Cape Town – No harm has come from a tweet by Prof Tim Noakes advising a mom to wean her baby onto a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet, but instead the “Banting” advocate is being prosecuted for being “unconventional”.
This is what Noakes’s defence argued at the resumed hearing into his professional conduct.
Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) advocate Ajay Bhoopchand laid into Noakes’s defence, saying Noakes does not have the expertise or evidence to advise a mother to wean her infant on to a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet.
Noakes, who has more than 85 000 Twitter followers, has been accused of acting unprofessionally by advising Pippa Leenstra to wean her baby on to a LCHF diet.
Leenstra tweeted him and nutritional therapist Sally-Ann Creed, who co-authored the Real Meal Revolution book with Noakes, to ask if the LCHF Banting diet was safe for babies of breast-feeding mothers.
Noakes replied on Twitter: “Baby doesn’t eat the dairy and cauliflower. Just very healthy high-fat breast milk. Key is to wean baby on to LCHF.” The tweet spurred more than 500 responses.
Claire Julsing-Strydom, former president of the Association of Dietitians of SA, approached the HPCSA and they laid the charge against Noakes.
Bhoopchand said during proceedings, Noakes admitted that he should not have used the term “LCHF diet” in his tweet, but should rather have said that the baby should be weaned on to a “real food” diet.
Nokaes’s advocate, Michael van der Nest, said: “This is an unprecedented prosecution as there are no guidelines that deal with practitioners and Twitter.”