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Complainant Name:
Dietary Advice Direct Ltd

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Daily Mail

Complaint:

Dietary Advice Direct Ltd complained that an article about online diets contained a number of inaccuracies and unfairly represented its services. The company set out its position as follows:

• The service provided by Dietary Advice Direct Ltd was aimed at supporting individuals to lose weight and this did not include the offer of a diagnostic service to diagnose iron deficiency anaemia. For this reason, the service should not have been included in the article.

• The dietary information supplied to Dietary Advice Direct Ltd was not consistent with that quoted in the newspaper article and was indeed a healthy diet which was not deficient in iron.

• Dietary information was provided by Dietary Advice Direct Ltd to all users of the service for individuals to ensure their diets contain sufficient amounts of iron.

• It was not a legal requirement for Dietitians to provide written information to an individual’s GP in the event that healthy eating advice was provided.

• The article was based on only a small fraction of the information provided to users of the service and failed to take account of the ongoing personalised email support.

• The article implied that the Registered Dietitian was undertaking the review as part of her duties as an employee of St. George’s Healthcare NHS Hospital Trust and this was not the case. The views expressed in the article did not reflect the views of the Trust.

The company stated that the aim of the Dietary Advice Direct Service was to support individuals to lose weight and that it was working in partnership with a number of NHS Trusts to deliver a very effective service. It followed NICE guidance and was provided by registered Dietitians. In addition, the service had been positively reviewed by DOM UK and the National Obesity Forum, both of whom had requested/approved reciprocal links between websites.

Resolution:

The newspaper agreed to remove the section of the online version of the article which related to Dietary Advice Direct Ltd. While the complainants remained of the view that the article was inaccurate and unfair, they agreed to resolve the complaint through the publication of a statement on the PCC website setting out their position on the matter.

Report: 78



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