Wednesday, January 21


On the heels of his company's embarrassing retraction of its "all the fat you want" credo, Dr. Atkins is further dissed by New York's Mayor Bloomberg, who publicly (though apparently unintentionally so) scoffs at the reports of the diet guru's cause of death: "Atkins is dead. I don't believe that bull---- that he dropped dead slipping on a sidewalk. Yeah, right." Warming to his subject, Bloomberg also notes that Atkins was not exactly fit & trim: "I actually went to his house out in Southampton for a Pataki fund-raiser two years ago. The guy was fat - big guy - but heavy." Ouch. Well, at least the diet is fun and tasty, right? D'oh! About that party Bloomberg attended... "The food was inedible. I took one appetizer and I had to spit it into my napkin. It was just terrible."

Meanwhile, the BBC has confirmed earlier studies which found that the way the diet works is by restricting calories, rather than the magical power of saturated fat. The New York Times adds that "there are no long-term studies to show that people on low-carb diets keep weight off longer than those on low-fat diets," and ABC gently suggests that Low-Carb Fast Foods May Not Be the Healthiest Choice. Really?

UPDATE 1/22: While the Atkins people try to spin the new 20%-saturated-fat restriction as "the same thing we've been saying all along," their own Atkins-branded products contradict them. As PCRM points out, smoking guns include the Crab & Cheddar Souffl?, which derives 31% of its calories from saturated fat (and 78% of its calories from fat), and the Four Cheese Crustless Quiche derives a whopping 45% of its calories from saturated fat. Just one serving has more saturated fat than most people should get in an entire day, according to the National Institutes of Health. Looks like the Atkins Center better either pull these products, or explain how this fits within their new recommendations. Somehow I'd guess the odds of that are about as good as a chubby diet doctor dying by slipping on the ice.
UPDATE 1/26: Atkins diet precipitating attacks of Gout The Guardian article explains that a high-protein diet produces lactic acid. "It then joins a queue of acids waiting to be expelled by the kidneys and uric acid levels remain high. Crystallisation follows.That is what happened to 40-year-old Richard Jaques. 'I'm an ex-rugby player and carry a bit of weight,' he said. 'I went on the Atkins last year.' The side-effects of the diet triggered an attack. Jaques is hit by three or four bouts of gout a year, but the Atkins-led episode was different. 'Normally it comes on quickly, but when I was following the Atkins it built up slowly over three weeks. By the end I was in a lot of pain.'"

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