal. Normal! To fire Jennifer Elliott for providing a proven method of controlling diabetes is insane. I hope very much that you will look into the matter. Health care costs in NSW most assuredly will go down if diabetics are given a choice.

    Best regards,
    Catherine Watkins

  19. Dear Minister Skinner

    My name is Jeanne Forman and I’m Jennifer Elliott’s daughter.

    I’m writing to ask that you initiate an inquiry into the actions of both the DAA and SNSW Health in relation to my mother’s case. But firstly I’d like to tell you a bit about the background.

    I am the reason that my mum changed her practice. My family moved to the country to give us the healthiest lifestyle possible. We were brought up with healthy food and lots of outside play. Despite a healthy lifestyle, I was a bit a chubby and put on a lot of weight as a teenager.

    I was diagnosed with insulin resistance when I was 14 and my mum started researching about it. I had a lot of the symptoms of IR at this age ie weight gain, snoring, mood swings, tiredness and hungry all the time. I also went on antidepressants because of mood swings.

    I’ve learnt how carbohydrates affect me and have been on a low carb diet for about 8 years now. I know the difference between what I feel like now and what my life is like, compared to how it would be if I didn’t eat this way.

    I don’t take any medications, I stay at size 10 without having to diet and I have lots of energy. If I was still eating a “normal, healthy diet” with lots of carbs I would be obese, tired, depressed and probably on my way to type 2 diabetes.

    My mum was helping people just like me and she loved her work. That a complaint from a dietitian, who didn’t know how LC works, resulted in my mother losing her job is shocking and unfair.

    I know a lot of what she has gone through with the DAA and SNSW Health and both organisations have acted badly. I ask that you don’t let them get away with how they have treated her and start an investigation into how she was dismissed You will see it was wrong and unfair.

    Thank you

    Yours sincerely

    Jeanne Forman

  20. Dear Minister Skinner

    I am a clinicician, a neurosurgeon in fact. First and for most I am a doctor which equates to being primarily a teacher not healer. Unfortunately and embarrassingly my years of training has focused on healing sickness not preventing it.

    By now you will undoubtedly be aware of the sentiments of many learned individuals who have written to you who with passion and knowledge about the health of Australians and the predicament we face as a nation in regards to financially supporting the sick. This note to you is in addition to many and I’d like it to be short and sweet in the interest of your and my time. I also wish to brief you on some simple nutritional science too.

    Firstly as a politician you are in a position to make a change but only if you are aware of a problem.

    Do you believe that Australia has a problem with diabetes and obesity (diabesity as they are closely linked physiological hormonal disorders)? I can assure you we do. Our own government bureau of statistics tells us that 1/3 of adults are over weight and 1/3 are obese. 1 in 4 children are over weight and 3 years ago diabesity cost Austarlians 50 billion dollars in health dollars. The figures are worsening not improving. Minister, you do not need stats to reveal the gravity of the problem, just take a walk through you local shopping centre. Every person you see with over sized bellies and relatively normal sized extremities is on their way to developing diabetes and the myriad of complications that accompany this entirely preventable and reversible disease.

    The primary foundation to disease prevention is nutrition – “Let food be thy medicine”. These are words of the founding father of modern medicine and the greatest physician of all time Aristotle. I concur with him. Therefore the key to Australians being healthy lies with sound nutritional advice.

    What influences over the last 30-40 years have lead to our progressive state of poor health? The answer is the widespread and over consumption and condoning of the one macronutrient that is not in anyway essential for human life. That is carbohydrate. Carbohydrate is the broad term for sugars. Sugars can be simple (table sugar) or complex (starch) or they can be undigestible which equates to fibre. Fibre is not technically ever absorbed into your blood stream and therefore does not influence your humoral metabolism and fibre is valuable for gut health. Our bodies can easily create ample amounts of sugar from consumed protein and fat which are indeed essential for life.

    Food can only be 3 things – fat, protein and carbohydrate. There are numerous socio-political-economic reasons why carbohydrate consumption has increased to staggering levels over the last 30 years. We now have an entirely new benchmark for what a low or elevated level of carbohydrate contains. 100 years ago it is estimated that fructose consumption was 2-5 teaspoons a day. Today it is closer to 30-40 teaspoons. Fructose which is part of the table sugar molecule is toxic to the liver over time and in excess.

    Starches and flour products and other complex carbohydrates that make up the large part of the Australian nutrition guidelines food pyramid such as bread, rice, pasta, oats, cereals are simply long chains of glucose. Glucose has a profound effect on the hormone insulin which if continually elevated leads to the condition of insulin resistance. The development of insulin resistance essentially means that your body is now allergic to or intolerant to insulin and is the begining of the disease called Type 2 diabetes. Medications are not prescribed at this time. An astute doctor would advise dietary management.

    My experience from full time clinical work consulting since 1997 has clarified that here in lies the problem.

    Many local suburban doctors do not know how to advise their patients who have problems as obvious as a black melanoma on their face. Their training has been so corrupted by the “nutritional guidelines” and the insane dogma and fear of fat and cholesterol that patients are most often simply given advice by the doctor himself or the local dietician service that has by default been delegated with this extra-ordinary responsibility that they are obviously not suitably trained to prescribe, to cut back on overall calories, cut back on fat, exercise more, and follow the food pyramid.

    This is the story I hear from more than 2/3 of my patients every day in the office. It is a perfect storm of bad advice that leads to progressive deterioration in health. I have had phone calls and discussion with suburban doctors, dieticians, diabetic educators, endocrinologists regarding this topic, asking for rational thought on why a person who is over weight and intolerant to carbohydrate is being advised to consume carbohydrate at all.

    The simple answer is that they have not applied critical thought to the existing unscientific mantra relating to what infact is nutritionally good for you and what is harming you. Rather a one fits all remedy is being offered.

    As a medical practioner at the cold face of this disease I can guarantee you that eating less and exercising more is not the remedy that patients need to berated with. This is akin to treating a serious bacterial infection with only panadol for the fever which is symptom of infection and omitting the antibiotics that cures the problem. This is medical negligence and so to is advising a patient with diabesity who has symptoms of lethargy and continuous hunger and insulin resistance to continue eating carbohydrates that they are intolerant to and which caused their hormonal disease in the first place. The hormone dysfunction causes the slothy behaviours that we observe and insist must change yet current guidelines offer no solution to fixing the hormonal dysfunction which of course is lowering the stimulus for excessive insulin release.

    Minister, i hope this makes some sense to you because if it does you will very easily be able to join the dots and agree that the answer to reducing hyperinsulinaemia and improving the health of Austarlians is to reduce carbohydrate consumption. That is simple physiology and not conjectural at all.

    This is sadly what Jen Elliott has been persecuted for by the DAA as it flies in the face of their ludicrous guidelines which are plainly and ignorantly displayed for the whole world to see on their website. The DAA is plainly wrong and unwilling to make a change or admit fault. It is only going to be with people power and influential politicians that we will be able to implement change. It is never to late.

    I am happy to talk more with you on this topic if you care too.


    Dr David Johnson

  21. DAA,
    i am a Family Physician in the number 2 obese state in the USA- West Virginia and yes you can reverse T2DM and prevent it w low carb healthy eating.
    If you look at the rise in obesity and the implementation of the 1979 US dietary guidelines there is no doubt a direct correlation if you overlay the maps. Based on this we need to reframe our assumption and maybe take the null hypothesis to be that we would have a healthier nation if the government (or their agencies ) did not tell us how to eat. Given this past history of a failed experiment we need to be really careful that all the evidence and options are explored and studied before discarding Jennifer Elliott. There is undeniable basic science that healthy essential fats are needed for a healthy body and just by the fact that the food category of fats does not appear on the “my plate” (USA) is concern in itself that may be our governments needs to relook at what they are promoting. If a citizen with no nutritional background were to look at a plate the government is promoting and it does not even include fats he/she would take the assumption that fats are inherently bad and should be avoided at all costs. This is what many in our country do and their health suffers the consequences. we also as a profession do not understand the breadth of insulin resistance and a Blue Zone style diet might not be optimal for them , even if optimal for one who is not insulin resistant.
    Respectfully Mark Cucuzzella MD Professor West Virginia Univ School of Medicine

  22. My letter to Jillian Skinner

    SUBMISSION TO: Hon. Jillian Skinner, MP, Government of New South Wales
    FROM: Dr Verner Wheelock
    I am extremely concerned about the expulsion of Jennifer Elliott from the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) because of her recommendation to lower carbohydrate diets to people with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Furthermore I find it incomprehensible that the Southern New South Wales Local Health District (SNSW Health) has issued the following instruction that:
    “Nutritional advice to clients must not include a low carbohydrate diet. Jennifer will be advised on the information that she may provide to clients…. ”
    The impact of this is that people who have effectively cured their T2D by lowering their blood glucose, losing weight and stopped all medication will be told to increase their carbohydrate intake, which caused the T2D in the first place.
    There is absolutely no doubt that reducing carbohydrate consumption (coupled with an increased intake of healthy fats….low carb/high fat (LCHF)) is extremely successful in the treatment of T2D in very many people.
    There is convincing research which has been collated in an excellent paper prepared by many of the leading practitioners in the field (1). This explains in detail how and why restriction of carbohydrates is an extremely effective treatment for T2D. Patients find it easy to do, weight loss is not essential and there are no adverse side effects.
    Even more impressive is the enormous number of individuals who have successfully cured T2D by adopting this strategy. I am well aware that some who claim to be “scientists” discount these on the grounds that they are “anecdotal”. If it was limited to a few then this might be a reasonable point of view but when there are so many, this type of criticism simply lacks credibility. When so many find the official advice does not work while the LCHF approach is successful, then this has to be of major significance. Is it is reasonable and logical to condemn all these people as liars and charlatans?
    As a person who has been in business for 25 years it is essential to be able to make judgments based on the totality of evidence which is available. It is completely unrealistic to wait until the academics in business management have come to a conclusion. Is this specific issue any different?
    Recently the BMJ published a report from 2 GPs describing how one of their patients with T2D had improved his health significantly by changing his diet and lifestyle (2). He has come off sugar altogether and cut out bread (he previously consumed a lot of this), potatoes, pasta, cereals, and rice. This has led to greater consumption of green vegetables, but also eggs, full fat Greek yoghurt, and cheese. This is in direct contradiction of the instructions issued by SNSW Health. The result was that he lost 16kg in body weight. HbA1c fell from 52 to 43 mmol/mol (6.9% to 6.2%) and blood pressure from 130/80 mm Hg to 117/70 mm Hg. As a consequence he stopped all medication. What was even more remarkable was the response to the article from almost 40 people (3). Many of these were from diabetics, including those with T1D. Here are some extracts from these responses:
    • “I see patients who have type-1 or -2 diabetes among others at my private practice. Some of them have come to the same conclusion as the patient of the article by reading themselves about low carb, or their doctor had recommended it. Those patients usually have lost weight and many do fine with none or less medication. As high blood sugar is a cause of retinopathy, the better HbA1c reflects to their eye health too.” (Ophthalmologist in Finland)

    • “I am an elite outrigger canoe paddler and Type 1 of 19 years. I have been quite successful over the years with multiple World Titles and WR’s. During my years training and racing there was always the worry of hypos and not only effecting performance but also endangering life. I had tiredness and hunger constantly…….Starting in October 2014 in between major comps I started my LCHF lifestyle and have had the best months of my diabetic life. No hunger, great energy, good recovery, level BGL, and performance is fantastic.” (Athlete from Brisbane)

    • “I’m a 49 year old type 1…I cannot understand the current recommendations in my country by the ADA on giving 30-60 carbs per meal. It’s a proven, scientific fact that carbs raise glucose….and high glucose causes an entire slew of complications such as blindness, loss of limbs to neuropathy and kidney failure…so why recommend eating so many carbs?? I eat 30 grams or less of carbohydrate per day and all those are from non-starchy veggies. I am well nourished, never hungry and my last 5 A1C’s have been in the 4’s. ..with the last one 4.8..”( Hair replacement specialist USA)

    • “As an obesity medicine physician who uses low carb high fats diets in all of my patients I cheer the publication of this article. Nowhere in medical school or after is the concept of taking someone OFF medications discussed. Why should we? Patients are supposed to just get sicker, right? This attitude is not only pervasive but more important WRONG. They get sicker only when they are taught to eat a diet that makes them sicker. Unfortunately, this is the low fat diet pushed by all so called “patient advocacy groups” such as the American Diabetes Association. When taught to eat a whole foods low carb high fat diet patients do get better and “deprescribing” is a daily occurrence in our clinic.” (Physician, USA)

    • “I was diagnosed T2 in 2000 with an HbA1c of about 11. The presenting symptoms were peripheral neuropathy & extreme tiredness. I was advised that T2 was progressive & however well I complied with the NHS/Diabetes UK diet – complex carbs, low fat, sugar & salt – my condition would worsen, progressing to increased medication, insulin, amputation, blindness … & the Dr helpfully computed my probability of a heart attack at 25%. WOW! I went out in a state of shock. For 7 1/2 years I carefully followed the recommendations until in 2008 my neuropathy condition was crippling. It was painful to get out of bed. Driving was becoming dangerous. HbA1c was about 7 so the Dr considered hospital referral, rather than a diabetes control problem. I had other diabetes related symptoms…..
    In May 2008 I cut out all the obvious carbs, increasing veg & fatty foods. My diabetes control & health rapidly improved. In 3 months I was out of pain & able to play tennis again. I have been taking 3×500 mg metformin, & continue to do so. Seven years on, at age 76, I am fit & well, playing tennis at club standard & with no diabetes symptoms or health complications. My HbA1c range is between 6 & 6.6. “(Retired scientific consultant, England).

    On 16th September 2015 when the American Diabetes Association (ADA) asked on Facebook
    “What was your most recent blood glucose reading?”
    it was overwhelmed with over 800 responses, almost all of which were highly critical (4). Here is a selection:
    • I was dx’d two years ago, was force feeding myself to reach the daily carb requirements, I was taking boatloads of insulin, going low then high and very down emotionally because of it. Then I found the better way. I used to walk around with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, now I have a skip in my step…low carb and typeonegrit have been a game changer for me!
    • Been using whole food diets void of sugars, grains, processing and industrial veggie oils for fifteen years with my patients. Reversing diabetes while reducing CV risk. Lots of good evidence to support this approach. http://denversdietdoctor.com/medical-weight-loss/
    • Time to see the handwriting on the wall, ADA. Love all the comments below showing that the best way to get optimum blood glucose control isn’t with the ADA recommendations but with a low carb high fat moderate protein diet. That’s what diabetics should be eating, American Diabetes Association!
    • Been off insulin for 2 1/2 years now do to low carb diet. No more highs or lows! My blood sugar is PERFECT! Lost 130 pound (but stopped insulin only 2 weeks in cause I normalized that fast!) No more fatty liver, cholesterol is perfect! And the weight continues to come off! Why is American Diabetes Association still recommend such high carb levels! Following those recommendations almost killed me! It’s already acknowledged low carb is best…but still changes nothing. A little angry over this…
    • Wow. Just reading through these threads and finding hundreds of people who have reversed Type 2 diabetes by NOT listening to the ADA. I just clicked on Diabetic Living magazine, and shortcake is on one cover and shells are on another cover! What? This is poison.
    • The ADA diet is responsible for the deaths and maiming of many diabetics. If you want to live with diabetes and be healthy, low carb is the only way.
    • I went from “Prediabetic” to Type 2 thanks to following ADA diet recommendations. I gained more weight on your diet than at any other time in my life. And I felt worse than ever. If I hadn’t decided to be “noncompliant” and reduce my carb load to 60gm/day I know I’d be even worse off. I now eat LCHF and my sugars run between 70-90s and no huge spikes anymore since I know WHAT to eat. I test 8-12 times a day in order to “keep an eye” on my sugars. And because of LCHF I’ve lost 26 lbs of the weight your stupid plan added! Why on earth would you tell DIABETICS to eat CARBS especially in the asinine levels you recommend? The ADA should be ashamed and either revamp or go away. I’m all for a class action suit. My fbs this morning? A healthy 74!
    • The ADA is probably so sorry they asked the question and have no idea how to reply to all these wonderful people fighting against ADA and their shameful advice that is killing people
    • I was following the ADA diet while being a “diabetic” for 30 yrs, now on wheat belly life style I have been insulin free with normal AlC’s for 10 months . My doc. Says GREAT!! Keep up doing what you are doing. All my labs are also normal range , I’m down to only 2 ordered drugs and I’m almost 80 yrs old . I feel really good. I follow dr. William Davis’s wheat belly life style and am now in love with him for showing me a new way to good health.
    • They won’t listen. They will use their studies that are funded by pharma companies and the grain association to tell all of you normal people that have seen changes by eating low carb or grain free that you are wrong and it is all in your head.
    • Interestingly, FACEBOOK is now blocking all my attempts to comment or “like” postings which show: Dr. Richard K. Bernstein’s, Diabetes Solution, saying that “this message contains content that has been blocked by our security systems.”
    Really? Now even FB wants to interfere with the exchange of knowledge taking place here??
    • My experience as a nurse for 41 years reinforces that many of the approaches that traditional healthcare has used for many years have NOT been effective for many persons. That spurred my own quest to find additional information and learn more about research — even am back n school (doctoral program ). And these days, Dr. Bernstein’s book, Diabetes Solutions, stays on the shelf in my desk hutch – within easy reach and reference!!
    And yes, I changed how our our family eats as I learned more from the research publications, and looked for these forums as well.
    • 95. After years of taking statins, thiazides and beta-blockers, which some peer-reviewed research tells me might have been the cause, a year and a half ago my fasting glucose was no longer high-normal but suddenly 131. I went on a lowcarb/moderateprotein/highfat diet, and now my formerly awful lipid profile looks fine without statins, my fasting glucose is good, and I’ve dropped 40 pounds. One of my doctors is sure this will kill me no matter how good my bloodwork looks the same doctor who refuses to believe that excessive protein raises my blood glucose, but I have piles of data to prove it, and piles of friends with similar piles of data. Dr. Bernstein’s book is my bible. You can’t argue with facts, try as you may. And you will.
    • The latest information from CSIRO are recommending 50grams of carb per day for DIABETICS. This information will be released to the public within the next few months. A 2 year study that has PROVEN results with 50grams or less of carb per day plus 3 strength sessions per week WILL LOWER your HBA1C. Switch over to low carb and enjoy a long life without complications.
    I could go on and on. The evidence is overwhelming. It is absolutely appalling that literally millions of people all over the world are being given advice which is WRONG and making their health even worse. As a consequence they have to endure considerable suffering and their life span is reduced. As these case studies demonstrate most of this is unnecessary. We have all been let down by the professionals fuelled by a toxic combination of incompetence, corruption and hubris. There is no doubt that things are changing slowly because people are being empowered by the information which can be accessed via the internet. But the process could be accelerated if the politicians grasped the nettle and took effective action. You have an opportunity to make a real difference by taking initiatives to stop the nonsense currently being promulgated by official bodies which are responsible to you. Even more important is to promote the dietary principles which are so obviously successful all over the world. By doing this you would be helping to improve the health of the citizens of New South Wales and the financial savings would be absolutely huge. No doubt some of these will be members of your own family and friends. I can assure you that this action would be widely welcomed in many different countries. You would be recognised as the trailblazer with the imagination and determination to make the breakthrough that so many politicians have shirked because of their timidity and ineptness.
    The reality is that if T2D is not controlled the incidence will continue to grow to a point where it will become so expensive and damaging to public health that it will not be sustainable.
    There is no question that the policy changes will have to be implemented eventually. So why not sooner rather than later.
    1. R D Feinman et al (2015) http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(14)00332-3/pdf
    2. D Unwin & S Tobin (2015) http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4023
    3. http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4023/rapid-responses
    I was diagnosed T2 in 2000 with an HbA1c of about 11. The presenting symptoms were peripheral neuropathy & extreme tiredness.
    4. https://www.facebook.com/AmericanDiabetesAssociation/posts/10153140618374033?comment_id=10153144986604033&ref=notif&notif_t=like&hc_location=ufi

    Verner Wheelock
    Former Special Professor in Food Science
    University of Nottingham
    Former Head Food Policy Research Unit
    University of Bradford
    Email: verner.wheelock@vwa.co.uk

  23. Dear Minister Skinner,

    I have found it of interest that you’ve expressed a great deal of concern about cost of health care and yet have not expressed support for a dietitian in New South Wales who is offering patients a simple, safe, effective–and low-cost–intervention for treating type 2 diabetes. The dietitian I am referring to is Jennifer Elliott, and the intervention is a low-carbohydrate diet.

    The Southern New South Wales Local Health District (SNSW Health), Ms. Elliott’s former employer, have indicated to Ms. Elliott in particular, and I presume to any dietitians in the District in general, that “Nutritional advice to clients must not include a low carbohydrate diet.”

    This edict contradicts science, clinical experience, and common sense, particularly in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Attached you will find a number of scientific articles: the history of low-carbohydrate diets in the treatment of diabetes (Westman, Yancy & Humphreys, 2006); clinical trials that demonstrate improved blood glucose levels when carbohydrates are reduced (Westman, 2008; Yancy, 2005), even in the absence of weight loss (Gannon & Nuttall, 2006), and including a trial that lasts for 4 years (Esposito et al., 2009); and a review of low-carbohydrate science (Hite, Berkowitz & Berkowitz, 2011), particularly as it relates to diabetes (Feinman et al., 2015)

    I can attest to the life-changing effects of a low-carbohydrate diet from clinical experience. Before returning to graduate school, I had the incredible opportunity to work in a clinic in at the highly respected Duke Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, U.S. Many of the clinic’s patients had diabetes; almost all of them were overweight or obese. These patients were commonly prescribed a low-carbohydrate diet, and I was able to witness a number of remarkable health improvements that resulted.

    One patient was a man with diabetes in danger of losing his foot to amputation due to an ulceration that would not heal. After a number of months on a low-carbohydrate diet, his foot began to heal properly, and he was no longer a candidate for amputation.

    Another patient with diabetes was on so many medications when she arrived that she was unable to fill out our patient forms or to stay awake as I talked to her. Two weeks later, after changing her food choices, she came into the office swinging the cane she had once relied upon heavily. I hardly recognized her at first, but it was a beautiful sight to see her so lively and happy.

    I watched as time and time again as patients with diabetes were able to discontinue or greatly reduce their medications. I saw many patients who had struggled with their weight who were finally able to lose weight and achieve overall improved health and well-being. They all asked me the same question: “Why are we told that the only way to be healthy is to eat a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet?” I returned to graduate school to try to find an answer for them.

    What I have found is that there is considerable evidence that, for many Americans, other approaches–include a low-carbohydrate diet–may do a better job of improving health, especially with regard to diabetes and obesity, than a low-fat, high-carbohydrate one.

    I can attest to the life-changing effects of a low-carbohydrate diet from personal experience. I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes seventeen years ago; my father was diagnosed with pre-diabetes about seven years ago. Both of us have used a low-carbohydrate diet to prevent our conditions from progressing any farther. Neither of us uses diabetes medication today.

    What is most disturbing to me is the possibility that a person who is successfully controlling his or her blood sugar levels on a low-carbohydrate diet may now be told that they may no longer follow such a diet under a dietitian’s care.

    I’ve imagined the possibility of that conversation for you, below. I hope you find it informative. And I hope that you will seriously consider reversing the SNSW Health District’s policy not to recommend a low-carbohydrate diet for patients for whom it is appropriate and supporting Ms. Elliott’s reinstatement to her job. To do otherwise is to commit a tremendous disservice to the people whose health you are charged with protecting.

    Adele Hite, MPH RD

    Here I include all the pdfs I reference and the the conversation about this from my blog post 😉

  24. Madness, where has our right to decide gone? We should have the right to be given ALL options and make our own informed decision. This is just plain old wrong. I feel like the general publics’ being censored on this topic.

  25. Hi Jennifer!

    SO sorry – I’m late to the party on this one….(I’ve been bogged down with Uni Assignments). Anyway, here’s my email to the Minister.

    Dear Minister,

    RE: Southern NSW Local Health District & Jennifer Elliott – Low Carbohydrate Diet Debacle

    I write to you in response to the recent termination of Jennifer Elliott from the Southern NSW Local Health District. I understand that the termination was due to Ms Elliott’s clinical prescription of a low carbohydrate diet when treating patients with indications of Type II Diabetes.

    This concerns me greatly, and I’d like to express my dismay at the action taken by the SNSWLHD and would respectfully request your office to initiate an investigation into this matter.

    I am a Clinical Nutritionist in Sydney, specialising in the dietary treatment of Type II Diabetes and other Metabolic disorders that are rife in NSW and across Australia. I am dumbfounded by the action taken by SNSWLHD because the science and evidence behind Low Carbohydrate Interventions in the treatment of Type II Diabetes is sound and unequivocal. (I can provide your office with a list of studies upon request).

    Type II diabetes is a disorder involving the body’s ability to metabolise carbohydrates/glucose effectively. It just makes sense, without going in to the biochemistry, that lowering dietary carbohydrates has a profoundly positive effect on the patient’s health outcomes.

    If we are serious about tackling Diabetes in this state, which from every societal angle we should be, immediate action needs to be taken to remove the barriers for Dieticians like Ms Elliott to treat this disease effectively. (Not to mention becoming instrumental in changing the fundamental policies around the treatment of type II diabetes, with Low Carbohydrate Diets becoming best-practice to achieve this).

    Thank you, in advance, for taking action on this matter.

    Yours faithfully,

    Heidi Meyer B.HSc (Nutritional Medicine), Masters candidate ( Public Health Nutrition)
    Clinical Nutritionist

  26. The Honourable Jillian Skinner, MP
    NSW Minister for Health

    5th October 2015

    Dear Ms Skinner,

    Re: SNSW Local Health District not client-centred; priority given to an investigation

    I write to express concern for the Southern NSW Local Health District’s (SNSW LHD) recent instruction to their employed dietitians. As a health professional, and an active researcher in health service effectiveness, this matter must be thoroughly investigated and as a matter of urgency.

    The reason I am concerned is because the health of clients is at risk, as is the credibility of health professionals, and the SNSWLHD. An investigation which includes, but not limited to: why SNSWLHD has intervened in professional practice, the clinical evidence from client outcomes indicating a problem, the apparent lack of consultation in the instruction, who authorised the instruction, and specifically, who authorised the use of the 2014 DAA Nutrition Manual.

    It is possible SNSWLHD has been given incorrect advice to recommend the 2014 DAA Nutrition Manual for the care of people with diabetes. Because, in giving the instruction, SNSWLHD is in fact instructing dietitians to prescribe a “way of eating” inconsistent with the evidence, inconsistent with professional integrity, and inconsistent with client-centred care.

    The DAA manual, by its own admission, is not a manual for dietitians, it is not a manual for the health setting of a community health centre, and, it is NOT to be used where a dietitian is available for individualised intervention. In fact, the manual specifically instructs the user not to use the manual where a dietitian is available.

    The email from SNSWLHD to dietitians also contained a statement implying that professional practice is being monitored. It is reasonable to expect an interpretation of this message by dietitians will bring some anxiety in “what will I do if I get a client with diabetes”. The potential self-doubt will mean any intervention by the dietitian will have limited effectiveness, made worse by client loss of confidence in the dietitian, the profession as a whole, and the services of SNSWLHD.

    On the next page, I include excerpts from public sources, as well as the 2014 DAA Nutrition Manual, to support my statements in this letter.

    Kind regards

    Melanie Voevodin [Dietitian, Health Economist]


    Statement 1: I write to express my concern for the Southern NSW Local Health District’s (SNSWL HD) recent instruction to their employed dietitians.

    Excerpt from Jennifer Elliotts blog 16-09-2015

    SNSW LHD memo: “..all dietitians employed within Southern NSW Local Health District are directed that all diets prescribed for Diabetics must reflect the principles of Diabetic Diets outlined in the 2014 DAA Nutrition Manual.”

    Statement 2: …by its own admission, is not a manual for dietitians, it is not a manual for the health setting of a community health centre, and, it is NOT to be used where a dietitian is available for individualised intervention.

    From DAAs Webpage http://www.daa.asn.au >Professional and Nutrition Education Resources >Nutrition Manual 2014 Edition – in the description of the manual DAA writes:

    “This is an essential resource for hospitals, aged care facilities, residential centres, community centres, libraries and the hospitality and food industry”

    Screen grab from 2014 DAA Nutrition Manual pg 2

    Screen grab from 2014 DAA Nutrition Manual pg 23

    Screen grab from 2014 DAA Nutrition Manual pg 23 and 24
    Following on from “Limitations”

    Statement 3: The email from SNSWLHD to dietitians also contained a statement implying professional practice is being monitored.

    Excerpt from Jennifer Elliotts blog 16-09-2015

    SNSW LHD memo: “specific referrals that are received for a low carbohydrate diet from GP’s will be directed to the attention of the local Allied Health Manager who will contact the GP regarding the PP directive.”


    If using a PDF version of this letter, Jennifer Elliotts blog is at

    The 2014 DAA Nutrition Manual 9th Edition is available to purchase from http://www.daa.asn.au
    [$149] – Table of contents is available to view online for free.

  27. Dear Jillian Skinner, MP.

    Concerning the shameful sacking of the dietician Jillian Elliot for giving correct advice to diabetics. Australian advice to diabetics can be summed up as: “You can’t deal with carbs, so eat carbs and take insulin and get progressively worse.” Carbohydrates are quickly converted into glucose and telling someone who can’t control their blood to eat glucose is medieval in its stupidity. Is Australia completely ignorant of the science on this subject?

    A century ago in France and the UK we called type 2 diabetes ‘carbohydrate intolerance’ and treated it highly successfully with a very low carbohydrate diet. Now it’s regarded as a progressive disease that needs insulin. The Australian position follows the damaging idiocy of the British and American systems and all three health systems should be ashamed of the harm they are doing. Yet the US and UK systems both accept that a low carb diet is a valid option. Reseach has clearly shown it should be the first option, but your system sacks a dietician who gives advice in line with the science.

    The leading researcher in low carb diets and diabetes is Wendy Pogozelski, a professor of biochemistry and type 1 diabetic. She is one of the authors of a research paper called ‘Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and base’. The paper is dated January 2015.


    If you put Wendy Pogozelski’s name into YouTube and you’ll see her Ted talk and her own struggle with ‘official’ and totally unscientific advice. See also the work in the UK of Dr Unwin and Dr Sarah Hallberg in America? The latter has an excellent Ted talk describing her successful obesity and diabetes clinic.

    Jennifer Eliot is a hero and did the right and logical thing for her patients in Australia. Sacking her is an utter disgrace and perpetuates bad practice. An inquiry should be launched and this brave and sane practitioner reinstated.

    What can explain this astonishing situation where a major problem has such an obvious and well-tested cure, yet you persist with failed advice that makes no sense? You spend millions to make people fat and their condition worse. Do you know how many limbs you amputate a week as a result? It’s 130 a week in the UK and ten times that figure in Mexico.

    The only winners from the current stupidity are the suppliers of insulin and maker of artificial limbs.

    I suppose the ancient excuse that your system will trot out for this foolishness is that diabetics can’t eat a diet high in fat or they’ll get heart disease. This science is utterly discredited and has been so for many years. Please see the attached independent review of the science released this week by the outstanding research arm of Credit Suisse. Meta-analysis by both Harvard and Cambridge Universities both showed there is no link between saturated fat and heart disease.

    Jennifer Eliot is right. I have attached more than enough evidence to show that and there is so much more out there for anyone interested in looking. I ask you to hold a genuine inquiry into the reprehensible action taken by the DAA against Jennifer Eliot. They have moved the goal posts onto several new pitches and their case is transparently weak. They have no case to deregister this dietician.

    Please think again and help Australian diabetics. The politician who finally ends this scandal will be long remembered and not just in Australia.



    Stephen Town, Bradford, England

  28. Here is my letter to the Hon. Jillian Skinner:

    Dear Hon. Jillian Skinner –

    I have been using low sugar/carb diets for all my diabetic clients (for ALL my clients in fact) for the past fifteen years. The results they have achieved are nothing short of astounding.

    Most of my T2 diabetic clients have completely reversed their disease and ALL have experienced dramatically positive results. Not one has experienced a negative response.

    The science behind low sugar/carb diets is undeniable. It should be the go to diet for any diabetic – both T1 and T2. In fact, is it so potent for helping diabetics, that the person’s doctor must be informed beforehand because they will need to lower their meds in the very first few days. This alone tells you how beneficial this approach is.

    I humbly suggest you revise your dietary guidelines to reflect what the research and clinical evidence reveals – that low sugar/carbohydrate diets are a healthful and potent means to end type 2 diabetes.

    The dieticians who understand the value of this approach and implement it with their patients should be praised. Those who don’t need to read the research and begin adopting this nutritional approach before their next T2D patient loses their foot or their eyesight needlessly.


    Fredrick Hahn, ACE,
    Owner of Serious Strength Personal Training Studios,
    Author of The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution and Strong Kids, Healthy Kids

  29. Minister Skinner is in enough trouble as it is.
    I think if this episode went to mainstream national media she would be confronted with a situation where a LHD is advising against evidence base and more importantly harming patients , yet alone staff.

    Combine this with the Orthopaedic Surgeon from Tasmania and it makes the Australian Healthcare Governors appear ‘backward’ and I would use the word dangerous.

    1. I agree Chris. I still don’t understand why Minister Skinner didn’t act right at the start when it was obvious that the situation required action. I thought that was a minister’s job but obviously I’m embarrassingly naive.

    1. Thank you for writing, Helen. Could you let me know if you get a response please? Quite a few people have said they’ve had no response apart from the initial automated one.

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