Fet­tke will in cru­sade

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - ANNE MATHER

DE­SPITE a ban on giv­ing nu­tri­tional ad­vice to pa­tients, prom­i­nent Tas­ma­nian sur­geon Gary Fet­tke will not be si­lenced.

The Launce­s­ton sur­geon has given his first Aus­tralian pub­lic talk since the na­tion’s med­i­cal watch­dog last year or­dered him to stop giv­ing nu­tri­tional ad­vice to pa­tients for the rest of his med­i­cal ca­reer.

At the in­vi­ta­tion of the Lower Sandy Bay branch of the Lib­eral Party, Dr Fet­tke ad­dressed a lun­cheon on Fri­day about the ben­e­fits of “real food” and the Healthy Tas­ma­nia five-year plan.

He said he was merely talk­ing “com­mon sense” to peo­ple who wanted to know how lifestyle choices af­fected health.

“All I have done is dared to de­scribe real food as be­ing fresh, lo­cal and sea­sonal,” he said.

“That, by def­i­ni­tion, is low in sugar and re­fined car­bo­hy­drates, has a healthy amount of nat­u­ral fat and isn’t highly pro­cessed.”

Dr Fet­tke is renowned on the low-car­bo­hy­drate healthy­fat (LCHF) scene, with fol­low­ers tak­ing guid­ance from his prin­ci­ples about the role of nutri­tion in pre­ven­tive health.

His web­site al­ready had a wide fol­low­ing be­fore au­thor­i­ties gagged him, and there has been a groundswell of sup­port since.

His sit­u­a­tion has been high­lighted by BBC World News and he re­cently re­turned from speak­ing at a med­i­cal conference in the United States.

“This has be­come an in­ter­na­tional scan­dal,” he said.

He spoke at the Lib­eral Party lun­cheon be­cause he was asked, not be­cause of pol­i­tics.

“A cou­ple of mem­bers asked me to come along and speak be­cause they have been fol­low­ing LCHF ( Low Carb Healthy Fat) lifestyle.

“They think the Lib­eral Party com­mu­nity should be made aware of it be­ing a choice.”

While not want­ing to di­rectly defy the ban on giv­ing nutri­tion ad­vice to pa­tients, he said he felt com­fort­able speak­ing to an au­di­ence about gen- eral prin­ci­ples. He said the ef­fect of too much sugar in the body was like “toast­ing” your body, par­tic­u­larly in poorly con­trolled di­a­betes.

Dr Fet­tke said high sugar lev­els were ef­fec­tively ex­pos­ing or­gans to the “Mail­lard re­ac­tion”, which is a chem­i­cal re­ac­tion when pro­tein and su­gars are heated and leads to the brown­ing of food.

“Ev­ery time you have too much sugar in your body, you are do­ing this [toast­ing] ev­ery bit of your body,” he said.

“Is it any won­der we have so much mod­ern dis­ease?”

Dr Fet­tke be­came a pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate of LCHF di­ets af­ter see­ing so many di­a­betes pa­tients who were com­ing to him for surgery whose un­der­ly­ing prob­lem was diet re­lated.

But his ad­vice led to a twoyear in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Aus­tralian Health Prac­ti­tioner Reg­u­la­tion Agency.

AHPRA told Dr Fet­tke: “There is noth­ing as­so­ci­ated with your med­i­cal train­ing or ed­u­ca­tion that makes you an ex­pert or au­thor­ity in the field

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