Dukan Diet guru Pierre Dukan struck off French medical register 'at own request'
PIERRE Dukan, whose celebrity diet is championed by the likes of Carole Middleton, has been struck off the medical register at his own request, after medical experts accused him of giving damaging dietary advice to teenagers.
Dr Dukan, whose protein-rich regime is also said to have helped the Duchess of Cambridge squeeze into her wedding dress, was already facing disciplinary action over proposals to award extra marks to schoolchildren who lose weight.
In a recent book, he proposed creating a so-called "ideal weight" option for 'A' level equivalent students in their final year exams, under which they would earn extra points for keeping slim.
It sparked a complaint by the French College of Physicians, which warned the proposal could prove harmful for pupils already suffering from obesity or anorexia.
The body said it was in breach of article 13 of the medical ethics code, which states: "A doctor must be aware of the repercussions his views can have on the public."
They launched a second disciplinary action into whether the 100 million-euro (£80 million) business he runs from his diet food empire was compatible with the code of medical practice.
Dr Dukan argued that his books and exam proposals were part of a doctor's right to "freedom of expression".
He claimed the disciplinary proceedings were null and void as he had already effectively retired from being a medical practitioner in 2008, refusing any new patients as "I didn't want to be accused of using my fame for the benefit of my practice".
But on Wednesday, medical ethics chiefs told La Croix newspaper that he had only asked to be struck off the register on April 19.
"I think he made this decision when he saw things weren't going his way in medical ethics circles," said Dr Irène Kahn-Bensaude, head of the Paris branch of the College.
She is cited as interpreting his move as damage limitation, because a guilty verdict could hurt his diet guru image.
She added that his unilateral action would not halt the disciplinary proceedings against him. "Whether or not he is struck off, (they) will go all the way," she said.
Boasting a host of celebrity followers, including Jennifer Lopez, supermodel Gisele Bundchen and Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins, the Dukan Diet is composed of "attack", "cruise", "consolidation" and "stabilisation" phases.
But food experts have warned the regime is a 'health hazard' due to its very low vegetable and carbohydrate intake, while the British Dietitic Association voted it "the worst celebrity diet of 2011", saying it was as potentially harmful as diets urging binge drinking