Diet Guru Dr. Katz Goes Ballistic (Again)

To say that the influential diet guru Dr. David Katz disprove of the recent BMJ article about saturated fat is an understatement:

Dr. Katz on LinkedIn: An Open Letter to the BMJ Regarding US Dietary Guidance

It’s not the first time Dr. Katz is over-the-top disappointed in great scientific journals or NYT publishing something involving Gary Taubes or Nina Teicholz, in fact it tends to happen every single time. Dr. Katz might qualify as the (h?)angriest diet guru in America.

Dr Katz’s rebuttal usually involves denigrating his opponent for having books to sell. Here’s a few examples from his latest critique:

With all due respect to Ms. Teicholz, she is not a nutrition expert, and not a scientist. She is a journalist herself, and one with a book to sell. […] The notion that the opinion of one journalist with a book to sell…

And finally…

I don’t have a diet to sell.

So that’s no less than three times in one brief article that Katz attempts to discredit Teicholz by bringing up her excellent book The Big Fat Surprise (one of the best books of last year according to publications like The Economist and The Wall Street Journal). This even though Teicholz never mentions the book in her article.

However Dr. Katz still insists we should not listen to Teicholz as she has written a book on the history of the science behind our dietary recommendations. He, on the other hand says “I don’t have a diet to sell”, and technically that is correct. Dr. Katz does not have one diet to sell, he has many diets to sell.

A few of Dr. Katz’s diet books

katz
thewaytoeat

Comment

Yep, there they are, complete with their “lose X pounds in Y weeks” taglines, while showing chocolate cake on the cover, wildly unsubstantiated health promises and cover blurbs by Dr. Oz.

Even Dr. Katz may have to agree that Dr. Oz is an entertainer, not a scientist, regularly promoting any dubious idea or product when it can bolster his ratings. No self-respecting scientist would put a Dr. Oz blurb on the cover of his diet book, let alone twice, unless he’s desperate to sell more books.

So – this attack may be the biggest dose of hypocrisy I’ve had all week. Sorry, Dr. Katz, but when it comes to integrity and focusing on the real scientific questions it’s game, set and match to Teicholz.

Update October 1, 2015

This story just gets better. Dr. Katz has also been writing glowing reviews about a book he himself wrote under a pseudonym.

20 Comments

  1. robert
    It may be a tough cookie for some to swallow, but one doesn't need a scientific degree to use one's brain, apply logic and do research.

    Seems like this feline Dr. is yet another voice to be ignored.

  2. Paul TR
    Well, Katz, Katze, Kot, Kocur, Koszka, Katt, Kissa, Cat, Chat, .......we all know how cats behave, don't we.
  3. Vicente
    "I don't care what diet is best for health. "

    Oh, my!

  4. Apicius
    Just like the Volkswagen air emissions scandal...it starts with cunning and unethical duping to do whatever it takes to sell your product at the detriment to society. Until the offender gets caught with steadfast science and data, exposing the truth. And then that's when they start to freak out, finding ways to defend themselves and deflect their sins onto others.
  5. Jennifer
    Was it Andreas writing this? If so, I'm so impressed with your clever use of "(h?)angriest" while writing in English as a second language!
    Reply: #7
  6. Janknitz
    I still think that the"angriest diet guru" title goes to McDougall.

    Lack of fat, very low cholesterol makes you grumpy!

    Reply: #9
  7. It was, so thanks.
  8. Murray
    It proves too much to say that Nina Teicholz should not be believed because she is just a journalist with a book to promote. If that were a valid inference, then credible journalism could not exist because all journalists derive their income from being journalists (selling news). Yet we know that journalism has been very helpful in many respects, including exposing the bad faith of the tobacco industry. One counterexample disproves the universality of Dr. Katz's inference, rendering it invalid logically. QED

    Having failed logically, Katz fails factually, too. Ms. Teicholz happens to be well-educated in science. Further, she is not doing science. She is gathering publications and facts and reporting on what they say. It is a world of difference to design and execute scientific experiments for publication and to read those publications critically for what they show. Any decent critical reader can do the latter, especially one with a science degree, much to the chagrin of the self-styled academic experts who seek to sustain a monopoly for their guild. So Ms. Teicholz's works speak for themselves, unless Katz can demonstrate her sources were unreliable or that the interpretations she derives from published science are systematically flawed in some way. Her work is reproducible and transparent. Katz has not in any way made a factual case to discount the credibility of her work. It is bare ad hominem attack, which is a good sign--it smells of desperation.

  9. Christoph
    Would also say McDougall. Claiming that we are born to eat plants and also saying on his website that you must take B12 supplements... logic at its finest...
    Reply: #10
  10. robert
    I hated all sorts of vegetables / plant matter as a small kid: Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, porridge too (I think), spinach, asparagus... I still don't go anywhere near Brussels sprouts today.

    On the other hand, I did not have any objections to meat products, as far as I can remember. I've been told repeatedly by my parents that I even liked well-prepared kidneys & liver. I don't remember having eaten any other fat than dairy (butter...).

    I think there is a very good reason for small kids to prefer nutrient dense, fatty and natural animal products. The stuff is usually very safe to eat & contains vital building blocks & tastes great.

    Reply: #18
  11. Dr Jay Wortman
    His resume includes "Snake Oil Salesman".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__Q-o1JbyQg

  12. Apicius
    Reply: #13
  13. Vicente
    Marion Nestle also feels the need to attack Teicholz, but she is incompetent to find a good reason. The only one she is able to find, is a wrong one.

    Teicholz in a comment:

    "Nestle's one factual rebuttal to my BMJ piece, unrelated to any of the science, is about the reporting on conflicts of interest, but in this she is incorrect. It may be the conflicts of interest were publicly reported in the past, but they were not in 2015, as anyone can verify here: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/

    As ever, it's disappointing that Nestle does not address any of the scientific arguments at hand or address the larger issue that the Guidelines she so fervently defends have so clearly failed to lead to better health for America."

    Katz, Nestle, Freedhoff, they are just one and the same.

    Reply: #14
  14. Apicius
    Yes indeed, Vicente, I agree. Just like Freedhoff, Nestle does more damage than good.
  15. Vicente
  16. bill
    Unbelievable but apparently true. Amazing!

    What depths will carb addled people go to?

  17. Shannon
    Katz is using Straw man and ad hominem arguments against Nina, that in legal terms, is when we know we have won the case. The jig is up for low fat now. Case closed.
  18. chris c
    Give all of your Brussels sprouts to me!
  19. Rosemary Martin
    So true about Dr.Oz he openly declared on a TV program, you will lose weight by taking the wonder pills HCA Garcinia Cambogia and Rasberry Ketones.
    According to him guaranteed to lose all unwanted weight without dieting or excersice. What a lot of hogwash. I went onto these pills for three months with no
    Success.
    I'm a type 1 diabetic and struggling to lose the weight around my abdomen, and although my blood sugar has improved on HFLC diet, I have not lost any weight.
    I need to loose about 7kg.
  20. Joe blow
    Dr Katz is an absolute joke. Why does he think he's a nutrition expert? Or even a scientist for that matter? He's a physician, which r neither of the above. He's a hypocrite and like most people has an agenda to push.

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