Wednesday, 16 March 2022

The further decline of Aseem Malhotra

"I'm with stupid"

This blog is proud to be the first place where the dubious claims of Aseem Malhotra were picked apart. It is nearly a decade since I wrote a post with the prescient title Dr Aseem Malhotra doesn't know what he's talking about. Back then the Croydon cardiologist was all about 'demonising' junk food (his word) and he was already displaying a relaxed attitude towards facts.

He then transformed into an anti-sugar campaigner before being kicked out of Action on Sugar (where a former colleague described him as "completely mad"). His next move was to jump aboard the low carb gravy train where he was involved in a hostile takeover of the National Obesity Forum which soon led to the organisation's destruction

Meanwhile, he became a regular at Retraction Watch after filing a series of dodgy articles to academic journals. Editors had their hands full retrospectively correcting his errors and slurs. 
He has written several books, including the execrable Pioppi Diet and the hastily written 21 Day Immunity Plan to cash in on COVID-19 in 2020 ("a cheap, shoddily produced work, written by a cheap, shoddy man" - Anthony Warner). In 2017, the British Dietetic Association named his Pioppi Diet as one of the 'Top 5 Celeb Diets to Avoid in 2018'.
Malhotra does not take criticism well. He denounced the British Dietetic Association as Big Food puppets after they dissed his diet book. He then added the British Heart Foundation and the American Heart Association to his list. He claimed that Public Health England was in the pocket of the food industry.
As far I can tell, he no longer practises in the NHS, although he seems to do a bit of work for private healthcare companies and, inevitably, he now has a Patreon. Frankly, it's a wonder he's allowed to practise anywhere. His main contribution to the field of cardiology has been to tell people that exercise won't help them lose weight, they shouldn't take statins and they should eat more saturated fat (he was described as "irresponsible" by Public Health England for the latter advice.)
I have often asked what it would take for Malhotra to get struck off. That question has become more urgent in the last six months as he has become the Pied Piper of the anti-vaxxers. In November he went on GB News to misrepresent the findings of unpublished study abstract, pandering to those who think the Covid vaccines have created an epidemic of heart attacks. 
It is at this point that Malhotra stopped being a grifting buffoon and became a dangerous grifting buffoon. His Twitter account has become a sewer of anti-vax dogwhistles and yesterday he appeared on GB News to give his worthless opinion about the death of the great Shane Warne.
Being an arrogant sociopath, he couldn't resist starting his answer with a reference to what a great cricketer he was in his youth and how he could have played at the same level as Warne if he hadn't been attracted by the glamour of being a cardiologist in Croydon hospital. He goes on say, with zero evidence, that "the [Covid] vaccine may well have played a part" in Warne's death.

Shane Warne died in Thailand of a heart attack at the age of 52. His love of junk food and his yo-yo dieting were legendary. His obituary in the Economist begins as follows... 

If someone invited him to a fancy restaurant, Shane Warne could tell them there wasn’t much point. A white-bread cheese sandwich or a bag of chips was just as good for him. Spaghetti bolognese was as far as he went in the gourmet department. And there wasn’t much to beat those warm pies you could buy at stalls, the ones he could demolish in about 30 seconds, with that sauce that inevitably ran down his chin and dribbled all over his jacket.

He drank, too. Not only Castlemaine, Foster’s and other patriotic brews, but the pints he downed in England in his winter seasons, when he discovered pubs. Those really put the weight on. He smoked like a chimney, lighting up a fag as soon as the dawn broke. His credo was “Eat. Go. Party!”, and there were plenty of high jinks to keep the tabloids happy. “Two drinks and two girls later,” began a sentence in his autobiography, and it could have started dozens.

Warne was a prolific smoker and had suffered from COVID-19 twice, being seriously ill on the first occasion. At the time of his death, he was on an extreme two week liquid diet.

I'm not going to speculate on what, exactly, caused his heart attack, but there is no doubt that if Malhotra had been talking about this two years ago, he would have blamed his diet. Malhotra even blamed his own mother's death on "her regular consumption of starchy carbohydrates and ultra-processed snack foods of biscuits, crisps and chocolate" (everything is a media opportunity for him).

This is a guy who, in that article which first grabbed my attention ten years ago, claimed (falsely) that "diet-related diseases are responsible for 35 million deaths worldwide". A guy who made himself a laughing stock early in the pandemic with his infamous attack on doughnuts.

But when it comes to Shane Warne, all the lifestyle factors go out the window because he's found a new grift. "He had no risk factors," he says. And so - wink, wink - it may have been the vaccine.


Some details on Malhotra's school cricketing career.

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