Tim Spector

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Tim Spector
BornJuly, 1958
Alma materSt Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
OccupationProfessor of genetic epidemiology, science writer

Timothy David Spector OBE FMedSci (born July 1958) is a British epidemiologist and science writer.


Spector is professor of genetic epidemiology and director of the TwinsUK registry at King's College, London.[1] He is a specialist in twin studies, genetics, epigenetics, and microbiome and diet.[2][3]

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to the Covid-19 response.[4]

The Diet Myth[edit]

Spector authored The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat in 2015.[5] The book explains how gut microbiotas interact with different dietary habits and how the gut microbiome can determine health and longevity.[6][7][8][9] It received positive reviews in science journals.[8][10] Spector argues for a diet that increases gut microbe diversity. To do this he recommends increasing fibre content, avoiding junk and processed foods and experimenting with different fresh foods.[11][12]

Spector has argued against low-fat and fad diets.[11][13] He recommends a varied high-fibre Mediterranean-style diet with plenty of nuts and vegetables.[11][13][12]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Identically Different: Why You Can Change Your Genes. 2012.[14]
  • The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat. 2015.
  • Spoon-Fed: Why Almost Everything We’ve Been Told About Food is Wrong. 2020.[15]


  1. ^ "Tim Spector - Research Portal, King's College, London". Kclpure.kcl.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  2. ^ Jozuka, Emiko (2016-05-27). "Ditch the diet if you want to lose weight says genetic expert Tim Spector | WIRED UK". Wired.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  3. ^ Elsa Vulliamy. "Want to to [sic] lose weight? Try eating chocolate and drinking wine". The Independent. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  4. ^ "No. 63142". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 October 2020. p. B67.
  5. ^ "The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  6. ^ "Magical microbes – how to feed your gut". The Guardian. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  7. ^ "‘The Diet Myth,’ ‘The Good Gut’ and ‘The Hidden Half of Nature’". The New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Handysides, Stuart. (2016). Books: The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat. British Journal of General Practice 66 (648): 378–379.
  9. ^ "Tim Spector: Go with your gut". British Medical Journal. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  10. ^ Craig, Jeffrey M. (2016). Myths Microbes and Manipulation—Sensible Advice From the Diet Inspector: A Review of The Diet Myth by Tim Spector. Twin Research and Human Genetics 19 (4): 404-405.
  11. ^ a b c "Advice from the Experts: Top Diet Tips from Professor Tim Spector". King's Alumni Community. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  12. ^ a b "From 30 vegetables a week to faecal transplants: Keeping your gut microbiome happy is the key to healthy eating". The Independent. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Advice against eating fat was wrong. It is time the experts admitted it". Spectator Health. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  14. ^ Peter Forbes. "Identically Different: Why You Can Change Your Genes by Tim Spector – review | Books". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  15. ^ Bee Wilson. "Spoon-Fed by Tim Spector review – food myths busted". The Guardian. Retrieved 2021-01-28.

External links[edit]