Real Food on Trial

Real Food on Trial

How the diet dictators tried to destroy a top scientist

Dr Tim Noakes

Marika Sboros

"This book documents the travesty of justice behind the marathon trial of Dr Tim Noakes for a single tweet on nutrition"

Lewis Pugh, marine lawyer, pioneer swimmer, UN Patron of the Oceans

The Authors

Dr Tim Noakes

Tim Noakes retired as professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town in 2014 and is now an emeritus professor at UCT. He is a lifelong athlete and is rated an A1-scientist by the National Research Foundation (NRF). He is also the co-founder of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, along with the rugby icon Morné du Plessis. In 2008, Tim was awarded the Order of Mapungubwe (Silver) by the president of South Africa for ‘excellent contribution to the field of sport and the science of physical exercise’. In 2012, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the NRF for his contribution to sports science research. He is the author of several books, one of which, Lore of Running, is considered the global ‘bible’ of running. Tim founded The Noakes Foundation in 2012 to promote unbiased nutritional research into the effects of low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets on all aspects of human health.

Marika Sboros

Marika Sboros, publisher and editor of, is one of South Africa’s top writers on health and well-being. She started her career in the Rand Daily Mail newsroom as a general news reporter with a special interest in politics and religion, worked for other major South African newspapers, The Star and Business Day, and has worked in radio. She has a BA degree from the University of Witwatersrand with an English major and sub-majors in politics and philosophy.

The Back Cover

You couldn’t make it up. Real Food On Trial, How Diet Dictators Tried To Destroy A Top Scientist, has been called the ‘John Grisham of the non-fiction world’, a ‘blockbuster, jaw-dropping page-turner’. Another reviewer calls it a book that “should be fiction … yet it isn’t’. It is a revised and an updated edition of the groundbreaking original, Lore Of Nutrition, Challenging Conventional Dietary Beliefs, first published in South Africa in November 2017 and now for the international market. 

It continues the true and shocking story of a world-first: the unprecedented prosecution and persecution of Professor Tim Noakes, a distinguished scientist and medical doctor, in a multimillion rand case that stretched over more than four years. All for a single tweet giving his opinion on nutrition.

Noakes and investigative journalist Marika Sboros have added up-to-date, robust scientific evidence in support of his views that launched the case against him. They have added a new chapter on the appeal hearing – a last-gasp attempt by establishment forces to overturn a comprehensive not-guilty verdict on all 10 aspects of the trumped-up charge of unprofessional conduct for the tweet.

It also contains a new foreword by internationally renowned endurance swimmer and UN Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh. Noakes helped Pugh be the first to swim successfully across some of the coldest oceans on the planet. A maritime lawyer by profession, Pugh writes of the passion he shares with Noakes: “for the pursuit of truth and justice and a natural antipathy towards bullies and liars”.

That points a major theme of Real Food On Trial: a penetrating deep dive into the global scourge of academic bullying, or academic mobbing, as it is popularly known. The authors show how academic mobbing infects all of South Africa’s top universities at the highest levels. They probe the soft underbelly of the powerful vested interests in food and drug industries and the medical, dietetic and scientific mobsters that front them. They lay bare the heavy price that Professor Noakes has paid, professionally, emotionally and financially, for going against orthodoxy. And for daring to challenge the medical and dietary dogma that keeps people fat and sick across the globe.

Pugh writes that, from the outset, he saw the trial as a freedom of speech issue. He was “troubled” when the country’s medical regulatory body, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), went to war with Noakes on the basis of his scientific opinion on nutrition.  “After all, it’s one thing to deny the Holocaust or to say something that incites racial, religious hatred or violence. It’s quite another to say that you think meat, fish, chicken, eggs and dairy are good first foods for infants,” Pugh says.  

This book shines light into the heart of darkness of a uniquely strange scientific saga. It’s not over yet. Watch this space!

Kind words of  Support

Many want the truth that is in this book to disappear. It's an unpalatable truth about power, science and nutrition. One thing is certain: if we bury this book, type 2 diabetes will bury us.
Professor Karim Khan Former Editor-in-chief, BJSM
A riveting tale of the passionate defence and ultimate justification of the views of one of the greatest scientists of our generation: my hero, Dr Tim Noakes.
Dr Peter Brukner Professor of Sports Medicine, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
This is the John Grisham of the non-fiction world. A blockbuster, an absolute jaw-dropping page turner. With compelling story-telling, the conspiracy theory unfolds - except - from the original academic plot to harm, through years of court room evidence, to the drama of the final appeal, this is fact, not theory. Not even Grisham could make this one up.
Zoe Harcombe PhD  Author of The Diet Fix
This book is a scientific thriller and shocker. It reveals the lengths to which many in medical and dietetic establishments and top South African universities went to try to silence a distinguished medical doctor and scientist because they found his opinion on diet, heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes threatening. But between these pages also lies the weapon he used to defeat them: compelling scientific evidence for real food to treat and prevent life-threatening diseases that still kill millions around the world.
Dr Aseem Malhotra Consultant Cardiologist
This should be fiction...yet it isn't. This story of the brilliant Dr Tim Noakes, a distinguished professor, standing his ground against a ruthless set of entrenched interests, is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the forces behind nutrition. t's not a pretty story but it is an empowering one.
Nina Teicholz  Author of The Big Fat Surprise
The true wealth of society is measured by its people's health. But worldwide, we are getting fatter and sicker and our diet s central to that. The trial of Dr Tim Noakes is the single most public trial on nutrition ever. It placed vested interests shaping our food choices and waistelines under an unforgiving spotlight. The people are rising up. And it started with just one tweet...
Dr Gary Fettke  Orthopaedic surgeon
It's one t hing to tweet an incitement to racial, religious, cultural hatred or violence. It's another to say you think meat, fish, chicken, eggs and dairy are good first foods for infants. This book documents the travesty of justice behind the marathon trial of Dr Tim Noakes for a single tweet on nutrition
Lewis Pugh  Maritime lawyer, pioneer swimmer, UN Patron of the Oceans
What happens when powerful people gang up on a lone doctor who dares to disagree with their outdated dietary advice? If the doctor is Tim Noakes, armed with facts and a steel spine, it doesn't turn out how the gang expected. When Dr Noakes stood up to this gang of bullies, he stood up for all of us
Tom Naughton  Writer/director of the comedy-documentary, Fat Head: You've Been Fed A Load Of Bologna

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