Ashy Bines is getting slammed on social media again. This time it’s because she shared a story from a fan who claimed Bines’s meal plans “cured” her cancer.
The Gold Coast fitness guru shared the story in a SnapChat video.
“Just to hear the stories of how I might have impacted a life, whether it’s in a small way or big way, there’s even a girl in LA, who had cancer, and she followed my plans and reckons that’s what cured her cancer,” she said.
“I’m not saying I cured cancer, but in her case she said following my meal plans and listening to my Snapchats and adopting healthy habits and completely turning her health around, she survived.”
Even though Bines made it clear she wasn’t claiming to have cured cancer, some of her followers reacted angrily.
One follower, who lost her grandmother to cancer in July, wrote, “I actually find it offensive that you, Ashy, and anyone else thinks food cures cancer.”
Another added that plenty of people die using alternative treatments. “That’s why claims that things like food ‘cure’ cancer can be very dangerous.”
The controversy comes just weeks after Belle Gibson was fined $410,000 for claiming that she had cured her terminal brain cancer through healthy eating and alternative therapies. Gibson had profited from her popular app, The Whole Pantry, and a book deal, before it was revealed that she had never had cancer.
Bines says it’s a “hate group” that is claiming she says she cured cancer. She says she was “simply sharing a story one of my squad girls shared to me”.
However, Dr Brad McKay believes that’s being “disingenuous”.
“It’s not saying it, but it’s still implying that that’s what she’s done,” he tells Mamamia.
“We’ve seen from all of the shemozzle that’s happened with Belle Gibson saying that her diet cured people from cancer that she’s been sued. From Australia’s perspective and through our legal system, we see the importance that’s placed on giving people correct information.”
Dr McKay says if someone has told Bines that her meal plans cured her cancer, she shouldn’t be sharing that with her followers.
“If there are no details and there’s nothing to back it up, then you can’t really state it,” he explains.
“The problem is that if people are believing her, the issue we have as doctors is that people will often think that if they’re trying to beat their cancer then they’ll just drink lots of water and eat lots of fresh vegetables, which is fine, but they can still die from their cancer.”
Professor Sanchia Aranda, the CEO of Cancer Council Australia, says there is “no evidence” that a healthy diet alone will cure cancer.
“There is also no evidence that strange and often restrictive diets will either,” she tells Mamamia.
“Anyone claiming to have a diet that will cure your cancer is simply taking advantage of the vulnerable, especially if they advocate doing this instead of receiving effective cancer treatment.”
But while there’s no evidence to suggest that diet alone can cure cancer, Professor Aranda says a healthy diet does play an important role in cancer prevention.
“Being overweight or obese increases your cancer risk, as does excess processed meat consumption, not having enough fibre in your diet and alcohol consumption.”
Mamamia contacted Ashy Bines for comment but she did not respond.