Friday, 12 November 2010

Jill Swyers, Raw Food Fan

Jill Swyers
is the name. Not Sawyers - that would be an error - and certainly not Sewers.

Jill is a "Hippocrates Health Educator & Culinary Consultant". Alas, the qualification doesn't appear to have been approved by the father of medicine himself.

Jill's flyer (available here and here) promotes a new diet which can help you to

"Reclaim your Health and Change your Life!"

How? Well, Jill thinks her diet programme can "aid in the treatment of a variety of conditions", not least

"...arthritis... candida... chronic fatigue [syndrome]... asthma... eczema... weight loss... weight gain... cancer... colitis... diabetes..."

The diet consists of a "selection of... natural, organic raw produce". In other words, it's a raw food diet.

No one doubts that a healthy, balanced diet is good for you, but speaking frankly, I doubt that cutting out the cheeseburgers is a plausible treatment for asthma.

ASA complaint follows!

"I write to complain about a leaflet I picked up at the CamExpo exhibition in London on 24th October this year.

The leaflet, for Jill Swyers, promotes a "Programme" of raw food consumption, which she claims can "aid in the treatment" of "cancer".

I suspect that the leaflet may be in breach the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP Code). I can provide the original leaflet by post, if necessary.

1. The UK's leading authority on complementary medicine, Professor Edzard Ernst, has recently written about "detox" therapies [1]:

"Detox, as used in alternative medicine, is based on ill-conceived ideas about human physiology, metabolism, toxicology etc. There is no evidence that it does any good and some treatments...can be harmful. The only substance that is being removed from a patient is usually money."

2. Under Section 3.7 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate any of the following claims, and under Section 3.1 I challenge whether they are misleading:

(i) "A lifestyle based on [eating] raw...foods as prescribed by the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, USA, is a great way to detox and cleanse the body, promote energy, improve one's life and weight loss/gain, and combat a wide range of dis-eases and dis-orders."

(ii) "The wonderful thing about Living/Raw Foods is that the physical body undergoes a cleansing process, during which impurities and toxins are eliminated..."

3. Under Section 12.1, I challenge whether the advertisers can substantiate their claim that the advertised "Programme" can "aid in the treatment of a variety of conditions", namely:

(i) Arthritis
(ii) Candida
(iii) Stress
(iv) Chronic Fatigue [syndrome]
(v) Asthma
(vi) Eczema
(vii) Weight loss/gain problems
(viii) Cancer
(ix) Colitis
(x) Diabetes

4. I confirm I have no connections with the advertiser. I confirm I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser.


[1] Simon Singh, Edzard Ernst, "Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial", American edition 2008, p308"

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