Foodmed.net publisher and editor Marika Sboros is one of South Africa’s top writers on medicine for health in body and mind.
She started her career in South Africa at the Rand Daily Mail newsroom as a hard news general reporter, with a special interest in politics and religion.
She began writing on low-carb, healthy, high-fat (LCHF) lifestyles in 2014 after she became aware of academic bullying (or mobbing, as it is now popularly known) of University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes.
Marika was the only journalist to cover Prof Noakes’s trial that the public quickly dubbed the Nutrition Trial of the 21st Century. The trial began in 2015 and lasted more than four years at a conservatively estimated cost of more than R10-million for the prosecution side alone. Foodmed.net has devoted a special page to her reporting on the Noakes trial.
Marika has faced regular attack on social media for covering the trial and reporting on LCHF, keto diets and the ‘Banting’ phenomenon, as LCHF is popularly known in South Africa. After being described as a ‘closet Banter’ – despite being a vegetarian for years at the time – she decided she might as well be hanged for the sheep as for the lamb of nutrition science.
In late 2014, she stopped being a vegetarian and tried eating according to LCHF principles. She had no preconceptions about what it would do for her. On the contrary, having reported and experimented with many different diets for health, during her career, she expected that LCHF would do little for her.
Although she had no weight or major health problems, she was surprised at the positive effects of radical dietary change. Those effects became the positive reinforcement that makes her keep it up.
Marika also regularly faces attack on social media for being “biased” in favour of LCHF, keto and the MDs and scientists who promote them. She responds that, of course, she is biased – as we all are. But it’s how we all manage our bias that counts. And in this case, her bias is in favour of good science only – and if anyone can provide robust science to disprove benefits of LCHF and keto, she’ll write about it.
She is still waiting.
She is co-author with Prof Tim Noakes of Lore of Nutrition, Challenging Conventional Dietary Advice (Penguin 2017). The book is revised and updated for the international market under the title: Real Food On Trial, How the diet dictators tried to destroy a top scientist (Columbus 2019).