Monday, September 07, 2009


Diet guru Gillian McKeith has made a fortune selling her own range of "healthy" food - but much of it has more fat, salt and sugar than mainstream brands she slags off on TV.

Multi-millionaire McKeith launched the nosh after she shot to fame by humiliating overweight punters on C4's You Are What You Eat.

The 49-year-old brags her food is healthier than its rivals on supermarket shelves.

But nutrition experts insist her claims are empty boasts and say they are "appalled" by her advice to wannabe slimmers.

McKeith - who famously likes to poke around in clients' poo - labels her products with her name, photo and the motto "Wishing you love and light".

She has urged Brits to shun scores of household name brands because of the amount of salt, fat, sugar, preservatives and other chemicals in them.

And she warns on her website: "Too much salt is reckoned to be responsible for about 35,000 heart attacks and strokes a year."

Yet her Organic Quinoa Flakes cereal contains twice as much salt as Coco Pops.

Her Organic Haricot Beans have more than twice the fat content of Heinz Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce.

Her "healthy" Goji Berry Bar has almost as much sugar as a Cadbury's Flake, while another food bar has more fat than a Snickers ice cream. And her Organic Hemp Bread Mix has almost four times the fat of a Kingsmill Great Everyday Thick Sliced White loaf.

McKeith has sold more than three million books thanks to her her food range and TV shows, which also include Supersize vs Superskinny on E4.

But the presenter, who owns a mansion in north London's plush Hampstead, is no stranger to controversy. Two years ago she agreed to stop calling herself a doctor because the qualification from a US college was not an officially recognised medical degree.

And her diet advice has repeatedly sparked outrage from dietary experts.

Amanda Wynne, of the British Dietetics Association, has said of McKeith: "We are appalled. It's obvious she hasn't a clue about nutrition."

And her colleague Kathy Cowborough said: "There are obviously health problems associated with getting too much salt, sugar and fat."

But McKeith's spokesman Howard White dismissed the criticism, insisting: "Gillian does not do nutrition by numbers.

"What she's proposing is a change of lifestyle - that's what it's all about.

"We have had hundreds - if not thousands - of testimonials from people around the world who Gillian has helped."

He added: "When you are different and you're against the medical establishment, there is a chance some people won't agree with it.

"But the bottom line is the average person who truly does it Gillian's way will be better off for it."

You have to be suspicious of Scottish people bearing gifts. Sounds like a Get Rich Scheme rather than a get fit scheme.

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