Cape Town - Professor Tim Noakes's hearing at the Health Professionals Council of South Africa starts today.
Noakes, the author of the best-selling Banting book The Real Meal Revolution and a leading proponent of a low-carb high-fat diet, is appearing before the HPCSA over a tweet he sent last year.
In a press release, the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) says that the issues was lodged with the council as a matter of public interest.
The statement said that the tweet from Noakes advised a mother to “wean” her baby on to a low carbohydrate high fat diet.
"The concern was referred to the HSPCA to adjudicate in February 2014 on behalf of members of ADSA, the statement said.
"The advice, via Twitter, is not considered to be in accordance with both international (WHO Guiding principles for complementary feeding of the breastfed child) and national (South African Paediatric Food Based Dietary Guidelines) feeding guidelines for infant and young child nutrition.
"Furthermore giving one on one nutrition advice on social media to a patient who has not been assessed, as well as providing information outside of the scope of practice for which you are registered with the council is in contravention of the HPCSA ethical guidelines.
“I look forward to a resolution of this matter that will provide clarity on complementary feeding recommendations for infants and young children. It should also set a precedent on how social media should be used by health professionals'" the statement said.
"Clarity on these issues will help to advance health care in South Africa in the interest of the public. It should also clear any public and professional confusion on these issues,” said Claire Julsing Strydom, President of the ADSA.
What is the Association of Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA)?
The Association of Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) is a professional association for registered dietitians. The organisation aims to promote the profession, serve the interests of dietitians through training and professional development as well as promote the nutritional well-being of all South Africans.
From time to time ADSA receives complaints regarding the conduct of health professionals from its members. Such complaints are referred to the HPCSA to investigate and conclude the matter. The HPCSA is responsible for dealing with complaints received through its established mechanisms.
What is the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA)?
The HPCSA, in conjunction with its 12 Professional Boards, is committed to promoting the health of the population, determining standards of professional education and training, and setting and maintaining excellent standards of ethical and professional practice.
The Council guides and regulates the health professions in the country in aspects pertaining to registration, education and training, professional conduct and ethical behaviour, ensuring continuing professional development, and fostering compliance with healthcare standards.