Tuesday, May 18


Another week, another good-news-bad-news story on Atkins. Some papers, again, cast it (ludicrously) as a "vindication" story, while others see it as another "where's the big results?" story. Two studies just came out: Basically they both found that low-carbers who had lost weight dramatically after six months had gained a good bit of it back by the end of a year, while "moderate-fat" dieters (nothing near vegan, of course) continued to slowly lose weight. In the MSN version, Dr. Glenn Gasser of the University of Virginia predicts this longer-term research is the beginning of the end of the Atkins fad. "My guess is that, in a few years, people will look at themselves in the mirror and they won't see much difference in this low-carb diet they've been on for a number of years, and will go on to something else." Similarly, "I don't care that low-carb diets produce short-term weight loss; all diets do," said a Yale nutrition specialist, Dr. David L. Katz. "When you go out a year, the weight loss benefits disappear." Even the lead author of the study said "if it's not effective at a year, it negates what happens at six months." And Walter Willet, who's often dragged in to "endorse" Atkins in these stories, notes that "Patients should focus on finding ways to eat that they can maintain indefinitely rather than seeking diets that promote rapid weight loss."

Of course the Atkins group reported more side effects such as constipation and headaches, but PCRM brings us the most alarming news hidden in the studies - that two participants on the low-carb diet died in the course of the study. Whether there's a causal connection isn't proven, but it may be irrelevant: Now not just orange growers and bread makers but "industry insiders" say the low-carb boom has peaked. "Sales of low-carb products have fallen sharply at independent and health food stores, and some longtime industry insiders say a shakeout has begun. Even as they rush to cash in on the craze, some major food manufacturers say they see the phenomenon cooling down and becoming one part of the broad market for weight-loss products." Just another part of the broad market? Atkins must be sloshing around in his grave.

No comments: