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As many know, the creator of the Atkins diet, Dr Robert C Atkins passed away yesterday.

I've seen and heard many comments, and to be honest, the majority infuriate me.

Let's take a moment to put aside spite and jealousy for a moment and look at this rationally. It's hard for some, I know, but just humor me.

Say you are an 83 year old person, and you slip and hit your head on an icy sidewalk. Does it not stand to reason there might be internal bleeding in your brain? Yes, that seems quite logical. Does it *also* not stand to reason that after some time, that blood might begin to clot, despite anticoagulents that the ER might administer? Why yes, that's quite plausible too.


The Atkins diet does not work for everyone. There is no "One Size Fits All' diet, and Dr Atkins was quite clear that this was not a cureall to obesity. Everyone's metabolisms and body chemistry is different, and just because it didn't work for YOU because you either had biological issues, or because you didn't have the damned will power to follow the diet like you should, that doesn't give you ANY right to belittle him.

It pisses me off that a man lost his LIFE and people are saying 'Maybe he wouldn't have had a stroke if he hadn't been on that diet'. People. an 83-YEAR-OLD MAN hit his HEAD and DIED. How petty do you have to be to piss on his grave like that?

Well. I guess I answered my own question there.

I'm sorry for the language folks. I just heard muttering among my coworkers all day yesterday at work, then saw more comments online. I have to say that small minded people that feel they must belittle things that didn't work for them, or that they disagree with really rub me the wrong way.


Apr. 18th, 2003 08:36 am (UTC)
Atkins had a heart defect caused by a viral infection. It was natural for others to assume otherwise, but the facts were there to prove that his diet had nothing to do with that condition. His death, likewise, had nothing to do with it.

One thing I don't know, but others seem to "assume", is if Atkins personally followed his own diet?

I still have issues with the Atkins diet that go further beyond the "horror" of eating large amounts of saturated fatty acids. From a biochemical standpoint, the diet does make sense with *respect* to the "average American" diet. Americans eat HUGE amounts of carbohydrates, and those are very easily converted into fat. Short term, as proven over and over, the Atkins diet *does* work!

Long term? More than 10 years? A diet to stay with for life? Who knows? Scientificially, there is no evidence that this diet is healthy for you that long. Short term studies have proven there's little effect on the HDL/LDL serum lipoprotein ratios, which was the largest and most valid nutritional concern about this diet, but those studies have not been conducted in the long term.

The biggest failing of this diet, and the major reason I don't subscribe to the idea that its an idea nutritional plan, is that its a very DIFFICULT diet to maintain in American culture. People on this diet are going to find it EXCEEDINGLY difficult to STAY on it without feeling deprived. Feeling deprived is the #1 reason a dieter falls back to their old eating habits. Every diet requires a certain level of discipline to maintain, or better, to eventually *adopt* into one's life as "normal" (so those feelings of deprivation go away), but the Atkins diet, I believe, would never reach that goal. It will *always* be "a diet". The other reason is that ALL nutritional science points that *long* term adherence to a diet like this is not ideal for overall health.

I can't help but think of make paralells to Linus Pauling and his advocacy of intake megadoses of Vitamin C. While he was right about Vitamin C to a certain extent, and really provoked nutritionists into looking at the importance of it, science has proven that taking megadoses is a waste. Even over a decade after his death, the beneficial long term effects of Vitamin C have never been proven.

Personally, the best diet to me has three important foundations: Caloric intake, balanced foods and exercise. Doing that has never failed a dieter. Weight Watchers is the most cost effective and 'least invasive' nutritional plan for losing weight in my opinion. I would follow the Atkins diet if I wanted to lose some weight in the short term. It obviously works for that, but I'd never delude myself into believing I could follow it a a "nutritional life plan".

Speaking of the doctor himself, I had alot of respect for him. The guy stood against his peers, against all of the current mindset in the 70s about dieting and made a very good observation about the "typical American diet" and the real culprit of eating "too many calories". His observations were based on not only cultural foundations, but biochemical ones as well. I *am* glad he got some vindication of his work before he died.

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