A television report slamming celebrity chef Pete Evans as a dangeous fraud is making headlines this morning. So is that criticism fair?
“Unqualified and dangerous.”
They’re the words Channel 9’s A Current Affair used last night to describe celebrity chef Pete Evans.
The report, which featured interviews with numerous health professionals, slammed the My Kitchen Rules judge Pete Evans for his endorsement of the paleo diet. The show declared Evans had made “a fortune” from his popular fad diet, which now forms the basis of a TV show, an upcoming documentary, cookbooks and an even a recipe ebook for babies.
Many of Evans’ army of 1,000,000+ social media supporters immediately leapt online to defend him following the segment, and one Fairfax writer dismissed the segment as “a blatant commercial swipe by Nine at rival Seven”.
So today, we asked several health professionals whether criticism of Evans’ paleo diet is founded — and our research found the diet is, well, not exactly popular in expert circles. Here are five reasons health professionals aren’t supporting Pete Evans:
1. He claims that his diet can cure disease.
Pete Evans claims that eating paleo can cure serious health conditions including asthma, dementia and cancer.
Most recently, Evans claimed in a 2100-word Facebook post that a diet based on current Australian healthy eating guidelines is behind a rise in autism.
But as Professor Kerryn Phelps AM pointed out in the ACA segment, the diet in fact “has not been shown” to shrink tumours, lead to cancer remission, stop asthma, or stop dementia.
“I think the claims are at best, optomistic, and at worst, fraudulent,” she said.