Joanna McmIllan recently put up a blog post about the February Low Carb Cape Town Summit that I attended and spoke at. She appears to have been at a different meeting to the one I attended as her report seems to be at odds to what I heard and saw. She certainly seems to have missed my talks!
Several points seem to be have been left out by her.
Joanna is a nutritionist who appears in the public arena here in Australia regularly. On this occasion Joanna admits that she was invited “as a guest of Atkins International” to attend the meeting as an independent nutritionist. However that’s only part of the story.
There was a small contingent of Australians and a few New Zealanders present and several came up and spoke directly to me. I heard that Joanna was present but I never saw her, let alone spoke with her. I was told that she was going on to an Atkins International sponsored event in Johannesburg following the Low Carb Summit and apparently had a speaking engagement there. I can only imagine that her travel expenses, accommodation, food, conference fees and then speakers fee were graciously provided for by the corporate industry.
The Atkins group had a significant presence at the Low Carb Summit and were promoting their food products that were laced with artificial sweeteners. Chocolate and sweet alternatives were offered to me on more than one occasion – I said no thank you.
My trip to the conference was self funded and I am out of pocket several thousand dollars for that experience. No regrets for that opportunity. There were no speaker fees for me but my accommodation was kindly paid for by the conference organisers. I was not there promoting book sales. Joanna has inferred that we all had vested interests there. Hmmm.
Joanna goes on in her blog to state that science conferences are a great way “ to speak and debate ideas with the presenters”. If that was so, it would have been a great opportunity to speak with me as the only Australian doctor presenting there if she was truly interested in debating ideas.
Joanna claims that the presenters presented hypotheses as facts and no one talked about the quality of the food. Maybe she missed my talks.
I thought that it was worth putting up one of my slides from the talk with the clear heading “Hypothesis”. Maybe she was asleep for this one. If she missed that part of my inflammation talk then she would have missed me talking about the quality of the food, eating real food and eating mindfully. A shame really, if you are going to be misreporting an event that you are being financially supported to attend and report on.
As Joanna was missing my talks, she seems to have skipped over my repeated term of Low Carbohydrate and HEALTHY Fat living. I prefer that term to high fat because LCHF is about replacing refined carbohydrates with a higher amount of healthy fats. The conference delegates were all in agreement with that and to get away from having massive amounts of fat. That is where some people get confused.
I think that Joanna is in agreement with that concept of healthy fats from her article but it seems that she has, in her own words, has “thrown the baby out with the bathwater” by decrying LCHF.
Maybe we could have debated the ideas if she wanted to. Maybe she doesn’t know about all of those artificially sweetened products that her sponsor was promoting. Maybe we can meet up at another time and have a meaningful discussion.