The man behind the fake alkaline diet has been arrested and could face up to three years in prison, according to the BBC.
Robert Young is the author of “The pH Miracle,” which promotes the alkaline diet and says certain foods raise the acidity levels in a person’s blood, and that leads to various health problems. The book has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide and the diet is popular among celebrities, including Kate Hudson and Tom Brady.
It turns out though, that what you eat actually has little effect on the acid concentrations in your body.
While the basis for the diet may not be accurate, its recommendations to cut out things like meat, dairy and sugar can certainly help you lose weight, so it’s not surprising that people still found the diet was working for them.
So if this all doesn’t seem like such a big deal—this next part is.
It turns out Young isn’t a doctor. According to the BBC, he doesn’t have a medical degree and bought a PhD from a diploma mill.
He was convicted last year on two counts of practicing without a license and faces up to three years in prison. According to The Escondido Grapevine, Deputy District Attorney Gina Darvas says Young went from a bachelors degree to masters to doctorate in eight months.
Despite not having a degree, he still “treated” people at his “pH Miracle Ranch,” where he administered baking soda intravenously to cancer patients.
The Medical Board of California worked with the San Diego District Attorney’s Office after an undercover investigator went to Young’s ranch. According to a press release from the Medical Board, “Both the Medical Board’s investigator and an investigator from the San Diego District Attorney’s Office were diagnosed with diseases and offered very pricy (sic) treatments. Many of Young’s patients were actually chronically ill and spent sums of up to $50,000 for Young’s treatment.”
Young will also be retried on other charges and faces lawsuits by patients.