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Gillian McKeith stops calling herself a doctor!

The assumptions you make, eh? Not that I ever paid much attention to Gillian McKeith's TV programmes, but when someone called "Dr Gillian McKeith" appears regularly on Channel 4 telling people what they should be eating, who publishes books and so on, you tend to assume they've got medical qualifications in the straightforward sense just like my GP does.

This interesting article on Gillian McKeith throws a different light on the matter. Someone complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that calling herself "Dr Gillian McKeith" in advertising was misleading (since she's only a "Dr" by virtue of a correspondence course with a non-accredited American college). In order to avoid falling foul of a pending Advertising Standards Authority ruling (apparently a draft ruling seemed to be inclined in favour of the complaint) she's agreed not to use the term in future advertising.

The article has some really choice words to say about the woman, including quoting some of the very bizarre medical claims she's made, and the "Wild Pink Yam and Horny Goat Weed products" her company briefly marketed before the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency ordered her to stop selling them and said they "were never legal for sale in the UK". The article's written by a doctor and it makes quite a lot of good points in general about the difference between science and nonscience, and real doctors and sort-of-doctors...

Tuesday 13th February 2007 | science | Permalink

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