Never one to shy away from the juicing skeptics, Jason was thrilled to sit down and go head to head with the Food Doctor – It’s only Ian Marber!
He is a prolific writer and commentator on nutrition, so what are his views on juicing and how did he and Jason get on? You’ll have to tune in to find out in this candid conversation.
Ps: Remember, my podcast is completely advert and sponsor free which means no annoying interruptions.
Full Transcript Below
Jason Vale: It’s the Jason Vale podcast everybody! So where are you listening today? Are you stuck in traffic? I don’t know. You’re out running. Maybe you’re smashing it in the gym. Perhaps you’re the envy of all of us and listening while you’re lying on a beautiful beach in some amazing part of the world! No matter where you are or what you are doing, welcome to my podcast and thanks again for taking the time to listen. Now, if I was to give any clues of today’s guest, and I said to you, there’s a doctor in the house. Well, to be honest, I’d be lying. However, if I said to you, there’s a food doctor in the house, I would still be lying, and I’d be talking utter “Nutribollocks”!
Now listen, please forgive the swearing. But it’s extremely relevant to today’s guest, because he is on a mission to expose people in the nutrition world who are putting out, what he refers to as, totally misleading ‘Nutribollocks’. I can of course only be talking about bestselling author, and all round nutritional god, it’s the one and only Ian Marber everybody!
Ian Marber: I’m not going to applaud myself!
Jason Vale: No, I know you can’t!
Ian Marber: That’s very nice, thank you.
Jason Vale: Okay.
Ian Marber: But yeah, I must say that what you said about individuals there, about, you know, showing up people, Nutribollocks it’s never about individuals. It’s about the claims. And what I do is make sure it’s never personal.
Jason Vale: And for those that don’t know, by the way, there’d be several people listening to this that won’t be aware of Nutribollocks. But I want them to become aware of it, cause I think it’s a very important thing. For those that don’t know, I’ve been aware of Ian Marber’s work for many, many, many years. He’s somebody I’ve admired for many years. We don’t… and what’s wonderful, why I wanted to get Ian on for, not in every aspect, and we spoke about this just before we started recording… we don’t agree with every aspect, when it comes to health, nutrition and certain things. But Nutribollocks is something that I definitely agree with him that needs to be exposed. And actually to be fair, if I look back at what I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and sometimes I look back at some of the stuff that I’ve written and I look back and think that could probably be put down as Nutribollocks!
Ian Marber: Me Too! I look back on my very early work and I put it down, and I know it was actually enthusiasm, more than anything else. It was awe. It was passion. But looking back on it, passion is marvelous and enthusiasm is marvelous, but there’s got to be a fair degree of hubris, which perhaps I lacked in the very early years.
Jason Vale: There’s a word I didn’t think I’d hear, you know, first thing on, on my podcast for sure. It’s a great word.
Ian Marber: A bit of humility and understanding that, just because you really believe in it, doesn’t actually mean it’s accurate.
Jason Vale: And just to be…just to fill everybody in again. Right? So if you go to Ian Marber’s Twitter account, Instagram account , all the links will be there as well. Is it every week pretty much you do a poll?
Ian Marber: Every Friday I do a poll, and Nutribollocks, forgive the words, is nothing new. It’s not something I invented. It’s not something I meant to take on as it were. It’s been used extensively by Pixie Turner, Joshua Wolrich, talking about claims, posts, products that have ridiculous health claims. And on the surface it can be very funny, but there’s always a darker side to it. What I do is, people kindly send nominations and I pitch two – one against each other – every Friday, and it’s the Nutribollocks poll. It started off with a couple of hundred people voting, and now it’s sort of 5- or 600. But I look at the figures on Twitter that it tells you how many people, and they’re sort of 30,000 people are engaging with it. You know like a lot of things are sorted out for a bit of fun. But it’s really just a way of highlighting how bad some claims can be, and also understanding the darker side to them. Because it’s all very, well, if someone says, oh I don’t know, my diet, you can lose 11 kilos in 29 days, which is the one from last week. But let’s say someone genuinely believes that that’s possible, and of course they’re not going to lose that amount of weight in a small amount of time. It engenders a feeling of failure. It’s engenders, the feelings they should try harder, that it’s their fault. But it’s the people who make ridiculous claims not understanding that the outcome for the end user, can be quite dark. And we have a responsibility, all of us with our claims, to be much more caring, and solicitous, and respectful of the people, of our listeners, our viewers, our readers, or whatever they may be.
Jason Vale: And do you find it hard sometimes, as well, that when you look, whether it’s a science-based or non-science-based, of course over the years, even when we look at science-based nutrition and you go back, it seems to be that every 10 years everything can be deemed, even by the eminent scientists in this field, that you could argue the case, if you went back 20 years, if you went back 30 years, you could have started a Nutribollocks poll now about those claims back then by the medical profession sometimes, and sometimes by dieticians and nutritionists? One of the ones that springs to mind, of course, is, people are very, very confused and when it comes to saturated fat and heart disease and so on and it’s not a clear cut thing. So who’s doing the Nutribollocks? Does it cause it? Doesn’t it cause it? You know, and that’s just one element.
Ian Marber: But don’t you think though, that implies that there’s a yes or no, black or white answer? We have to understand a lot of the health advice we get, previously, when there was no social media, came from government having done population-wide studies, and having understood that there are nuances, but we need to give some clear advice here. So the best knowledge we have is to avoid saturated fat, or to limit it to X grams a day. Now we know that saturated fat is not as bad as we thought. I don’t think that the original claim or the original advice is, therefore, Nutribollocks. I think it was the best advice we had at the time. There’s no way that some of the claims, that can be made, that we look at and we kind of laugh at today, is the best advice.
Jason Vale: No, but it’s not always put out that way. I mean, you say that, science always has the get out clause, obviously, anyway, in the sense that, it’s hypothesis, until proven otherwise.
Ian Marber: And it’s also ever changing. And that’s the whole point about research.
Jason Vale: No, of course I understand that, but sometimes it’s put out as fact. You said it’s never really puts out as fact, but it is sometimes, you know. The government body would say, this does, that, this causes that.
Ian Marber: But don’t you think they have to say that?
Jason Vale: But not the way that you put it.
Ian Marber: No, but the population (I make it sound as if I’m not part of the population!) there are some people in our little world who are very, very engaged with health messages and health advice, but the majority of people are not. So they get very simple health messages. And so to be told, you can have a bit, but not too much, and we think it might be bad for your heart: That’s not a clear enough message. So I think that the messages that have been claimed to be more direct, more, certain on advice, that wasn’t certain because that’s the best they could do. We have to tell the general population, you know, people want to know right or wrong, yes or no, can I eat it or not? Rather than just, you can eat a bit, but maybe not too much, too many times a week.
Jason Vale: Yeah, but I would argue if you don’t know it for certain, then you can’t say, well, you have a… you can’t say if you don’t know for certain, then even if you’re a scientist, eminent body, or a dietician. You can’t then give certainty to somebody just because that’s the advice that we want to give.
Ian Marber: Not necessarily want to give it, but if you have a population, for instance, where heart disease is increasing, you’ve noticed an increase in saturated fat, rather than saying, don’t have any saturated fat ever. And it’s in the certain things, as long as it’s not going to be banned. The best advice that someone will understand, I was talking about this just now, about the outcome, how the person at home is going to interpret it, is to give advice that means something. Now, if you ask people, they say, well, can I eat it? Yes or no? And you go, well, some. Because in this day and age, with social media and with health claims, saying, you can have a bit here and a bit there, or modest, have a modest diet or, have a balanced diet, that’s not really a message. You’re never going to get followers. You’re never going to get liked for things like that. Saying you mustn’t do it, or you definitely have to do this, is much stronger and you’re going to create an audience and a tribe. And that’s the way we’re becoming is more and more tribal.
Jason Vale: No, but you say it, but that was also, I would argue, of course, that, even without social media, if you go back, as you said, it certainty creates a tribe. And then you say on the other hand that, dieticians at the time, they can’t be willy-nilly. They have to give that absolute certainty. And fat being what? Forget saturated fat for a second. But the whole, you know, Ancel Keys: you know, one experiment, he wrote out one paper, and all of a sudden it becomes an anti-fat propaganda. I don’t understand how it seemed to be the entire Western world was hoodwinked by one study and everybody cited it all the time. And that was the proof that fat causes you to get fat. Like fat is the cause of fat. And then we’re still have this ratio of fat, protein, and carbohydrate and calories and, and all seems very antiquated. And you said it’s always changing, but some of them don’t change: the body mass index doesn’t change!
Ian Marber: Oh body mass index is like a blunt tool.
Jason Vale: No, but it doesn’t take into account muscle mass. But the point is most people don’t know that. So even on every television show that you see, and they line people up, and they chastise them sometimes. I’ve seen a show some years ago on TV, and they chastise them: going your BMI is this. And they start freaking out. They look great. You know, and you think, but there’s certainty. So the medical profession will give certainty. They don’t go, this is a rough idea. They give certainty it cause you said that’s what they need to do. But if that certainty is wrong, isn’t it equally as bad as the people on Instagram, giving that certainty that’s wrong as well?
Ian Marber: I would like to think the people who gave the advice all those years ago, didn’t just accept blindly the information they were giving. And I think that with the benefit of hindsight, and as time goes by, we can look at health claims, that seemed very definite at the time. We don’t know the history. We don’t know all the history of it. And I still maintain, yes, a lot of people were hoodwinked and a lot of people gave poor advice, but it wasn’t 100% wrong. And I also don’t think that a lot of the dieticians and the nutritionists, that filtered this advice effectively, were doing it to get followers or sell books. And I think that’s the part that we have to be aware of here, is that a lot of people, and I’ll talk through some Nutribollocks posts a little later on if you want, a lot of people are doing it specifically to sell a product.
Jason Vale: Yeah. Well, that has changed over the years, obviously, you know, but at the same time, it’s so confusing for the average person.
Ian Marber: Okay. Well, let’s follow up on that. It’s confusing. So it’s confusing having lots of different dietary advice. So if you look back, we didn’t want people, I mean, I still talk as if I’m part of the establishment and I’m not, but, we, being a recipient of advice, wanted direct, clear advice. And I, you know, I do think that it was.
Jason Vale: But those that argued against it at the time and would say no, that effectively is absolutely nonsense! But they weren’t qualified dieticians or anything else. They would be belittled. And I wrote about fat 16, 17 years ago, very clearly in one of my first books. Now bear in mind, you know, obviously I get hammered a lot, and especially at that point, it was like, how can this guy write this? Harper Collins, how could you even printed it?
Ian Marber: You got that really?
Jason Vale: Yes, and it got hammered because…
Ian Marber: By a handful of people, maybe buy a handful of noisy people, but most…
Jason Vale: Well, noisy people with, qualifications that I didn’t have at this time. And so therefore it was, how are you putting out this information?
Ian Marber: I’ve got my qualification. I mean, I’m a nutrition therapist. And I would say that with the invention of year -long online courses and some fairly crappy qualifications, you know, my, mine’s better than it used to be. But you know, back when I studied nutrition, there was a lot of taking things on trust. I remember in one particular lecture, we were told by someone very famous, that apples were sprayed 22 times. And you know, there was a pause as he looked around the room, and the room of 80 people nodding went, Ooh… I don’t know what the cartoon, you know, the animated things are, but whatever-the Minions!
Jason Vale: Yeah, yeah.
Ian Marber: And I remember thinking, well, hang on a second. Surely if they’ve applied logic to it, well, they’re not sprayed maliciously. They’re sprayed so that you have a uniform crop because we know that people like to buy apples that have a certain size and a certain color. So they’re sprayed to make them, last the journey to be able to, you know, they’re not sprayed out of some sort of nastiness.
Jason Vale: No. And in the same guise that you mentioned, and I do take your point in the sense that the people that were putting out the information, there was no malice, there was no ‘to get more followers on Instagram’ cause it didn’t exist. So I suppose with the bigger picture, therefore is that now what’s, and I’m not conspiracy theorist at all, not even in the nutrition world. In fact, actually I’m the opposite of that. But actually there’s a lot that I’ve read over the years that obviously now the information that comes down was being manipulated by, I mean, sugar was even kept off the World Health Organization mantra for 10 years. by people like Elsie and various other bodies. So therefore it’s very difficult for them once it’s filtered down to say, right, this is the science, this is the information. But if that science has been manipulated, I guess we’re all in trouble.
Ian Marber: I do think it’s a little bit like a supertanker, that we as individuals, or small groups becoming tribal as we have become, can change our minds, can adopt a theory, can run with it, and can really become enthusiastic about it. We’re talking about government bodies here, that it’s like a super tanker, they can’t just change overnight. Has to be slow. It has to be lot of people influencing it. And that’s the problem is that because effectively our mainstream nutrition advice is based on information.
Jason Vale: And there is a lot of, like he said, a lot of misinformation on Nutribollocks, which I love the term, by the way. Um, I do like it though! And I often vote in your thing (poll) as well. Um, and it’s interesting. Before we came on, I said, I thought years ago, whenever it was that you started it, I thought juicing also came into Nutribollocks. Then you quite rightly corrected me before we came on and said, actually, no, it was the claims.
Ian Marber: Would’ve been a claim about one particular juice. I don’t remember what it was, although I’ve got every single Nutribollock post screenshotted on my phone.
Jason Vale: And it annoys me cause I’ve been in the, juicing business for many, many years. And of course, any time there’s some post about juicing, making ridiculous claims, whatever it is, like the celery juice frigging thing…
Ian Marber: Oh, I just saw one now – it’s like celery juice can heal addictions!
Jason Vale: But it can! No, it’s genius. Did you not know this, Ian?
Ian Marber: I’ve, you know, I’ve got, I’ve got… Listen, celery juice is redoing my roof at home as we speak! It does everything! But, you know, let, let’s talk through what that claim means, if you don’t mind that, let’s say that someone is concerned about their intake of something, alcohol, and they are ashamed of it. They hide it, whatever situation they may be, in, and they read that. You don’t have to be stupid to believe it, and there’s always the assumption that these things are only taking the gullible, that’s not the case at all. And instead of actually getting help, discussing it, making serious inroads into your situation, you just drink celery juice. You can fix it with vodka. I mean in other words who knows, because people are making wild claims and other people are taken in and then not getting the help, sometimes medical, sometimes emotional help, that they truly need and require, and will get a significantly better outcome if they’re taken in by a clinic.
Jason Vale: And the point that you said they often feel like a failure as well because it’s something like you said, that they are…
Ian Marber: If it’s to do with weight. Yeah. If it’s to do with weight. Look at cancer: ‘Cancer Victim’. Some of the language is very unfortunate. And then there’s a battle – ‘I’m beating cancer’. So, which is you cannot, you can understand how empowering that may be, but look at the darker side of it, you know? And I always look at the other person in the equation. Someone who may feel they’re not beating cancer. Someone who may feel that actually they’re not doing enough. They could have done more. It’s their fault.
Jason Vale: Yeah.
Ian Marber: I mean, there’s an element which is really dark. You had it coming because you didn’t do what you should have done. Oh, well, and that’s really unpleasant. And imagine what that does to someone’s spirit.
Jason Vale: Because anybody who actually understands cancer of any description knows how indiscriminate it is. I mean, that’s the point. And the challenge, like you said, is if somebody believes that if only you’d just drank a few green juices or you’ve done this or whatever the case is, that actually… I agree with you, I think it’s, one of the really dark sides to this. So when it comes to it cause you’ve got some examples. I asked Ian to bring up some examples of Nutribollocks. And get involved with the poll, obviously! Because like I said there is a darker side to some of this, so it is worth bringing these people to task. Some, of course, have got almost too big to take to task, but hopefully the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Ian Marber: And they used to be mediums, now they’re enormous.
Jason Vale: Yeah. Now they’re enormous. And we talk about Goop in a minute!
Ian Marber: Right. Okay, well let me, let me um… someone… there’s a post said ‘fat burning detox drink before bed to lose 10 pounds in one week’. Okay. Now we can all make jokes and say, well, actually it’s obviously the laxative. but let’s say that, you’re sold the idea that you’re toxic and that’s why you’re fat. Let’s say you’re sold the idea that you can lose 10 pounds in one week. Well, if you don’t, then perhaps you’ll actually eat less during the day. It’s your own fault. So , that’s a sort of minor one.
Jason Vale: Did that win, by the way, that week?
Ian Marber: Do you know what, I actually don’t remember the ones that won. There’s one or two that had extraordinary results. The one that comes up quite a lot, and there’s one that I saw, oh, the benefits of asparagus. What I don’t like is when there’s a post that actually stops you eating a good food. So I have to be careful about it. I don’t just chuck them on willy-nilly. I always – grand word here – redact them so that the individuals are unidentifiable. Because I think it’s really unfair.
Jason Vale: Yeah I’ve noticed that because you’re not picking on the individual you’re picking on the claim.
Ian Marber: Absolutely not about the individual. I ideally (what I) would like to talk to about, about social media, is that if I’ve got a product, and we know that there are EFSA European Food Safety Authority approved health claims, and we are going to adopt those when we leave the EU. And I know that I can’t say this product, let’s make ridiculous, this product will make you taller. Okay. This is going to make you taller for anybody under six foot wants to be over six foot. Yeah. Well, okay, it’s going to make you taller. Now. I know that that’s not a legal claim. And everyone knows it’s not a legal claim. But I can actually sell a product for a lot of money to people who think you’re going make them taller. So I can’t make that claim. But what I can do is go to someone on social media, and everyone’s desperate for content. It doesn’t have to be a nutritionist or anyone involved in the health world, someone with 2- or 300,000 followers. Someone who looks great and, I can then send them the product, cause they’re desperate for content, and they can put ‘ad’ on it or not. And say, oh I’m really excited, you know, I do feel taller! You know, and they try it – ‘so excited to try this’. Now I’ve got them to repeat my rubbish. And cause everyone needs content. And so now it looks like an endorsement, or at least someone on my side being a social media user, someone I relate to, thinks this is good, well, I’m going to try it because I trust them. So instead of the marketing that, you know, companies used to have to do, you now are able to, I can’t… I don’t want to say con. You’re able to mislead someone on the basis of they get a freebie and they’re looking for content and things to say and things to talk about.
Jason Vale: But also, do you think, that what should happen? Cause the tallness obviously that’s, you can’t add, you can’t…
Ian Marber: Okay. Well how about…
Jason Vale: You can’t, well, this is the point. This is it. So what you mentioned or anything like this. But also I would take that even further to aging creams and various other things. I don’t see there’s any difference, personally. When I see somebody of a much older generation and all of a sudden this new aging cream’s come out and then they put it on and they go, look how I look! You’ve only just started using the cream. So clearly that can’t be the reason why!
Ian Marber: Let’s go back 20 years. Let’s find out what you were really doing 20 years ago, because that’s what made the difference.
Jason Vale: That’s what made the difference. Do you think something has to come in? Like for example, I’ve got footballers legs. It’s the only, probably, part of my body I like, and I’ve got footballers legs, right? Because I used to play a lot of football. Now, I could potentially, if I wasn’t in the world that I’m in, I could get any exercise product, you know, I could literally have something that works the legs or do treadmill and then, and then literally and say, look at my legs and I’ve been doing this, which gives the very false implication that this is the reason why I’ve got the legs that I have. So do you think that we need to reach a stage… I think it there needs to be a campaign of it somehow. What better person to lead it than Ian Marber? But the person advertising has to have, they have to have proof that they’ve done it. Like instead of doing a weight loss DVD, and then actually using laxatives to get the result, which is a few people who got into trouble for.
Ian Marber: How many celebrities and reality stars have done that, let’s say now, but over the years, and then talked about their weight loss hell, several years later, having sold another story? Having made more money out of that?
Jason Vale: Well, somebody got into real trouble for it last year. Somebody who, in fact, most people would know. She’s very well known on TV and it caused controversy because she created this, this DVD.
Ian Marber: Oh my God, I, really I sound like an old fogy. I don’t watch (those programmes)
Jason Vale: No, no, no, I understand that. But she, but she, but she had been on, various other things, and it was this big thing about this weight loss DVD, and the before and afters were extraordinary, to say the least. But of course it wasn’t the exercise during those things that had done it.
Ian Marber: But it’s an interesting point, isn’t it? That sort of honesty in advertising. But when you see a Helen Mirren advertising a cream,
Jason Vale: That was the one I was saying, actually, that’s who I was referring to!
Ian Marber: Helen Mirren using a cream and well, obviously, she’s not there as a standard, I don’t know how… 70 year old, she’s there as who she is. We’re used to celebrities. And that way of advertising, effectively is selling the celebrity more than the product. Which is why they got the celebrity in the first place. The sort of level of marketing that we’re talking about or I’m talking about with some of these ridiculous posts and claims are not necessarily celebrity, they’re, you know, someone who you might relate to. And by the way, a lot of them are about sex. I mean, you know, we can claim that they’re not. If you look, there’s a couple of personal trainers I know who have a big following. And, if you look at their posts, when the blokes have their shirts off, they will get 5,000 likes. When they have their shirts on, and they’re talking about something else, and the photograph is of them, you know, or not necessarily them they’ll get two or 300. Why is that? We know sex sells. We know it’s about looks. We know it’s superficial things. And, social media marketing is very superficial.
Jason Vale: See, unlike you see, you’re clearly a better person than I, because what triggered me to, do a little series, I’ve got my YouTube channel called ‘Jason on his Juice Box’, which is like a soapbox, but just a little bit juicier, was somebody put an Instagram post up. I wasn’t copied in on the Instagram post, I wasn’t tagged in, so it was a cowardly thing anyway. This guy had put up, two pictures, and it brings me onto discuss the word detox cause I think it’s important that we discuss that word in itself and whether that’s a misleading claim and, and so on. So, he put a picture of a liver up and the picture of one of my books up, and he literally put ‘real’ against the liver and ‘bullshit’ against my book. And then, and then he wrote, the text, right.
Ian Marber: Why was he singling yours out?
Jason Vale: Well, I don’t know. He was singling it because I think it said something like ‘five day detox’, or we call them ‘challenges’ now. So he obviously says the liver is the only thing that can detox, not the only thing, but it’s part of the organs. And that’s the route he was going down. But he clearly didn’t read the book, cause if he’d read the book, in there, I had an entire chapter on the word ‘detox’ and actually why, my belief is, over the years, the uniformed understanding of that word has ultimately changed. And I’ll talk about that in a second. But it’s in the book, I confront it, I talk about it. And clearly I’m…
Ian Marber: What’s the title of the book?
Jason Vale: Now it’s called ‘The 5-Day (Juice) Challenge’. I think it was called ‘The 5-Day Detox’ or something like that.
Ian Marber: But obviously look, that tagline, that is what sells the book. So he was challenging the words that sell it. And I understand that, you know, he hadn’t read it, but I mean, how many people criticise things and they know very, very little about, anyway, I think that’s perfectly common in our world.
Jason Vale: Yeah, but, but I think if you’re going to critique a book, surely you have to read it?
Ian Marber: A critique. Was it? It wasn’t a fair critique. It was really just selling the idea of just making, saying to people, in my mind, I don’t know. I can’t read his mind. I would say it’s an idea of saying, look, you know, don’t do this, don’t worry about this sort of stuff, because actually your liver does the detox. But one thing that I’ve learned in 20 years, like you, of doing this is that when we want marketing to work for us, we have to understand that sometimes it’s going to backfire. Or at least is there’s going to be another side to it. So in the same way that your publishers, back in the day when you published that book, thought that it’ll be a really good sell to have, you know, ‘5-Day Detox’, that some people may actually take exactly the same words and not enjoy it. So we’re using that to sell a book, ‘5-Day Detox’, not in a miserable, cynical way, but we’re using it to market the book, get into the hands of the people that are actually going to enjoy it and relate to it. But at the same time, there’s always going to be people that don’t.
Jason Vale: No, I understand that, I get that and understand it.
Ian Marber: Do you want me to go in and have a word with him?!
Jason Vale: Well, if you can, yeah! Although he’s tried to get in contact, but he wants me to remove it from the YouTube channel, which I’m not about to do. That’s the challenge. That’s the point, now if you’re going to do that, I have my right to reply. So that’s how it is these days, and we have a right to reply.
Ian Marber: Is he saying that you’re not allowed to use his post?
Jason Vale: No, no, no, no. Just the fact that it’s just the fact that I’m ranting about him and just say I just, because, I’m a little bit touchy. That’s what it is. Do you know, it’s funny because I was in a radio studio, and I don’t think I can mention the guy that I was with. But he was a larger gentleman and a food critic, and I didn’t know him. And we’re just trying some juices, with Gabby Roslin, and we’re just having a chat on the radio. And then, she said, well, what do you think of the juices? And then he said, well, the juices tastes all right, he said, but, I don’t agree with him being on here. Right. So this was now live radio, BBC. So this was interesting. And then I said, why is that? He said, the world’s biggest juice detox, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. I see. I said, are you going to pick on the name? Okay, I get it right. He said, the liver detoxifies the body, bear in mind, this guy’s huge, right? So no, he’s not medic, he’s a food critic and he’s quite large. So I had to start over. I haven’t got a checkpoint for my brain and my mouth. Although I did this day, I was on the BBC! But when he said, you know, the body does all the detoxing for you, and he’s very large chap and I nearly went, well it’s not working very well for you, is it? But I know what he meant in terms of the toxicity. But I said, in none of the books that I’ve ever written, have I ever said juicing detoxifies the body. And so we’ve changed the word, now. We don’t actually use the word detox any more. And the reason for that is not just because of this man’s comment or the guy from Instagram, it’s because actually the ones get annoyed, the medics or dietitians or nutritionists, that get annoyed about that, the lay person doesn’t tend to. If you ask the average person in the street, what does detox mean? What does it mean to you if you said you’re going on a five day juice detox? They say, detox normally means a period of time where you’re abstaining from certain foods or drinks.
Ian Marber: But you made an interesting point there, which I’m going to take you up on. That what something means to the average person on the street? Let’s go back to the original dietary advice that we started talking about at the beginning. What does it mean to someone on the street to say, okay, I think you shouldn’t have saturated fat because we think it causes heart disease? That’s not enough. The person on the street needs to hear direct advice. And so going back to our original point, it’s always about the end user. And I take your point, the person, I don’t know anybody who’s done a detox, who actually, I wonder if they think they’ve actually detoxified? And you know, I would say that, in the same way that I am bored of, reading posts, ‘how to get through a healthy Christmas’ or Valentine’s or Easter. ‘Chocolate can be good for you’. I mean, I wrote an article for the Express in about 1820 about chocolate being good for you, and I swear I could literally cut and paste it and write it, and I have written it, again many times and tweaked it because it doesn’t change the process of making chocolate, the polyphenols in it, they don’t change. So, detox has been around for a long time, and I’m, you know, and if I have to see one more post from some equally willing, either medic or otherwise, saying, no, your liver detoxes! I think most people know that. It’s when somebody sells a product specifically implying that you’re toxic. And that’s the dark side of it. So I understand. I take your point, a detox, five day, just a full stop, new paragraph under other behaviour. I totally understand that. But when somebody is sold the notion that their illness or their condition is because they’re toxic and if they don’t detox, it’s their own fault. That’s a different side to it. And that part we have to understand again, is about the end user, about looking at the darker side of some of the claims. Not yours, but some of the more ridiculous claims.
Jason Vale: No. But some of the, I mean, I’ll be honest with you, the publisher, cause sometimes you’re led, and sometimes you end up signing a contract with the publisher and ultimately you realize you have no jurisdiction or say over the title.
Ian Marber: You have less say than you’d like, certainly.
Jason Vale: We had a huge argument before the book, which was originally called, it’s not called that anymore, which was called ‘7 pounds in 7 days – Super Juice Diet’, and we had huge arguments. My first book was called ‘Freedom From The Diet Trap’. All psychology. All about the addiction to food. I studied addiction psychology. Juicing played such a tiny part of what I did, only because you can stop smoking, stop drinking, you can’t stop eating. But you can change your brand of food. And if you can’t eat it, can you drink it? You know, I dealt with somebody who is 32 stone once, I laid out all the food that we were going to have for him to juice for a month. And he had gout, he had type two diabetes. And he said, well, why don’t I just eat it? I said, it’s a good question. I don’t know why you don’t, but you clearly don’t, do you? So we need to find, so we need to find another way. And, and to me it’s just a catalyst. But we had this argument about ‘7 pounds, 7 days’. They ended up keeping it because they were the publisher, so they could. I was annoyed, I said, well, I’m going to write at the beginning of the book how I didn’t want this title. But it’s too late then, cause the title’s already there. I mean, I get that point. But I wrote this thing and then I put a phase two and a phase three in it to make sure that it was not about the seven days. I mean, that’s a short fix. It’s about putting your car, or whatever, in for service for seven days. But getting that point across on the cover, I couldn’t, but in the end it got to more people. But the point is, is that you think if it attracts the serial dieter, but actually once they get it, actually in there is psychology, that prevents them from serial dieting thereafter, but it looks like there’s something that they would be attracted to.
Ian Marber: You know it’s like the personal trainer with his shirt off, you’ve got to sell it. I mean, the publishers have got to sell it. And you know, I understand that. And also there’s an interesting thing about publishing, which I think, which I certainly didn’t know until I published a book. It’s effectively a licensing deal. You are selling the copy, not a copy, you’re selling the prints, all your words, to a publisher who binds it up and sells it on.
Jason Vale: ‘Man Food’ I’ve recently read, I disproportionately liked it! And this is why I wanted to get you on the podcast. And I would say to anybody to read it quite frankly, but obviously if you’re a dude.
Ian Marber: The reason I wanted to write a book for middle-aged men, forties and above, is, I think that we are grossly overlooked when it comes to health, and we are grossly overlooked sometimes by ourselves. And I think that’s why, I mean, there’s so many stats about men eat more saturated fat, they eat fewer vegetables, they chew food less times, they’re more likely to involve in risky behaviour, including with diet. There are so many stats about that, that we emote when it comes to emotional health, men are more engaged and increasingly so. When it comes to dietary health, I think we’re less involved because it’s either ‘Men’s Health’ magazine, it’s all abs and biceps, or it’s retired people, Viagra, and playing golf while looking out into the sunset and thinking about your pension, you know, if you’re 60 or…
Jason Vale: What I loved about the book more than anything else here was, was this, it’s almost like a half-time team talk for a guy you know, health team talk. We’re halfway through. And actually, what’s wonderful is the nutrition, in the same way that trying to do hit training when you’re 15 or 20 or 30 is fine, trying to hit training when your 70, you’re going to bugger your knees up. We need different things at different decades and different times. And what your book illustrates beautifully, is the different types of nutrition, the different types of supplementation, actually, it’s worth paying attention now to this. And I would genuinely say any guy in particular out there that is not even thinking about their health, but they reach 40, I’m 50 now, just turned 50, and you just think, I just need a half-time team talk because actually it’s the most important thing in the world.
Ian Marber: And also, what’s interesting is that if you look at the sort of media that women consume, they are likely to come across articles that feel very personal. Menopause. We look at the sort of media that men consume, where are they?
Jason Vale: No, it’s just abs.
Ian Marber: Yeah. Well, look at, look at something like GQ. Look at something like Esquire. Okay. I couldn’t get coverage. No, I got them online, but I was told: not our audience. Who do you think your audience is?
Jason Vale: Somebody doesn’t want to really know about nutrition.
Ian Marber: Fair enough. I understand that. But then, so where do men… Look at ‘Men’s Health’? ‘Men’s Health’ is how to get more sex. And how to eat more protein. I’m being flippant there – I don’t really know what it’s about. I haven’t seen it for a long time, but it’s not about health for men, bizarrely.
Jason Vale: But, whereas, that particular book is. Of all the books you’ve ever written, Ian, which one would you say, apart from obviously if you’re a dude definitely go and read that, but what other one would you say?
Ian Marber: The two – ‘Man Food’ is the one, and the other one is ‘How Not to Get Fat’.
Jason Vale: Okay. When did that come out? 2010?
Ian Marber: 2010 something like that.
Jason Vale: And then of course ‘How Not To Get Fat – Daily Diet’. I mean, it’s become a franchise. It’s always good.
Ian Marber: ‘How Not To Get Fat’ was, here’s why we gain weight.
Jason Vale: Was that a TV show as well? No. No. ‘Cause you do so much television. I know you were on ‘This Morning’ for years.
Ian Marber: No, no, it was ‘Richard and Judy’ on Channel Four. I did, actually, I think, their first week they were on, and I was the last item on their last show. So I did seven years. It was fantastic.
Jason Vale: Gee, did you really? Yeah. Well I must have seen you on that.
Ian Marber: ‘How Not To Get Fat’ was, look here’s what it’s all about, and then people said, yeah, but what do we eat? And I was like, no, no, you need to, you need to have the theory. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to have Weetabix and roast beef, if that’s what you want as does the protein and carb. You can be as maverick as you want. No, no, we want to know what to eat. And so the publisher said, we keep going, and we did keep getting emails saying, well what do I eat? So I thought, well, I have to have a plan.
Jason Vale: Yeah. You’ve got it. Yeah. So ‘How Not To Get Fat’, ‘Man Food’ of course, is out there. Nutribollocks poll is out most weeks.
Ian Marber: We occasionally take a Friday off.
Jason Vale: It depends. Yeah. Occasionally he takes a Friday off. Follow Ian Marber on Twitter, on Instagram. What I love about it, it just takes away some of the, well, I mean, there’s no other better word. I mean, it’s an English word. It’s wonderful. No, nothing else sums up more than bollocks. It’s just, and sorry for anybody listening that gets offended.
Ian Marber: If this were broadcast radio, I couldn’t say that word. On the back of that, I now write a column in the Telegraph about these sorts of claims, which has come about from that, which I mean, I had to call them the Telegraph many years ago, and that’s been resurrected. And I keep getting calls from newspapers and things saying, you know, will you write a piece with your 10 favorites? So it is interesting, and as I said, it’s neither poking fun. It’s never personal. It’s about looking at the darker side, and understanding more about the responsibility that we have.
Jason Vale: Well, the good news is, that Mr. Ian Marber, not the food doctor, but Mr. Ian Marber, not only has come on my podcast, which is really lovely, but also, we know that he’s not anti juice entirely. He’s just anti juice claims that are ridiculous, like the celery stuff. But it’s also worth knowing that he’s a master of the juice himself, because not that long ago, of course, he helped Innocent Smoothies, no less, to produce some Super Smoothies himself.
Ian Marber: That’s right. That was 2012. That was a fantastic project.
Jason Vale: And then I couldn’t believe when I read that, I thought…
Ian Marber: I think that they were the best-selling smoothies in retail!
Jason Vale: Mr. Ian Marber, but to call them Super Smoothies… I’ve only got one word to say: I think that’s a touch of Nutribollocks! Ladies and gentlemen. It’s Ian Marber, everybody!