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  #1   ^
Old Wed, May-21-03, 14:41
gotbeer's Avatar
gotbeer gotbeer is offline
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Default "Two Studies Vindicate Atkins Diet"

Two Studies Vindicate Atkins Diet

The Diet Really Does Help People Lose Weight

May 21, 2003 3:03 pm US/Central


link to article

NEW ORLEANS (AP) A month after Dr. Robert C. Atkins' death, his much-ridiculed diet has received its most powerful scientific support yet: Two studies in one of medicine's most distinguished journals show it really does help people lose weight faster without raising their cholesterol.

The research, in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, found that people on the high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate Atkins diet lose twice as much weight over six months as those on the standard low-fat diet recommended by most major health organizations.

However, one of the studies found that the Atkins dieters regain much of the weight by the end of one year.

Atkins, who died April 17 at age 72 after falling and hitting his head on an icy sidewalk in New York, lived to see several shorter studies that found, to researchers' great surprise, that his diet is effective and healthy in the short run.

Although those reports have been presented at medical conferences, none until now has been published in a top-tier journal. And one of the studies in the journal lasted a year, making it the longest one yet.

``For the last 20 years that I've been helping people lose weight, I've been trashing the Atkins diet without any real data to rely on,'' said Dr. Michael Hamilton, an obesity researcher who was not part of either study. ``Now we have some data to give us some guidance.''

Now, he said, he would neither trash it nor endorse it. ``I'm going to say I don't know. The evidence isn't in,'' he said.

One study ran six months and was conducted by the Veterans Affairs Department; the yearlong study was led by Gary D. Foster, who runs the weight-loss program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Atkins' diet books have sold 15 million copies since the first one was published in 1972. From the start, doctors branded the Atkins diet foolish and dangerous, warning that the large amounts of beef and fat would lead to sky-high cholesterol levels.

In both studies, the Atkins dieters generally had better levels of ``good'' cholesterol and triglycerides, or fats in the blood. There was no difference in ``bad'' cholesterol or blood pressure.

Dr. Frederick F. Samaha of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, who led the VA study, said both studies indicate that people do lose more weight on Atkins, ``but the difference is not great.''

The 132 men and women in the VA study started out weighing an average of 286 pounds (129 kilograms). After six months, those on the Atkins diet had lost an average of 12.8 pounds (5.8 kilograms), those on the low-fat diet 4.2 pounds (1.9 kilograms).

The other study involved 63 participants who weighed an average of 217 pounds (98 kilograms) at the start. After six months, the Atkins group lost 15.4 pounds (6.9 kilograms), the group on the standard diet 7 pounds (3.1 kilograms).

But at the end of a year, the Atkins dieters had regained about a third of the weight. Their net loss averaged 9.7 pounds (4.4 kilograms). The low-fat dieters had regained about one-fifth of the weight, for a net loss of 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilograms).

The year-end difference was not big enough to tell whether it was caused by the diets, Foster said.

About 40 percent of the patients dropped out of each study. And while supporters of the Atkins diet say it is easier to stick with, people on the Atkins regimen were just as likely to drop out as people on the standard diets.

The important finding, Foster said, is that the Atkins diet appears to be a healthy short-term way to lose weight. Nobody has studied it long enough to tell whether it is a healthy way to maintain that loss, he said.

Collette Heimowitz, director of education and research at Atkins Health and Medical Information Services, said people there were not surprised by the weight loss and improved cholesterol.

``But I'm thrilled that serious researchers are taking a hard look at the program, so that health care professionals and physicians would find comfort in offering Atkins as an alternative to the one-size-fits-all hypothesis of low-fat, low-calorie,'' she said.

The studies did not convince Kathleen Zelman, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

``There's never been any denying that low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets such as Atkins do, absolutely, cause weight loss,'' she said. ``But do they hold up over time and can you stay on them over time?''

From Foster's study, it does not look like it, she said.
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, May-21-03, 15:51
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tamarian tamarian is offline
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Default Re: "Two Studies Vindicate Atkins Diet"

This is great news, despite the negative spin by poor disappointed dieticians

We've made it into the New England Journal of Medicine

Quote:
Dr. Frederick F. Samaha of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, who led the VA study, said both studies indicate that people do lose more weight on Atkins, ``but the difference is not great.''

The 132 men and women in the VA study started out weighing an average of 286 pounds (129 kilograms). After six months, those on the Atkins diet had lost an average of 12.8 pounds (5.8 kilograms), those on the low-fat diet 4.2 pounds (1.9 kilograms).


The difference is not great, just 3 times the weight-loss

Wa'il
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  #3   ^
Old Wed, May-21-03, 16:08
gary gary is offline
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Angry Atkins Diet May Be No Better Than Just Cutting Fat

Atkins Diet May Be No Better Than Just Cutting Fat
56 minutes ago Add Science - Reuters to My Yahoo!
By Gene Emery

BOSTON (Reuters) - Shunning starchy foods in favor of meat and fat helps obese people shed some weight faster than a standard low-fat diet, but over time there may not be a big difference, researchers said on Wednesday.

Two studies appeared to confirm some of what the late Dr. Robert Atkins preached for decades until his death last month: that carbohydrates, a major energy source, cause weight gain.

In one six-month study, obese volunteers on the low-carbohydrate, high-fat and high-protein Atkins diet lost 13 pounds versus four pounds for obese people on a low-fat diet.

In a second year-long study, obese people on the Atkins diet lost nearly 10 pounds more after six months than volunteers on a conventional diet. But by the end of the year, the differences between the two groups were not significant, suggesting the Atkins diet is no better at helping fat people shed pounds than traditional weight-loss regimens.

"The average weight loss was greater in the low-carbohydrate groups than in the low-fat groups, but the difference was no longer significant at 12 months in the trial in which follow-up lasted that long," said James Ware in an editorial in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine (news - web sites), where both studies appear.

Ware also noted that the weight lost in each study was relatively tiny compared with the volunteers' size. The average starting weight among the volunteers in the first study was 288 pounds. Those in the second were about 50 pounds overweight.

In the United States, about 45 percent of women and 30 percent of men are on a diet. More than 60 percent of Americans are overweight and more than 30 percent are obese.

The Atkins diet, first published in 1972, has been criticized by doctors because its high fat content increases the risk of heart disease, kidney problems and cancer. The 12-month study found, however, that triglyceride levels fell further and "good" cholesterol levels rose higher on the Atkins regimen than on the low-fat diet.

The researchers in the first study, led by Frederick Samaha of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said because low-fat diets are known to reduce the risk of heart disease, longer-term studies of the Atkins diet are needed.

The authors of the second agreed, concluding: "There is not enough information to determine whether the beneficial effects of the Atkins diet outweigh its potential adverse effects on the risk of coronary heart disease in obese persons."

"They have compared two diets, neither of which is very effective," said diet book author Dean Ornish of the University of California at San Francisco. His own eating recommendations, which include getting just 10 percent of daily calories from fat, have been shown to reverse heart disease.
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  #4   ^
Old Wed, May-21-03, 16:21
No Honey No Honey is offline
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Thumbs up Atkins diet is more effective and healthier than rival regimes, say medical researche

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  #5   ^
Old Wed, May-21-03, 17:11
cc48510 cc48510 is offline
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Default Re: Atkins Diet May Be No Better Than Just Cutting Fat

Quote:
Originally posted by gary
"The average weight loss was greater in the low-carbohydrate groups than in the low-fat groups, but the difference was no longer significant at 12 months in the trial in which follow-up lasted that long," said James Ware in an editorial in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine (news - web sites), where both studies appear.


I do not consider a 61% difference to be "insignificant." Half the participants dropped out. I wonder how the drop outs were distributed by diet. Also, these people were only 50 pounds ON AVERAGE. They could have been half 10 pounds overweight and half 110 overweight for all we know. Also, I doubt they asked eating habits (Pre-Atkins). All of these are necessary to properly select and assign participants. They need to have equal proportions of women/men, carb addicts/fat addicts, etc...
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  #6   ^
Old Wed, May-21-03, 17:12
gotbeer's Avatar
gotbeer gotbeer is offline
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Default

Scientists Weigh In On High Protein Diets

Researchers Compare Atkins-Style Diet To Others

POSTED: 2:32 p.m. EDT May 21, 2003
UPDATED: 5:35 p.m. EDT May 21, 2003


link to article

BOSTON -- If you're not counting carbohydrates, chances are you know someone who is.

NewsCenter 5's Heather Unruh reported that the Atkins-style high protein, low carb diet is incredibly popular. But how does it match up against the traditional low-fat diet?

Science finally has some answers.

Jennifer Marcus is like 45 percent of women and 30 percent of men in the U.S. She's trying to lose weight, and she's had some success.

"I did the Atkins diet for about two months. It worked really well. I lost probably around 15 pounds -- like two clothing sizes," Marcus said.

Two new studies found similar results. Pennsylvania researchers randomly put nearly 200 obese people on either an Atkins type low carb/high protein diet or a traditional low-fat plan. At six months, the low carb group had lost on average 8.8 pounds more than those in the low-at group.

"It also confirms the contention of Atkins supporters that there may be a primary effect of this kind of diet on appetite, so that it's easier for people to reduce their calories simply by reducing their carbohydrates," Joslin Diabetes Center Dr. Terry Maratos-Flier said.

What about eating all those saturated fats like meat, cheese, and butter that some health critics say is bad for your health? The short-term studies found no ill effects.

"Their blood pressure didn't go up. Their cholesterol didn't go up. Their triglycerides went down and their insulin level also went down," Maratos-Flier said.

At one year though, there was no significant weight loss difference. In fact, in both groups, many dieters dropped out, saying that sticking to it was tough regardless of what was on the plate.

"Everybody eats very differently. They have different opportunities for eating and they have different patterns for eating, and unless you really get at those issues we're not going to have long term positive effects," Tufts Nutrition School spokeswoman Alice Lichtenstein said.

Experts call the research important but not definitive, and want five to 10 year studies before drawing conclusions.
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  #7   ^
Old Wed, May-21-03, 17:16
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gotbeer gotbeer is offline
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Default

Study sees heart benefits in controversial Atkins diet

BY MARIAN UHLMAN

Knight Ridder Newspapers Posted on Wed, May. 21, 2003


link to article

PHILADELPHIA - (KRT) - Score one for the Atkins Diet.

The popular and controversial low-carb diet helped people not only lose weight, but also reduce two risk factors associated with heart disease, University of Pennsylvania researchers said Wednesday.

When compared to a group of conventional dieters, people following the Atkins plan achieved significant increases in their "good" cholesterol and greater decreases in fats in the blood, known as triglycerides, according to the study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The improvements were similar to the benefits patients typically get from drugs, the authors said.

"Improvements of this magnitude are not usually seen with modest weight loss," said Gary Foster, the study's lead author and clinical director of Penn's Weight and Eating Disorders Program. "It is remarkable. . . . Low-carb approaches now become a viable option that we need to evaluate more fully, more systematically."

Foster said the differences are surprising because the two groups of dieters shed only modest amounts of weight after a year - 9.5 pounds for the Atkins dieters, compared to 5.4 pounds for the conventional dieters. The study started with 63 obese people who weighed an average of 216 pounds each.

After three months, Atkins dieters had lost an average of 14.7 pounds compared to 5.8 pounds in the conventional group. At six months, they had lost 15.2 pounds, versus 6.9 pounds.

Foster said it is too early to recommend the diet widely. Rather, it should be a launching point for further research.

In another article in Thursday's journal, a second group of University of Pennsylvania researchers at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center found that severely obese people also lost more weight, reduced their triglycerides and improved their ability to respond to insulin on a low-carbohydrate diet similar to Atkins. The six-month study involved 132 patients who weighed an average of 288 pounds. Those in the low-carb group lost about 13 pounds compared to about 4 pounds for the conventional, low-fat dieters.

Frederick F. Samaha, the lead author and chief of cardiology at the Philadelphia VA, said his group was most surprised with the benefits despite modest weight loss.

Because of relatively small size of both studies and high drop-out rate of participants (about 40 percent), the results should be interpreted cautiously, said Dr. Dena Bravata, lead author of a recent review of 107 low-carb diet studies.

Still, Bravata said, the new research contributes to a growing body of evidence that, in the short-term, low-carb diets "seem to be an effective means of weight loss, and they do not appear to have significant harmful side-effects."

Dr. George Blackburn, chief of the Center for the Study of Nutrition Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said the studies are "a first step."

They "start us on a new dietary approach with weight loss, provided that we can satisfy ourselves" that they won't lead to other health problems such as bone loss and loss of kidney function, he said.

While low-carbohydrate diets have been around since the 1860s, the late Robert C. Atkins helped to popularize them in recent years through his best-selling books. His books have sold about 14 million copies and about 25 million people have tried or are currently on the Atkins diet, said a spokeswoman for Atkins Health and Medical Information Services. Atkins died at 72 last month after slipping on ice and striking his head.

Low-carb diets have been criticized because they allow people to eat a limitless amount of fat and protein, but restrict the quantity of carbohydrates. A wealth of data over the past few decades indicate that "the consumption of high levels of saturated fat has adverse consequences on health," according to a perspective article in Thursday's journal.

"Let's not be focused on how quickly one loses weight," said Dr. Robert Eckel, who co-wrote the article and chairs the council on nutrition, physical activity and metabolism for the American Heart Association, in a telephone interview. "Be more concerned about the quality of the diet, and how that relates to sound nutrition and health," especially over time.

At one year, Foster's study is considered the longest head-to-head trial of the low-carb approach, and the first one to gather information at more than one research site. In addition to Penn, the other study collaborators were Washington University School of Medicine and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

In the Foster study, those assigned to the low-carb diet were given Atkins' book and asked to follow the plan. The conventional group got a book directing them to follow a reduced-calorie plan of 60 percent carbohydrates, 25 percent fat and 15 percent protein, based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Guide Pyramid.

While the weight differences between groups diminished by 12 months, the "good" cholesterol levels - or HDL - had risen by 18 percent among Atkins dieters versus 3 percent among conventional dieters. The triglyceride levels declined in the Atkins group by 28 percent, compared to a 1-percent rise in the conventional group. Neither group showed any changes in the "bad" cholesterol at one year.

Foster, who now will head a study following patients for two years on the Atkins approach, said researchers need to find out if the low-carb approach helps patients maintain their weight loss better than conventional diets, and if the diet has any long-term effects on cardiovascular risk factors.
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  #8   ^
Old Wed, May-21-03, 17:20
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gotbeer gotbeer is offline
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Default

Study backs low carb diets

22may03


link to article

LOW carbohydrate diets are more effective than calorie counting in helping obese people shed weight, the latest medical research suggests.

The Atkins Diet, championed by svelte celebrities but lambasted by nutritionists, has earned praise from authors of the latest study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
It allows unlimited meat, fish, eggs and shellfish but only small amounts of bread, potatoes and pasta.

The study accepts there are question marks about the long-term impact of a low carbohydrate diet, including problems with raised cholesterol. But researchers concluded it was more effective than a calorie and fat-restricted diet after studying more than 100 severely overweight adult over six months.

Volunteers on the low carbohydrate diet were limited to 30g a day or less intake of carbohydrates but had no restrictions on the amount of fat consumed. The other half had to stick to a diet with a deficit of 500 calories a day and with 30 per cent or less of total calories derived from fat.

Almost 15 per cent of the low carbohydrate dieters achieved a weight loss of at least 10 per cent compared with only 3 per cent of those calorie and fat counting.

The Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Centre team, led by Frederick Samaha, said they could not rule out that the additional weight loss was due to an overall reduction in calories among the low carbohydrate group, who were encouraged to eat vegetables and fruit with a high ratio of fibre to carbohydrate.

But they added: "Subjects in this group may have experienced greater satiety on a diet with liberal proportions of protein and fat. However, other explanations include the simplicity of the diet and improved compliance related to the novelty of the diet."

But they warned of uncertainty over the value of a low carbohydrate diet for longer than six months and called for further study of cardiovascular risk associated with the high-fat intake before the diet could be endorsed.

The study is likely to fuel the growing debate about the popularity and safety of low carbohydrate diets.

Celebrity advocates of the Atkins Diet include Geri Halliwell, Nigella Lawson, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last month found no evidence to support a direct link between weight loss and low carbohydrate diets -- and also warned that long-term effects were unknown.

The authors concluded that weight loss while on the diets could be attributed to a reduction of overall calories intake.

Dieticians Association of Australia spokeswoman Carole Richards said: "I would recommend a low carb diet for the short term, if that was the way someone wanted to go. But long term, a balanced approach and changes to what they are eating and doing is the only way you are going to maintain weight loss -- and that's the important thing."

While a low carbohydrate, high protein diet could prevent hunger pangs and leave people feeling full, it could place a strain on the digestive system, she said.

"A low-carbohydrate diet may also be high in fat and low in fibre -- and fibres are magic," she added.
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  #9   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 04:51
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rustpot rustpot is offline
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Default High-fat Atkins diet beats the calorie counters-The Times

The New England Journal of Medicine studies have been reported on the Atkins vindicated thread but I thought that this article in the prestigious UK Times worthy to highlight. It is by Nigel Hawkes the Health Editor

Article

On the same full page coverage today 22 May 2003 was a piece about Jeni Ayris an Edinburgh cafe owner who was the Atkins volunteer in the BBC1's Diet Trial . In 6 months she lost 35 lbs. She put 5 lbs back on but is still below her starting weight.

Nigel Hawkes second piece suggested that men find the Atkins diet easier than women, probably because it sets no limit on meat. It gave a a brief description of the essentials and gave the atkinscenter.com web address.

We are coming in from the cold!

The study was also on the main news last night and on breakfast shows this morning.

So good coverage in the UK. Tabloids and talk shows hype it as a "celebrity diet" Referring to Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Renee Zellwegger, Julia Roberts and ex spice girl Geri Haliwell

Last edited by rustpot : Thu, May-22-03 at 04:53.
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  #10   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 05:52
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bostonkarl bostonkarl is offline
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Default Associated Press Article

Saw this in the Boston Globe this morning. Some good press for low carbers.



Title: Two studies provide scientific backing for the Atkins diet

Credit: By Associated Press, 5/22/2003

A month after Dr. Robert C. Atkins's death, his controversial low-carbohydrate diet has received its most powerful scientific support yet: Two studies in one of medicine's most distinguished journals show it really does help people lose weight faster without raising their cholesterol. The research, in today's New England Journal of Medicine, found that people on the high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate Atkins diet lose twice as much weight over six months as those on the standard low-fat diet recommended by most major health organizations.



However, one of the studies found that the Atkins dieters regain much of the weight by the end of one year.

Atkins, who died April 17 at age 72 after falling and hitting his head on an icy sidewalk, lived to see several shorter studies that found, to researchers' great surprise, that his diet is effective and healthy in the short run.

Although those reports have been presented at medical conferences, none until now has been published in a top-tier journal. And one of the studies in the journal lasted a year, making it the longest one yet.

''For the last 20 years that I've been helping people lose weight, I've been trashing the Atkins diet -- without any real data to rely on,'' said Dr. Michael Hamilton, an obesity researcher who was not part of either study. ''Now we have some data to give us some guidance.''

Now, he said, he would neither trash it nor endorse it. ''I'm going to say I don't know.''

One study ran six months and was conducted by the Veterans Affairs Department; the yearlong study was led by Gary D. Foster, who runs the weight-loss program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Atkins's diet books have sold 15 million copies since the first one was published in 1972. From the start, doctors branded the Atkins diet foolish and dangerous, warning that the large amounts of beef and fat would lead to sky-high cholesterol levels.

In both studies, the Atkins dieters generally had better levels of ''good'' cholesterol and triglycerides, or fats in the blood. There was no difference in ''bad'' cholesterol or blood pressure.

Dr. Frederick F. Samaha of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, who led the VA study, said both studies indicate that people do lose more weight on Atkins, ''but the difference is not great.''

The 132 men and women in the VA study started out weighing an average of 286 pounds. After six months, those on the Atkins diet had lost an average of 12.8 pounds, those on the low-fat diet 4.2.

The other study involved 63 participants who weighed an average of 217 pounds at the start. After six months, the Atkins group lost 15.4 pounds, the group on the standard diet 7.

But at the end of a year, the Atkins dieters had regained about a third of the weight. Their net loss averaged 9.7 pounds. The low-fat dieters had regained about one-fifth of the weight, for a net loss of 5.5 pounds. The year-end difference was not big enough to tell whether it was caused by the diets, Foster said.

About 40 percent of the patients dropped out of each study. And while supporters of the Atkins diet say it is easier to stick with, people on the Atkins regimen were just as likely to drop out as people on the standard diets.

The important finding, Foster said, is that the Atkins diet appears to be a healthy short-term way to lose weight. Nobody has studied it long enough to tell whether it is a healthy way to maintain that loss, he said.

This story ran on page A8 of the Boston Globe on 5/22/2003.
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  #11   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 07:59
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scottinnh scottinnh is offline
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Default Atkins "news"

Studies of Atkins diet report some meaty results

“Linda Stern, an internist at the medical center, says dieters may have been more successful on the low-carb diet because they felt full from the fat and protein they were eating.”


DUH!!!!
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  #12   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 08:06
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achio4444 achio4444 is offline
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Default Support

I wonder what the drop out rate would have been if they had a support system like this message board. I know for me, it has kept me honest and kept me going many, many times!

Amy
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  #13   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 08:15
black57 black57 is offline
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Default

I was in the cafeteria yesterday and every damn thing had carbs. People on the outside do not realize just how much carbohydrates abound. No wonder people put the weight back on...but we won't.
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Old Thu, May-22-03, 08:19
nopie nopie is offline
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Default news

In todays's paper, the article pointed out that Atkins dieters lost more weight than regular dieters and kept off more of that weight in a year than did regular dieters. They then quoted some dietician who said she would never recommend the Atkins diet because people just gain the weight back. She is so prejudiced against Atkins diet that she can't see the point. Most people who go on a diet, any diet, and lose weight will then stop the diet and gain it back. The Atkins dieters gained back less. What people must remember is that a diet only works when you stay on it. As diabetics, we have an advantage - we have to stick with it for life (literally and figuratively).
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Old Thu, May-22-03, 09:05
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ScootrGirl ScootrGirl is offline
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Default MSNBC Article

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