Gillian McKeith to drop Dr titleMove follows complaint to advertising watchdog

12 February 2007

TV nutritionist Gillian McKeith has agreed to drop the title Dr from her company's advertising following a complaint to the industry watchdog, it was confirmed today.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received a complaint about the honorific, challenging whether McKeith was a qualified and accredited doctor and therefore entitled to use it.

After the ASA came to the provisional conclusion that the title was likely to mislead the public, McKeith Research said it would stop using it in advertising for future products.

McKeith, who has made a fortune with book and health food spin-offs from her programme You Are What You Eat, argues that she has a right to call herself a doctor after completing a distance learning PhD in holistic nutrition from the American Holistic College of Nutrition.

TV programmes

But it is understood that the basis of the complaint to the ASA was that the title was likely to mislead the public because the college had not been accredited by a recognised educational authority when she took the course.

McKeith has now agreed not to call herself a doctor on advertising for her company or its products, which include a range of health foods and cook books, removing the need for a full investigation.

McKeith is best known for presenting the Channel 4 show You Are What You Eat in which she helps to motivate the people featured in the programme to lose weight and change their lifestyle.

The programme is currently in its fourth series in which two people are chosen to move into her London home and stick to a healthy living regime.

© The Press Association, All rights reserved.