Friday, August 05, 2005

Atkins Diet Will Stay Because People Are Losing Weight

You knew it was coming after all the constant negative publicity about the Atkins diet this week since the bankruptcy announcement by Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. on Sunday.

But this letter to the editor of the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin is a prime example of why I created this blog and will continue to make it my mission to both educate and encourage people about livin' la vida low-carb.

In his letter, an Angola, NY resident named Vance Williams penned a short, but ill-informed letter to the editor that claims he was "fooled" by the Atkins diet. The letter is very short so I will reprint it here in its entirety:

Old Abe was right after all: "You can't fool all the people all the time." And the company founded by diet guru Robert Atkins, after subverting America's best nutritional consensus, wound up in bankruptcy court.

The Atkins high-protein diet craze peaked in early 2004, when over 9 percent of U.S. adults subscribed to such a diet. That figure declined gradually to 2.2 percent last month after a consumer advocacy group released a medical examiner's report showing that Atkins was overweight and suffered from heart disease.

As consumers, we need to be constantly vigilant for entrepreneurs who exploit our obsession with physical appearance to promote their profit-driven agendas. The price we pay, beyond an inflated food bill, is life-long chronic afflictions and a curtailed life span.

Sigh. I guess reading something like this shouldn't surprise me anymore, but it still disappoints me greatly. Despite all the positive benefits of the low-carb lifestyle, we still have to deal with a general public which is largely ignorant about what low-carb is all about.

The notion that Dr. Atkins came up with an alternative to the failed low-fat/low-calorie/portion-controlled yadda yadda yadda we've all heard our entire lives led Williams to conclude he was "subverting America's best nutritional consensus." Could it be there are other ways to get healthy besides restricting your fat, calories and portion sizes? Dr. Atkins did the research and based his life's work on that premise with millions of success stories to back him up. While it is certainly not conventional to follow a low-carb lifestyle, that is precisely why people like me have been so successful on it. You just don't feel like you are dieting, which is the whole point of any good weight maintenance program. It is something that I will be doing for the rest of my life. That's why I say I'm livin' la vida low-carb!

I've already written so many times about the popularity of the low-carb lifestyle that I will not repeat myself again here. But I think it is in poor taste to continually drag Dr. Atkins' name through the mud with these charges that he was obese when he died of a tragic slip and fall accident on ice in New York. The lies and rumors about whether Dr. Atkins had heart disease and was overweight when he died are just disgusting. It shouldn't surprise anyone who was behind these ugly lies.

Williams concludes his letter by warning people to watch our for those who want to "exploit our obsession with physical appearance" all for the sake of their bottom lines. How else do you explain a book like this being produced and then becoming a New York Times bestseller?

As long as people are overweight or obese, people will try to make a buck off of that. Unfortunately, that's the reality of the situation and virtually all of them couldn't care less about you or your health. But isolating the Atkins diet as a unique participant in this little shell game is unfair. Dr. Atkins and his team as well as all the others who help promote carb-consciousness want the public to know there are other ways to a healthy life. I know I am better off physically as a result of livin' la vida low-carb and many others could also benefit from this way of eating.

The Atkins diet is not going anywhere anytime soon (sorry to break the news to you, media and health experts!). As long as people continue to lose weight and maintain their weight loss by following a low-carb plan such as Atkins, it will remain relevant in our culture and will be difficult to ignore as obesity rates continue to skyrocket.


Blogger Kent said...

Exactly. Whether or not the marketing promotion company is still running, people realize low carb and the Atkins WOE works. I for one am happy they are bankrupt as they were constantly misleading new Atkineers with their products they claim were safe for Induction, like low carb bread and wraps. One look at the new revised 2005 sample Induction menu showed the fallacy in the company. I will still be holding firm to the low carb lifestyle as long as the old confederates kept singing "Dixie." Looking at the alternative -- going back to Krispy Kreme or Chenese buffets, I'll take the energy and serendity knowing I won't ever be venturing near 250 let alone 400 again.

Kent "Bowulf"

8/05/2005 3:22 PM  

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