Blog: Bad science

Catherine Sleep | 10 December 2003

Or bad programme-making at the very least. The UK media made quite a fuss last week about a BBC Real Story programme which put three slightly overweight doctors on the Atkins diet for a month and followed their progress. Much of the programme was devoted to Dr. Maurice Gleeson, who ended up being hospitalised with chronic stomach pains and being fed intravenously.

The trouble is, Gleeson admits he didn’t stick to the diet, indulging in both alcohol and chocolate biscuits in weaker moments. So all his case really ‘proved’ was that if you try to follow Atkins, but cheat, you may hit trouble. The other two doctors fared better, although one found that her levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol had risen above a clinically safe level. While the experiment doubtless fuelled concern about low-carb diets, as an attempt at a clinical trial, it was hopeless.

Real Story


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