New York, November 16, 1998 The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) today rejected the irresponsible and unfounded claims pushed by NBC Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Bob Arnot in his book, The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet: The Powerful Food, Supplements, and Drugs That Can Save Your Life. ACSH found that Dr. Arnot s book is a misrepresentation of science and a disservice to women. In an effort to offer a more scientific perspective on the subject of breast cancer prevention, ACSH today issued a peer reviewed critique refuting the specific recommendations and claims set forth in Dr. Arnot s book.
The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet, which topped the New York Times Best Seller list this week, offers a 12 step regimen, and an array of bizarre diet plans which are primarily based on data from laboratory animal studies and preliminary research.
The role of diet in the prevention of breast cancer is promising and worthy of further study, but to make the claim that this diet can save your life is a gross exaggeration, stated Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, ACSH s President. Dr. Arnot s recommendations have not undergone scientific scrutiny and promise far more than they can deliver.
ACSH s study concludes that Dr. Arnot s book exploits women s understandable fear of breast cancer, and plays upon notions of feminism when he asserts that with his diet, women have more control over this disease than [they] think.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, and as such it s critical that women are aware of the real risks, and well established methods for early detection and prevention, adds Alicia Lukachko, ACSH s Assistant Director of Public Health. By touting unsupported methods, Dr. Arnot s book doesn t empower women, it misleads them.
NBC s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Arnot, is a family doctor to millions of Americans. Considering his role, we believe it is essential that Dr. Arnot communicate facts, not myths, says Dr. Whelan.
Given that Dr. Arnot presented his prevention scheme on the Today show and on the MSNBC website, ACSH called upon, the president of NBC News, Andrew Lack, to offer air time to scientific and medical authorities to critique Dr. Arnot s unproven recommendations. ACSH also urges medical and health professionals in the fields of nutrition, cancer treatment and prevention to join with ACSH in setting the record straight.
For more information or for a copy of the ACSH report, please contact ACSH Associate Director Jeff Stier, at (212)362 7044 ext. 225.