Hypothetical scenario:

You’re pregnant, and you have acne.  You go to your doctor’s office, wait a little bit, and the nurse comes out, “Registered Dietitian Joe-Bob is ready to see you!”  You kind of scratch your head, but decide to go back anyway.  Joe-Bob greets you with a smile on his face.  He says, “Hey, don’t worry about the acne.  I read on the internet that isotretinion clears it right up!”  Little does Joe-Bob know that this drug is known to cause birth defects.  Since you’re pregnant, that’s kind of a big deal.

Hopefully, that hypothetical story brings up at least some level of indignation within you.  It should.  It’s morally wrong.  Why?  Because the RD stepped out of their field of practice and prescribed something although they don’t fully understand it.

If stepping outside of your field of practice is immoral, then it is logical to conclude that the opposite situation of the one above is also immoral.  A doctor shouldn’t be stepping out of his field of practice and talking about nutrition like he’s an expert.  He/she doesn’t have formal education in the field.  Sadly, only one quarter of medical schools require their students to take a single nutrition class.

So basically, when a doctor writes a book or makes a TV show about nutrition advice, there’s really no reason to listen to what they say.  They don’t have any more formal education in the field than you do.  You may as well just ask your next-door neighbor what they think.  It’s the same quality of information.

Just like you would hire a carpenter to fix your cabinets and a mechanic to fix your car, you should listen to registered dietitians for nutrition advice and doctors for medical advice.  It’s only rational.


To check out the subject further, here’s a good article written by a MD on NY Times.