SNSW LHD Keeps Saying NO To Low Carb Diets!

I was warned this would happen.

The joke is that when you write to a Government Minister in Australia with a problem or concern, the objective of the Minister’s office is to make you go away.

But not in this case, surely? What others and I have to say is important; it’s about peoples’ lives and their health. It’s even about the blow-out of the Health budget. It’s how to turn around the rising rates of diabetes and obesity. It’s what the Health Minister would want to hear and act on. Surely???!!!!

Apparently not

If a government department wanted something to go away, here’s the blueprint from the NSW Health Minister’s office:

Step one.

 Receive many requests from researchers, scientists and the public for an inquiry into a mistake that could cost some people their health and potentially their lives.

In this case, the mistake was the CEO of the Southern NSW Local Health District dictating that low carb advice must not be given to any person within the Health District.

Step two.

 1) Ask said CEO to explain the basis for his decision


2) Give said CEO the opportunity to say whether or not he’s satisfied with the decision he made.

The NSW Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, unbelievably went for option 2.

And the CEO of the LHD in question responded that he was fine with his decision.

Specifically: “The position in relation to your diet and acceptable dietary advice provided by NSW Health professionals may change over time, however the Local Health District continues to follow the advice of NSW Health and the DAA with regard to dietary advice provided to clients.”


  1. People of the SNSW LHD are denied access to science based low carb dietary advice that could improve their health.
  2. Ministerial get-lost objective achieved.
  3. I have to write another damn letter to the Minister.                                                     This is an edited version:                                                                                             21.10.2015                                                                                                                              Dear Minister Skinner                                                                                                    Further to my request for an inquiry into the actions of the SNSW LHD, which I submitted to your office on 17.9.2015. In that correspondence, I requested these issues be investigated:
    1. Abrogation of responsibility by the SNSW LHD to the Dietitians Association Australia (DAA) for my dismissal


    1. The basis for the decision that low carb diets are not evidence based.                            It is an understatement to say that I am disappointed in your response. Instead of your office asking the CEO of the SNSW LHD to provide you with answers regarding my questions, your office passed my inquiry to him, leaving it to him alone to evaluate his own, and his staff’s decisions. Unsurprisingly, his response was that everything is in order; he’s happy with all the decisions and no inquiry is warranted.I would like to reiterate my concerns and provide the CEO’s comments.
      1. Abrogation of responsibility.

      The LHD’s investigation into my case found no hint of professional incompetence (as there is none), however they took DAA’s word for it, without details or explanation, and dismissed me on that basis. This abrogation of responsibility by a government body to a self-regulated membership organisation without knowledge of the standards and processes employed by that organisation (LHD representative admitted this) I believe to be a serious dereliction of duty.

      I would be happy to provide you with full details of DAA’s findings; in short, it appears that I was deregistered either on the basis of my recommendation of LC diets or because DAA did not like the way I kept my notes on one client.

      CEO’s determination: “I am satisfied that there has been no abrogation of responsibility by the Health District to the Dietitians Association of Australia DAA.”

      How nice for him to be able to ignore the fact that in 29 years of my employment with NSW Health there has never been a hint that I was anything less than a competent and experienced professional. The DAA however could say otherwise and NSW Health just accepted that decision without question.

      That is abrogation of responsibility whether the CEO wants to admit it or not. His response is insulting.


      1. They got it wrong


      SNSW LHD’s decision that low carb diets are not evidence based and are not to be recommended in the LHD is simply wrong and potentially harmful to many people. It may also leave NSW Health open to litigation by people who are being denied advice on reducing carbs, despite this approach being supported by science and the American Diabetes Association guidelines that dietitians are advised to follow.

      I requested that the people who made this decision be asked to answer how they concluded that low carb diets are not evidence based.

      CEO’s response: “The position of the technical advice may well change over time with further research. However, at this time the SNSWLHD is following the advice of NSW Health with regard to dietary advice to clients/ patients.”

      Me: What is NSW Health’s advice exactly?

      To my knowledge, prohibiting the recommendation of low carb diets is not a directive in any other NSW Health District, nor anywhere else in Australia or probably even the world. In addition, the CSIRO backs low carbohydrate management of diabetes. Their recent 2-year study of very low carb versus ‘traditional guideline’ higher carb dietary management showed that low carb gave significantly better results in blood glucose control and cardiovascular risk factors. The low carb participants had a significant reduction in their medication requirements.

      The LHD has gone out on a dangerous limb in making this a directive.

      More from the CEO: “The position in relation to your diet and acceptable dietary advice provided by NSW Health professionals may change over time, however the Local Health District continues to follow the advice of NSW Health and the DAA with regard to dietary advice provided to clients.”

      As I have previously stated, DAA defer to American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines for dietetic management of diabetes. ADA guidelines support the use of low carb diets.

      This issue is no longer just about my case, as no doubt you would be aware from the number of letters you have received from scientists, researchers, dietitians and others from around the world.

      I would ask again that the following issues be investigated properly and not referred back to the CEO responsible for the decisions in question.


      1. Abrogation of responsibility.

      Request: Explanation as to why DAA’s finding of professional incompetency against me was accepted without question by NSW Health, and subsequently used as the basis for my dismissal, when in 29 years and regular PDPs with my managers, there was never a hint of criticism of my expertise or competency.



      1. Getting it wrong.

      Request: CEO to provide supportive evidence for the directive that low carb diets are not to be recommended to clients in the LHD.


      Specifically: 1. What exactly does NSW Health advise in regard to dietary advice for clients/ patients that the CEO refers to? (needs referencing)


      1. What does he believe DAA’s position is concerning dietetic advice for diabetics? (needs referencing)


      Thank you again for your consideration of these issues.


      Yours sincerely




14 thoughts on “SNSW LHD Keeps Saying NO To Low Carb Diets!”

  1. Hi Jennifer i am sure that i speak for many people in saying how sorry i am that you are going through this ordeal. You have become a scapegoat for all those who have evidence of the success of this way of eating. I watch with bated breath every step of your journey and truly wish you success in vindicating your reputation. It may take time and feel like too much effort at times but you are carving a parh for the future. I wish you all the very best.

    1. Thank you Kellie. I really appreciate your support. I’m actually starting to feel like my case may be a catalyst for change. Or maybe that’s just hope. Either way, it’s probably playing a part and I’m happy with that 🙂

  2. I am so very dismayed at you being struck off. But I am confident that those who truly help mankind like yourself, will reap rewards. LCHF is a notion whose time has come. Many will be sued ( I hope ) for withholding proven interventions. I trust you will find rewarding employment/ $ reward by spreading the word of the positive, scientifically based LCHF approach. Don’t loose heart. Jenny

  3. Jennifer, I concur with your point of view. In my opinion, the DAA has become obsolete as they no longer represent the best possible outcome (the desire for full recovery vs. “managed decline”) for clients. They are “yes men” (so-to-speak) for food industry sponsors. No different from “just another media outlet” in essence. The DAA prefers to “manage decline”, pretend otherwise. No surprises there considering some of their sponsors. Clearly a conflict of interest exists due to these funding arrangements. The standard of “duty of care” has been compromised. This debacle needs to be brought to the mainstream media… to shame the government into pulling their finger out from where it is firmly wedged.

    1. Totally agree with you there, Frances .
      What a delightful euphemism – ” managed decline ” !
      That neatly summarises the whole attitude of mainstream medicine that shuts out any new developments or might threaten funding . How dare we re-open the door of enlightenment in the hope that the winds of change will blow down their house of cards .
      We as patients are being lied to and fobbed off – treated in exactly the same way as Jennifer, except that for the most part we’re not being publicly disgraced .
      The more of us that take matters into our own hands and go back to basics, the sooner our voices will be heard .

      Jennifer, I wish you all the very best in your fight, and may the truth soon bury these liars .

      Dr Sarah Hallberg runs a successful obesity clinic in Indiana, and I have found her a great inspiration .
      Cheers, Martin

  4. Wow. I’ve only just heard about your work, Jennifer. Thanks for taking a punch for the incredible social movement that is community-centred food information, way out of step with the medical establishment and politically radical. I’m so sorry you’ve lost so much. We have gained so much. Is this the only place you write? I’ve been searching for your twitter account with no luck. I follow a few LCHF folk there, and the amazing consumer-led page, The Low Cab High Fat Group on Facebook.
    Best regards and looking forward to hearing from you in public soon.

    1. Hi Shane. There’s still a bit going on behind the scenes but it looks increasingly like the chance of change at a government level re LC diets is pretty slim. So many in decision-making positions are excellent stone-wallers. Maybe the ability to not answer simple questions, stick to a position in the face of contrary evidence etc is a pre-requisite for employment? More likely that change will come through social movement, as you suggest.

  5. I sat beside a gentleman in the doctors office yesterday and I was laughing at a YouTube … And shared the joke with him. We started to talk about FB and I showed him pictures of friends on FB on the LCHF pages. He was amazed. He’s on the DAA diet, and literally cannot afford the medications. He’s crying out for help. I gave him the name of a Keto nurse. I hope he talks to her. My hope is Social Media will take this message into the future.

    1. Hi Mazzy. I agree that Social Media is the likely vehicle for getting the LC message out to the general public. The big organisations like Diabetes Aust and the DAA, who should be doing it, have failed. But the support is growing and people are becoming more outraged at the suffering caused by the current advice. Lawsuits and class actions are now being talked about. Lucky for this man that he was sitting next you. And I hope you weren’t laughing at my YouTube clip 🙂

    2. Mazzy, three months ago I had donated whole blood and was sitting at the morning tea table in front of the offerings for those who had donated. As I had felt faint I had to sit for two hours. I had a discussion with a man who had just donated plasma, around my fathers age about why I was not partaking in the free chocolates, muffins, chic chip cookies, fruit and other cereal based, high sugar refuelers. I mentioned I was following a LCHF woe; he told me he was type 2 diabetic with a heart condition. He was interested in the tiny bit I was able to tell him about how I manage my blood sugars without adding sugar… Just had a black tea and a large glass of water knowing I had eaten adequate bacon, spinach, butter and eggs for breakfast. I suggested he look up LCHF and the Facebook group Reversing Diabetes. Little conversations turning the tide. One of the blood bank nurses joined the conversation asking me if I was Keto and telling me that that was the way he ate. I said it must be interesting coming to work and watching all these blood donators filling up with this spread nodding toward the table. He said “it’s heartbreaking”.

  6. Hello from the USA. Please know that you are supported around the globe. I hope that your case brings to light the intentional harm the government is doing to people by not letting them make educated decisions on their own about their health. I also hope you are able to still make a living giving talks and educating both the public and other health care professionals.

    1. Hello Jamila. Thank you so much for your words of support. The low carb movement has certainly gained a lot of momentum in the 12 months since I was deregistered by the DAA. There’s even talk of a Royal Commission into the potentially harmful advice that people have been given to manage diabetes. On a personal note, a dietitian from the U.S. and I have recently finished an on-line program for diabetes using a low carb approach. That kept me busy for the last year and even busier now as I’m speaking to GPs about it. Amazing how many doctors know about LC and even eat that way themselves, but have trouble finding dietitians with expertise to refer patients to. So basically all good 🙂

  7. LCHF has worked for me. For five years my diabetes was out of control following the Diabetes Association of Australia’s diabetic diet. For five years my BSLs were all over the place and my GP continued to increase my diabetic medication.

    Around 26 months ago (after considerable research on LCHF) I changed my way of eating. Within four months I had my diabetes under control, although I was still having to use 95ml/units of insulin before each meal, and was on metformin.

    After that time I began slowly to reduce my insulin and eventually when I discovered that the metformin was having no impact on my BSLs I stopped taking it.

    About six months ago I had reduced my insulin to less than half what it was at the beginning. Then a few months ago it went from 28 to 16 to 8, and in the last fortnight, I’ve not had to use insulin at all.

    My aim when starting LCHF was to control my diabetes, and though I hoped I’d be able to reduce my medication, I honestly never thought I’d be able to stop it altogether.

    It’s a delight to now be completely off all medication and no longer have ridiculous high and low BLS. The bonus is that I’ve lost 21kg – that wasn’t my aim, but I’m very pleased as on the Diabetes Association’s recommended diet, I was getting steadily fatter and fatter which was causing me considerable pain with ongoing knee and back issues.

    I’ll be seeing my GP in a couple of weeks and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to telling her that I’m now off all medication for diabetes.

    1. Hi Vicki. What an inspiring story about regaining your health!

      I imagine your GP will be a convert to LC after hearing what you’ve done and seeing your results. Just one GP can potentially change the lives of hundreds of clients in their practice, and hopefully you will be a trigger for this with your GP. I believe that, along with social media, this plays a big part in getting the LC message out. Can’t wait for Diabetes Australia to do it.

      I’m preparing to give talks at GP surgeries about low carb management for diabetes. I have a few lined up in Melbourne and Canberra and would be happy to contact your GP if you think she would be interested. And I’d definitely like to know how she responded to your amazing results 🙂

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