The inquiry into the professional conduct of Banting enthusiast Professor Tim Noakes will help to advance health care in South Africa, according to Claire Julsing-Strydom who is president of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA).
Follow the live update by News24
She laid a complaint last year with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a matter of public interest after a tweet from Prof Noakes advising a mother to wean her baby off milk by following a low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) diet.
Read: Tim Noakes to face inquiry over 'Banting' tweet
The amended charge sheet addressed to Noakes states: "That you are guilty of unprofessional conduct or conduct which, when regard is had to your profession, in that during the period between January 2014 and February 2014 you acted in a manner that is not in accordance with the norms and standards of your profession in that you provided unconventional advice on breastfeeding babies on social networks (tweet/s)."
While doctors are allowed to give advice or share opinions online, they are not allowed to make a diagnosis or offer treatment online.
Read: Tim Noakes to defend Banting for babies
ADSA argues that the advice, via Twitter, is not considered to be in accordance with both international (WHO Guiding Principles for Complementary Feeding of the Breastfed Child) and national (South African Paediatric Food Based Dietary Guidelines) feeding guidelines for infant and young child nutrition.
It stated that giving one-on-one nutrition advice on social media to a patient who has not been assessed, as well as providing information outside of the scope of practice for which you are registered with the council is in contravention of the HPCSA ethical guidelines.
Julsing-Strydom said in a statement in June, ahead of the hearing held in Cape Town, that she was looking forward to the outcome of the inquiry, which was ultimately postponed to 23 November.
“I look forward to a resolution of this matter that will provide clarity on complementary feeding recommendations for infants and young children."
Read: Noakes' 'real food' may not be kid friendly
She added that it should also set a precedent on how social media should be used by health professionals.
"Clarity on these issues will help to advance health care in South Africa in the interest of the public. It should also clear any public and professional confusion on these issues,” she said.
Prof Noakes, who is a medical doctor and sports professor, has been researching infant nutrition for the past four years and is poised to release his second edition of The Real Meal Revolution, which is a guide to the Banting diet.
He faces being struck off the roll and would not be allowed to practice medicine should the HPCSA find him guilty of wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, the proceedings have been delayed over parties arguing whether the Professional Conduct Committee panel is properly comprised.
Read more: Noakes committee comes under the spotlight
Follow the reaction on Twitter: #NoakesHPCSA
Pro low carb diets:
Tim Noakes on how it works and why this is a lifestyle more than a diet
Tim Noakes diet is put to the test
Video: why a low-carb diet is good for you
A scheduled high-fat diet may curb obesity
How a high-fat diet can help diabetics
Video: Tim Noakes talks about his book The Real Meal Revolution
Carb and sugar addiction is fuelling SA's obesity epidemic
Tim Noakes says refined carbs may be toxic
Tim Noakes: the heart disease theory 'has failed'
Tim Noakes: poor children should eat animal organs
Is the Tim Noakes Diet affecting your hair, skin and nails?
Why we get fat, by Gary Taubes
Could the LCHF/ Banting diet help prevent or control ADHD?
Anti low carb diets:
Tim Noakes' critics shun the low carb high fat health summit
Pregnant moms on the high-fat diet may be putting their offspring's life at risk
Why a high-fat diet is bad for the body clock
A high-fat diet could up the risk of pancreatic cancer
High protein diets increase your chances of developing kidney disease
DietDoc asks: why are we always chasing quick-fix diets?Warning issued regarding HFLC and high protein diets
Too much, too soon, Tim Noakes!
Banting/Noakes diet discriminates against women
Noakes slammed by UCT professors
Patrick Holford: banting is dangerous
Heart Foundation's open letter to Tim Noakes
Experts warn against Noakes diet
We debate Tim Noakes on which diet will save the world
Image: A baby girl eating from Shutterstock