The medical writer Ben Goldacre, he has written extensively on the topic of nutrient promotion in the media. He refers in particular to the superfood society and vitamin culture as the ‘bollocks du jour’. His attempt to explain this modern day nutritional scam takes some digesting especially as most of us have grown up with this culture and regard it as part of our everyday lives. What we are mainly talking about here are news stories promoting nutrient sales on the back of extremely poor scientific evidence.

Goldacre’s conclusion regarding the origin of the explosion of nutritional media stories is that they are hatched by so called nutritional media gurus who fall into a trap of errors in science interpretation so basic as to be akin to a set of first year undergraduate errors (New Statesman 22-01-2007). The driving force of this nutritional disaster that has sustained the health food industry for years then results from a self-perpetuating cascade.

This cascade is driven by health food industry profits, self-proclaimed nutrition experts, journalists with an eye for the sensational and a gullible public who believe whatever simplistic theories have been dished up by the mass media. It has resulted in the concept of ‘nutritionism’ that has been widely debated in the western media for some time.

Despite this, the selling of nutrient supplements has proven to be a financial winner reaping rich rewards for the superfood and vitamin industry. The concept with its basis in media hype and advertising continues to influence the habits of millions of people. This is largely without a shred of evidence relating to scientific efficacy. This is an unrewarding situation for people with diabetes because being vulnerable to an illness influenced by food and diet, they are the very group needing solid scientific data.

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