Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews No Holds Barred

Margaret McCartney: Clean eating and the cult of healthism

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 25 July 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4095
  1. Margaret McCartney, GP
  1. Glasgow
  1. margaret{at}

The new way of eating is “eating clean”—healthy, whole, unprocessed foods. If only that were all: note the stacks of açaí berries, coconut oil, cashew butter, and the expanding wheat-free shelf in the more expensive supermarkets. More choice is a good thing for people with coeliac disease—but these products aren’t aimed at them.

Bestselling cookbooks tell the public that they’ll look and feel better by avoiding wheat, dairy, and refined sugar. City centre juice bars offer similar promises to increase wellbeing (a favourite phrase).

Last month I went to a new gym …

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