Tim Spector?

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Boustrophedon
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Tim Spector?

Post by Boustrophedon » Sun Sep 10, 2023 2:33 pm

Been introduced to Tim Spector by a relative, Mr Spector seems to have a diet, with books to sell, TV appearances and a podcast. I have not come across him before.
Is Mr Spector just another phoney nutritionist with a diet and glib glossy paperbacks to sell? Or is he the real deal; a bona fide scientist with evidence backed advice, with glossy paperbacks to sell?
Perit hic laetatio.

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Re: Tim Spector?

Post by IvanV » Sun Sep 10, 2023 2:56 pm

This is the ZOE diet that is advertised everywhere just now. Includes some pin prick blood test from which an oracle will tell you what to eat.

As far as I can see, Mr Spector seems to have followed a similar career path to Michael Mosley. He started off being a a respectable epidemiologist. He wrote some fairly sensible stuff about eating, including a 2015 book called The Diet Myth, which seems to say the usual stuff - lots of what you read is bollocks, and the sensible thing to do is eat a varied high-fibre diet with lots of fresh fruit and veg.

He has written about the folly of fad diets.

But now he's promoting a diet. For all I know maybe what the Zoe thing does is support you to have a varied high fibre diet, because maybe some people need to be told what to eat or they'll fall back to gorging themselves on ultra-processed convenience food.

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Re: Tim Spector?

Post by Boustrophedon » Mon Sep 11, 2023 7:06 am

Thanks, that's very helpful.
Perit hic laetatio.

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Re: Tim Spector?

Post by bob sterman » Fri Oct 27, 2023 7:24 am

Tim Spector - "making people feel weird about food" for £299 (then £24.99 for 12 months)...

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/zoe-nutrition-apps

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Re: Tim Spector?

Post by discovolante » Fri Oct 27, 2023 7:31 am

bob sterman wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 7:24 am
Tim Spector - "making people feel weird about food" for £299 (then £24.99 for 12 months)...

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/zoe-nutrition-apps
Always good to see medical devices being used for non-medical purposes.
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Re: Tim Spector?

Post by Gfamily » Mon May 13, 2024 9:26 pm

Now getting criticised for 'advice' not to use factor 50 Sunblock all year round
https://www.theguardian.com/society/art ... -sunscreen

Proposition is that Vitamin D may be protective against cancer (in mice) and that factor 50 may reduce vitamin D production.
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Re: Tim Spector?

Post by bob sterman » Tue May 14, 2024 5:04 am

I see Spector has history for campaigning against the sinister forces of big sun cream manufacturers.

Maybe he's worried the cream will interfere with continuous glucose monitors attached to the skin?

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Re: Tim Spector?

Post by shpalman » Sat May 18, 2024 4:51 pm

discovolante wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 7:31 am
bob sterman wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 7:24 am
Tim Spector - "making people feel weird about food" for £299 (then £24.99 for 12 months)...

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/zoe-nutrition-apps
Always good to see medical devices being used for non-medical purposes.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/art ... ss-science
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Re: Tim Spector?

Post by Tessa K » Sat May 18, 2024 5:31 pm

shpalman wrote:
Sat May 18, 2024 4:51 pm
discovolante wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 7:31 am
bob sterman wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 7:24 am
Tim Spector - "making people feel weird about food" for £299 (then £24.99 for 12 months)...

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/zoe-nutrition-apps
Always good to see medical devices being used for non-medical purposes.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/art ... ss-science
Good article.

If you're going to spend that much money why not see a clinical dietitian? I guess being told to eat a balanced diet doesn't make them feel smug and special. Paying that much attention to what you eat is verging on an eating disorder.

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Re: Tim Spector?

Post by discovolante » Sat May 18, 2024 8:01 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Sat May 18, 2024 5:31 pm
shpalman wrote:
Sat May 18, 2024 4:51 pm
discovolante wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 7:31 am


Always good to see medical devices being used for non-medical purposes.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/art ... ss-science
Good article.

If you're going to spend that much money why not see a clinical dietitian? I guess being told to eat a balanced diet doesn't make them feel smug and special. Paying that much attention to what you eat is verging on an eating disorder.
And even if it doesn't go that far, it's also just stressful.

The glucose monitor has been great for my dad, who has type 1 diabetes. I think if I wore one I'd get extremely hypersensitive to every little change and probably imagine that I'm feeling the variations in my blood sugar levels a lot more than I actually am.
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Re: Tim Spector?

Post by bob sterman » Sun May 19, 2024 5:09 pm

I recall a few years ago - antioxidants were supposedly going to prevent loads of diseases - as oxidative stress was causing everything. Until antioxidant treatments for neurodegenerative diseases turned out to be disappointing - and some antioxidant vitamins seemed to make lung cancer worse.

Now it seems that fixing your microbiome is going to prevent loads of diseases - and conveniently you can't fix it without testing the effects using expensive gadgets.

Just need to forget that massive gains in life expectancy during the 20th century all took place when we were wrecking our microbiomes with excessive antibiotic usage, white bread and diet sodas. 8-)

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Re: Tim Spector?

Post by shpalman » Sun May 19, 2024 5:47 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Sun May 19, 2024 5:09 pm
I recall a few years ago - antioxidants were supposedly going to prevent loads of diseases - as oxidative stress was causing everything. Until antioxidant treatments for neurodegenerative diseases turned out to be disappointing - and some antioxidant vitamins seemed to make lung cancer worse.

Now it seems that fixing your microbiome is going to prevent loads of diseases - and conveniently you can't fix it without testing the effects using expensive gadgets.

Just need to forget that massive gains in life expectancy during the 20th century all took place when we were wrecking our microbiomes with excessive antibiotic usage, white bread and diet sodas. 8-)
Well on the one hand people are looking for all sorts of things to blame for rising levels of obesity and the associated poor health outcomes while self-reporting that they aren't eating more, but I do also think that some kinds of diet make it difficult to not eat too many calories and part of that may be what happens to gut bacteria.

The appification/gamification leverages/monetises the known effect that the best intervention for reducing weight in cases of mild overweight is to keep a food diary. Some people can't even be bothered to use a free app for that. Maybe if they're spending money they'll feel more motivated.
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Re: Tim Spector?

Post by bjn » Sun May 19, 2024 7:48 pm

Apparently there has been a trial as to the efficacy of the ZOE thing. It doesn’t appear to have been carried out particularly well. Things like not even a vague attempt to blind the trial.

https://drguess.substack.com/p/my-kingd ... trol-group

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Re: Tim Spector?

Post by Tessa K » Mon May 20, 2024 6:47 am

shpalman wrote:
Sun May 19, 2024 5:47 pm
bob sterman wrote:
Sun May 19, 2024 5:09 pm
I recall a few years ago - antioxidants were supposedly going to prevent loads of diseases - as oxidative stress was causing everything. Until antioxidant treatments for neurodegenerative diseases turned out to be disappointing - and some antioxidant vitamins seemed to make lung cancer worse.

Now it seems that fixing your microbiome is going to prevent loads of diseases - and conveniently you can't fix it without testing the effects using expensive gadgets.

Just need to forget that massive gains in life expectancy during the 20th century all took place when we were wrecking our microbiomes with excessive antibiotic usage, white bread and diet sodas. 8-)
Well on the one hand people are looking for all sorts of things to blame for rising levels of obesity and the associated poor health outcomes while self-reporting that they aren't eating more, but I do also think that some kinds of diet make it difficult to not eat too many calories and part of that may be what happens to gut bacteria.

The appification/gamification leverages/monetises the known effect that the best intervention for reducing weight in cases of mild overweight is to keep a food diary. Some people can't even be bothered to use a free app for that. Maybe if they're spending money they'll feel more motivated.
It is possible that people will be more motivated if it's costing them but the main problem with weight loss is not the initial loss it's sustainability. Many diets, however faddy, work short term. The problem is that they don't change people's relationship with food. Another problem is that fast weight loss means the body will try to put the weight back on once the diet ends. Or that people start off well but slip back into bad habits.

I did some work with someone doing a PhD into barriers to change a few years ago. These are cultural as well as psychological.

So while the app may work short term (or long term for a few determined individuals), for the majority this is just yet another fad diet.

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