Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Atkins Diet Really Is A 'Healthier Lifestyle'

The London Daily Mirror reported today that a new print advertisement for the Atkins diet was instructed to be immediately dropped in the UK allegedly because the popular diet company cannot prove that the low-carb way of eating is a "healthier lifestyle."

This was the conclusion of a consumer watchdog group called the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and their ruling is apparently final.

According to their Non-Broadcast Adjudication against Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. announced on Wednesday, the ASA received a complaint from a consumer about a regional press ad that simply stated "Enjoy a healthier lifestyle! Atkins the original low carb lifestyle."

The anonymous complainer claimed the Atkins diet is "an unhealthy way to lose weight" and thus, should not be allowed to be described as "healthier" in their advertising. Could this person possibly be related to Jody Gorran?! :-P

The ASA said the Atkins company had no real proof to show that their diet was "nutritionally balanced" according to the government standards of Great Britain.

“The authority considered that the advertisers had not shown that the Atkins Nutritional Approach could be described as ‘a healthier lifestyle’ and asked the advertisers not to repeat the claim,” it said.

Atkins responded by reiterating their progam is a "scientifically validated strategy for weight control and good health based on controlling carbohydrate intake."

They added that the Atkins "eating plan was balanced nutritionally because it included protein and a balance of good fats while restricting the carbohydrates that had the greatest impact on blood sugar" and offered 44 scientific studies to support this.

Nevertheless, the ASA said because the UK recommendation of a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet runs counter to the Atkins plan, advertising for any such weight loss program would be prohibited. They added that more long-term studies needed to be conducted to support the claims regarding livin' la vida low-carb.

So what are we waiting for? If people want proof that low-carb is the effective plan that we all know it is, then we need more studies to be conducted as soon as possible so the long-term effects can be examined. Why don't the media and the low-fat diet supporters stop their whining about the so-called dangers of low-carb and get behind these additional studies. After all, if they are so sure Atkins is as unhealthy as they say it is, then more studies will bear that out.

Upon news of being told they must cease with their ad campaign, U.S.-based Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. said it was "disappointing" news because "the Atkins Nutritional Approach was a scientifically validated strategy for weight control and good health based on controlling carbohydrate intake."

Unfortunately, this is not about the science behind the low-carb lifestyle. It's about the bias against it. But I am amazed that this ASA group would deny Atkins the opportunity to describe itself as a "healthier lifestyle." It begs the question, though -- healthier than what?

If you compare it with other diets, then that's a debatable claim because more studies need to be conducted on the low-carb approach as already noted. But if you compare it with the way most people eat who aren't on a diet but need to be, Atkins really is a "healthier lifestyle."

People always ask me for my advice about losing weight since I've lost 180 pounds. You might be surprised but I don't recommend livin' la vida low-carb first.

The first thing I tell them is to find something, ANYTHING that will work for them and JUST DO IT! No excuses, no I'll think about its, absolutely nothing standing in your way. DO IT! Whether that's low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb or whatever, get on some kind of plan to lose weight and keep it off for good. If a program is only good for losing weight but not keeping it off, then don't do it! To succeed at this, you must be committed for the long haul.

After giving that speech, I then explain why I chose the low-carb lifestyle and why it can work for others. While that British watchdog group may not want to admit it, they will have to agree that the Atkins diet is a lot healthier for people to do than the way so many of them (and two-thirds of Americans) are eating to make themselves overweight or obese. That certainly puts the phrase "healthier lifestyle" into perspective, doesn't it?


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