Modern reality is that parents will outlive their children because of the food choices they are making, Professor Tim Noakes testified at a hearing into his conduct on Monday.
“If from the moment of conception the mother eats healthy, we can have a healthier generation,” Noakes said.
This was his finding in his book Raising Superheroes, which focuses on child nutrition.
The science was clear that the foetus had to be fed properly, the professor of exercise science and sports medicine said. The public’s failure to do this was having a harmful effect.
“The youngest diabetics are now three years old. We need to go back to the way we used to eat before industry started selling us processed foods.”
Noakes – whose book The Real Meal Revolution promotes a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet – was called before the council after a complaint was lodged by the former president of the Association for Dietetics in SA, Claire Julsing-Strydom.
The complaint was prompted by a tweet Noakes sent to a Pippa Leenstra after she asked him for advice on feeding babies and on breastfeeding.
Her tweet read: “@ProfTimNoakes @SalCreed is LCHF eating ok for breastfeeding mums? Worried about all the dairy + cauliflower = wind for babies?? [sic]”
Noakes advised her to wean her child onto LCHF foods, which he described as “real” foods.
His tweet read: “Baby doesn’t eat the dairy and cauliflower. Just very healthy high fat breast milk. Key is to ween [sic] baby onto LCHF.”
He is accused of giving unconventional and unscientific advice, and of unprofessional conduct for dispensing the advice via social media.
But Noakes argued that his advice was anything but unconventional, quoting research from as far back as the 1800s before the boom in obesity rates.
Sugar needed to be removed from diets, he argued, as the body had no biological need for it.
Babies, Noakes testified, needed fat in breastmilk for brain development.
“The need for fat is so enormous and if we don’t realise this, we will develop generations of children who may be brain compromised.”
And, he said, too little fat in a child’s diet caused obesity.
“As countries cut their fat rates, obesity rates have gone up. Protein is the driver of weight gain early on.”
The hearing continues.