Friday, August 05, 2005

The Atkins cupboard is bare

The bankruptcy of Atkins Nutritionals, the company that profited handsomely from its founder's high protein, low carb diet, this week filed for Chapter 11 protection against creditors in US Bankrputcy Court in New York after its sales slumped last year in the face of competition and a slackening of public interest. The low carb craze had itself been blamed for the bankruptcy of several pasta and bakery companies, whose carbohydrate products suddenly became anathema to weight conscious consumers.

The Atkins Diet seemed to be effective in producing a short term weight loss, although many believe it was because its rich but monotonous diet cut appetites. When founder Robert Atkins died in 1993, it was rumored he was overweight. I guess his diet was rich in a different way.

Many in the medical and public health community were concerned about possible longer term cardiovascular consequences of high fat diets. I won't weigh in (sorry) on a topic out of my area of expertise. I will, however, pass on some diet advice from my father, an old time general practitioner in the first half of the last century: Everything in Moderation. Somehow I don't think the Atkins Diet met that standard.