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  #16   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 09:20
Angeline's Avatar
Angeline Angeline is offline
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Plan: Atkins (loosely)
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Default Celebrity diet 'safe and effective'

Link to article

The controversial Atkins diet, favoured by many celebrities, may be as safe and effective as low-calorie weight-loss plans, researchers say.

People on the Atkins diet are allowed unlimited amounts of proteins and fats but have to restrict their carbohydrate intake.

Some experts are concerned that although this leads to short-term weight loss, the Atkins diet is not balanced, and can lead to long-term kidney damage in some.

US researchers looking at 63 obese men and women aged 44 who weighed, on average, 216 pounds.


Such diets may not have the adverse effects that were anticipated
Professor Gary Foster of the University of Pennsylvania
They were divided into two groups; those in the Atkins diet were asked to follow the diet's plan while those in the conventional group were told to eat a diet of 60% carbohydrates, 25% fat and 15% protein.
Men were limited to 1500 to 1800 calories a day, and women to 1200 to 1500.

They were assessed by a dietician after three, six and 12 months.

In the early stages, those on the Atkins diet lost twice as much weight as those on the conventional eating plan.

At three months, the Atkins group had lost an average of 17.6 pounds, compared to an average of 8.3 pounds in the other group.

After six months, they had lost an average of 21.2 pounds compared to 11.5.

'No adverse effects'

After a year, the difference between the two groups was narrower.

The Atkins group had lost an average of 15.9 pounds compared to 9.7 pounds in the other group - but the researchers say this figure is not statistically significant as almost half of the participants had dropped out of the study by this point.

But those on the Atkins diet had seen a much greater increase in their levels of HDL or 'good' cholesterol.

They also saw greater falls in triglyceride levels - a type of fatty acid found in the blood.

Professor Gary Foster of the University of Pennsylvania, who worked on the study, said: "Widely recommending low carbohydrate approaches may be premature, but our initial findings suggest that such diets may not have the adverse effects that were anticipated.


"The real issue is whether low carbohydrate approaches help patients maintain their weight loss better than conventional approaches.
"It will also be important to determine whether the effects of the diet on cholesterol are the same during weight maintenance as they are they are during weight loss."

A second study of 130 patients carried out by researchers at the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia found a low carbohydrate diet was linked to greater weight loss and reductions in triglycerides and improvements in insulin sensitivity compared to a low-fat diet.

Fast weight loss

Catherine Collins of the British Dietetic Association said the initial stage of the Atkins diet involved cutting out virtually all carbohydrates - dieters are allowed to eat no more than 20 grams a day which must come in the form of salad greens and other vegetables.

No fruit, bread, pasta, grains or starchy vegetables are allowed during this period.

She said this, combined with the fact that dieters' bodies would then use up energy from carbohydrates, stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles, meaning people lost weight quickly.

Atkins dieters are later allowed to introduce small amounts of carbohydrates, but Ms Collins said: "If people know they are going to be checked, they could go back to this more intense diet so they could lose weight quickly."

But she said the finding on HDL cholesterol was interesting.

She added: "On the face of it, this study suggests the Atkins diet isn't that bad, but more research is certainly needed."

The research is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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  #17   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 09:56
2berners's Avatar
2berners 2berners is offline
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Plan: atkins
Stats: 165/145/130
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Default

I saw a report on this article last night on NBC and read a short article on the internet this morning. I was glad to see, for the first time in an independent study, I think, that a conclusion drawn by the researchers is that carbs cause weight gain. Unfortunately, 63 people is such a small sample that it's statistically meaningless, but perhaps it will lead to a larger long term study - at any rate, it does add legitimacy to this WOE, and that's a big step.

I notice that despite regaining some weight, those who followed the Atkins plan ultimately lost almost twice as much as those on a low calorie diet. According to the report on NBC, the decrease in triglycerides was 11.6% for Atkins as opposed to an increase of less than 1% on low calorie, and the increase in HDL's was 16% for Atkins, 1.6% for low calorie. Sorry, these figures aren't terribly accurate, I should have written them down while I was watching, but the point is, Atkins was significantly better at improving health overall than low calorie. Too bad there was no data on whether or not subjects exercised according to Dr. Atkins guidelines in addition to changing their WOE.
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  #18   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 10:01
whyspers's Avatar
whyspers whyspers is offline
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Posts: 1,304
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 249/195/148 Female 5'7
BF:No clue
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Location: Kentucky
Default

Black57, I thought that about our cafeteria as well BUT I found a terrific solution When they are serving something that is high carb, or don't have anything I like in the hot line, I get a bunch of slice ham (their ham is so good!) and then go to the salad line and get a couple of hard boiled eggs. Its great! And best of all...I pay under two dollars for lunch on these days. At our other cafeteria, a salad is $5.05! Where there is a will, there is a way

The guys that own the cafeteria are also doing Atkins and are happy to take special requests and they never give me a funny look...lol. Every so often they try to talk me into a tomato or lettuce (see previous rant from when I first started going there.)


L
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  #19   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 10:30
Jannie's Avatar
Jannie Jannie is offline
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Posts: 499
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 184/156/160 Female 71 inches
BF:
Progress: 117%
Location: Baltimore, MD area
Exclamation

I saw/read the same reports on the studies-article coming out in the New England Journal of Medicine. My big question is why did the folks regain their weight-did they "go off" their eating plans or what?

More details would help-
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  #20   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 10:31
Ogden Ogden is offline
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Posts: 113
 
Plan: Modified Atkins
Stats: 325/283/200
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Progress: 34%
Location: Boston
Default New England Journal of Medicine and Low Carb!!!

Check it out!! On the front page of the website!

http://content.nejm.org/

I haven't read the full articles but from what I hear they are more of the 'Wow, it does work, but what about long-term?" studies that we have already heard a million times.

The difference is that The New England Journal of Medicine is primary-level literature for the Medical community.

So even though it is the same-ol' same-ol' to us, this is a HUGE step towards real solid credibility in the medical world at large, IMO.

Very good news!
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  #21   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 10:46
Ogden Ogden is offline
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Plan: Modified Atkins
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Progress: 34%
Location: Boston
Default

If you want to see the New England Journal of Medicine articles you can check out:

http://nejm.org/

The are right on the front page.

THis is great news really, even with the various opinions and interpretations of the results. NEJM is the medical "Big Time" and that there is a article about a supposed "fad" diet that suggests it might actually work in the journal means that word is spreading.

NEJM conveys a lot a credibility.
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  #22   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 10:55
Jannie's Avatar
Jannie Jannie is offline
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Posts: 499
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 184/156/160 Female 71 inches
BF:
Progress: 117%
Location: Baltimore, MD area
Exclamation

I agree, sometimes you gotta take baby steps. Hey, I went my local GNC yesterday, and they told me they keep selling out of anything Atkins to such an extent that they can't stay stocked-nice problem, and an indication to me that there is a groundswell of interest coming-so stick with it and keep spreading the word, everyone!
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  #23   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 11:02
TBird710's Avatar
TBird710 TBird710 is offline
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Posts: 129
 
Plan: Atkinsish
Stats: 249/229/165 Female 5'7"
BF:
Progress: 24%
Location: Monmouth Co., New Jersey
Default

I find it interesting that these reports say that they aren't sure of long term health benefits and keeping the weight off. Didn't Dr. Atkins live this way for 30 years?
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  #24   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 11:15
cre8tivgrl's Avatar
cre8tivgrl cre8tivgrl is offline
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Posts: 2,045
 
Plan: Low carb
Stats: 20/08/00 Female 5'10"
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Progress: 60%
Location: The great Northwest
Default

The Today Show covered it this morning too. I think it's fabulous. Definately a step in the right direction!!
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  #25   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 12:29
Kent's Avatar
Kent Kent is offline
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Posts: 356
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 256/220/215 Male 78 inches
BF:36/28/20
Progress: 88%
Location: Colorado
Default Positive and accurate news report on Atkins' diet.

Celebrity diet 'safe and effective'
BBC Health News
Last Updated: Thursday, 22 May, 2003, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK


The controversial Atkins diet, favoured by many celebrities, may be as safe and effective as low-calorie weight-loss plans, researchers say.

People on the Atkins diet are allowed unlimited amounts of proteins and fats but have to restrict their carbohydrate intake.

Some experts are concerned that although this leads to short-term weight loss, the Atkins diet is not balanced, and can lead to long-term kidney damage in some.

US researchers looking at 63 obese men and women aged 44 who weighed, on average, 216 pounds.

They were divided into two groups; those in the Atkins diet were asked to follow the diet's plan while those in the conventional group were told to eat a diet of 60% carbohydrates, 25% fat and 15% protein.

Men were limited to 1500 to 1800 calories a day, and women to 1200 to 1500.

They were assessed by a dietician after three, six and 12 months.

In the early stages, those on the Atkins diet lost twice as much weight as those on the conventional eating plan.

At three months, the Atkins group had lost an average of 17.6 pounds, compared to an average of 8.3 pounds in the other group.

After six months, they had lost an average of 21.2 pounds compared to 11.5.

'No adverse effects'

After a year, the difference between the two groups was narrower.

The Atkins group had lost an average of 15.9 pounds compared to 9.7 pounds in the other group - but the researchers say this figure is not statistically significant as almost half of the participants had dropped out of the study by this point.

But those on the Atkins diet had seen a much greater increase in their levels of HDL or 'good' cholesterol.

They also saw greater falls in triglyceride levels - a type of fatty acid found in the blood.

Professor Gary Foster of the University of Pennsylvania, who worked on the study, said: "Widely recommending low carbohydrate approaches may be premature, but our initial findings suggest that such diets may not have the adverse effects that were anticipated.

"The real issue is whether low carbohydrate approaches help patients maintain their weight loss better than conventional approaches.

"It will also be important to determine whether the effects of the diet on cholesterol are the same during weight maintenance as they are they are during weight loss."

A second study of 130 patients carried out by researchers at the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia found a low carbohydrate diet was linked to greater weight loss and reductions in triglycerides and improvements in insulin sensitivity compared to a low-fat diet.

Fast weight loss

Catherine Collins of the British Dietetic Association said the initial stage of the Atkins diet involved cutting out virtually all carbohydrates - dieters are allowed to eat no more than 20 grams a day which must come in the form of salad greens and other vegetables.

No fruit, bread, pasta, grains or starchy vegetables are allowed during this period.

She said this, combined with the fact that dieters' bodies would then use up energy from carbohydrates, stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles, meaning people lost weight quickly.

Atkins dieters are later allowed to introduce small amounts of carbohydrates, but Ms Collins said: "If people know they are going to be checked, they could go back to this more intense diet so they could lose weight quickly."

But she said the finding on HDL cholesterol was interesting.

She added: "On the face of it, this study suggests the Atkins diet isn't that bad, but more research is certainly needed."

The research is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Kent
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  #26   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 12:38
Groggy60's Avatar
Groggy60 Groggy60 is offline
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Posts: 486
 
Plan: IF/Low carb
Stats: 219/201/172 Male 70 inches
BF:
Progress: 38%
Location: Ottawa, ON
Default

A local rock music station was talking about it this morning.

I find it funny they keep saying that after a year the two diets are the same for weight loss. You would think the improved insulin response, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels would be enough to recommend low-carbing, even if the weight loss wasn't slightly bigger. They don't even touch on the attitudes of dieters and the fact low-carb is so much easier to do.
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  #27   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 15:57
c6h6o3 c6h6o3 is offline
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Posts: 312
 
Plan: Bernstein
Stats: 203/171/170
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Progress: 97%
Location: DC Metro
Default Orwellian Doublespeak

The report about the studies I heard on "All Things Considered" said (I'm paraphrasing here, but I'm close): "The Atkins dieters actually showed higher HDL (that's the good cholesterol) at the end of the study than the low fat dieters. That doesn't mean that the Atkins diet is healthier, though."

Well, what does it mean, then? It would seem to me that if more benefits accrue from one diet over another, and there are no deleterious effects, that that diet would be healthier. At least on Planet Earth. I never heard one single evidentiary fact or read of one in the paper of any negative effects of the Atkins diet in these studies. They just state their findings like above and then come to their pre-determined opposite conclusion. Watch out! Get out of the way of that telescreen. The Diet Police might see you discard your bread.
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  #28   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 16:03
c6h6o3 c6h6o3 is offline
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Posts: 312
 
Plan: Bernstein
Stats: 203/171/170
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Progress: 97%
Location: DC Metro
Default Re: news

Quote:
Originally posted by nopie
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).


Both such good points.

It never ceases to amaze me that anybody has trouble staying on a low carb diet, because for me it was so effortless. Maybe I wasn't so insulin resistant as some people, but I never felt deprived. It's the low fat people who are so screamingly hungry all the time. The only trouble I have is finding enough variety, especially when I eat out.

I consider my diagnosis of diabetes a great blessing, because it got me healthy and I never would've done that on my own. Maybe if there were more emphasis on optimal health and less on weight loss (which just happens as you get healthy) there wouldn't even be a low carb/low fat "debate".
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  #29   ^
Old Thu, May-22-03, 16:22
tamarian's Avatar
tamarian tamarian is offline
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Posts: 19,512
 
Plan: Atkins/PP/BFL
Stats: 400/223/200 Male 5 ft 11
BF:37%/17%/12%
Progress: 89%
Location: Ottawa, ON
Default

Atkins Diet Bolstered by Two New Studies

Wed May 21,2003

By JANET McCONNAUGHEY, Associated Press Writer

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 (news - web sites), 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. 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. 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.

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.

___

On the Net:

www.nejm.org

http://atkinscenter.com

American Dietetic Association: www.eatright.org

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tm.../ap/atkins_diet
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  #30   ^
Old Fri, May-23-03, 16:24
gotbeer's Avatar
gotbeer gotbeer is offline
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Default "The fat and the thin of it"

The fat and the thin of it

A study published this week argues that the controversial Atkins diet does help you lose weight - and is safe. Ian Sample reports

Friday May 23, 2003 The Guardian


link to article

It's little more than a month since Dr Robert Atkins, the millionaire diet guru, died from head injuries after slipping on ice outside his New York clinic. His big idea, that slashing carbohydrates while feasting on high-protein foods, was the answer to the western world's spiralling fat epidemic, drew criticism as soon as it was first published in 1973, and has remained controversial ever since.

But this week, arguably the best evidence that the diet is not only effective, but safe, too, was published in a respectable medical journal. So is it time for the establishment that united against him to eat its words?

Until now, most scientific studies apparently supporting the benefits of Atkins' diet have largely been rubbished. For them, too few studies compared people on the Atkins diet with those on more conventional diets, or on no diet at all.

Without the comparison, it was impossible to work out just how effective, if at all, the Atkins diet was. But whatever the scientists thought about it, the Atkins philosophy has proved a remarkably attractive one. In the 30 years since it was first published, Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution has sold more than 10 million copies and been read by some 30 million people. And in recent years the diet has soared to new heights of popularity, inspired by the example of celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Geri Halliwell, Minnie Driver and Renee Zellweger, all of whom have been linked with the low-carb philosophy.

Countless women all over the world now routinely sit down to meals consisting almost entirely of meat, eggs and cheese, in the hope of a miraculous weight drop. But can it really be true that eating this way can make you thinner, without any cost to your health?

The publication of two papers in the New England Journal of Medicine this week prompted headlines that suggested the confirmation Atkins had long wished for had finally arrived. First, a team at the University of Pennsylvania tested the effect of the Atkins diet against a conventional low-fat diet on 63 obese men and women over the period of a year. Meanwhile, another team in Philadelphia followed 132 severely obese people on either a standard low-fat diet, or an Atkins-like low- carbohydrate diet.

At first glance the results do indeed appear convincing. Both studies found that those on the low-carbohydrate diet lost more weight in the first six months - six or seven kilograms as opposed to two or three kilograms. Philadelphia's study found that the levels of a blood fat called triglyceride had also dropped. Newspaper headlines enthusiastically heralded the holy grail of diet plans.

But as a more detailed reading of the research reveals, they may have been premature. At the end of a year, the group tested in Pennsylvania showed no difference in weight loss, regardless of the diet they had been on. The results of both tests, it seems, should be treated with caution. "My take on both papers is that they didn't recruit enough people and there was a large drop-out rate, which makes it very difficult to read anything into them," says Robert Bonow, president of the American Heart Association. Nearly half of those taken on for the studies dropped out.

The Atkins diet is supposed to work like this. If you all but strip out carbohydrates from your diet, but eat lots of protein, your body is forced into an unusual situation. First of all, your body will stop releasing floods of insulin, the hormone Atkins referred to as the "fattening hormone". The result, the argument goes, is that less fat is stored in the body. There's a secondary effect, too. Load the body full of protein and you force the kidneys to work to get rid of them. This takes energy. Without the carbohydrate to power the process, the body starts breaking down fat to make fuel. That, at least, is the idea.

It is true to some extent. Talk to someone who has been on the Atkins diet for long enough and you will likely smell pear drops on their breath. It's the result of compounds called ketones that are released when fat is broken down in the body. The condition is called ketosis and often makes people feel nauseous. Which is a side-effect that can help people lose weight, simply by putting them off their food.

But nutritionists reckon this only contributes a tiny amount to any weight loss. The real reason the diet works, they say, is because it is so horrendously dull. The fact that people dropped out of the diet studies, and typically fail to keep going with the Atkins diet in real life, too, is exactly what you would expect, they argue.

"The diet works because you are simply not eating as many calories," says Toni Steer at the Medical Research Council's Human Nutrition Research Unit in Cambridge. "It's simply too monotonous. If you sit down and try to eat just a plate of meat, it's very difficult to do it in any quantity. And at the end of the day, a calorie is a calorie, however you get it."

What's more, the Atkins diet is still considered to be likely to cause medical problems. As the body strives to break down the extra protein it has been landed with, it produces by-products that make the blood more acidic. To neutralise it, the body starts excreting calcium, which would otherwise go into making bones. "Since women are more susceptible to bone-wasting conditions like osteoporosis, losing calcium is a big issue," says Sarah Stanner of the British Nutrition Foundation.

That the Atkins diet can potentially cause medical problems is not a new idea and many people - mostly women who give the diet a try - are aware of this. But why do they take the risk knowing there are healthier ways of dieting? "People today want to see quick results. They want dramatic weight loss in a short time. They see celebrities in the media who appear to have transformed themselves, and that contributes to it," says Steer.

"People are more motivated by cosmetic issues than health issues," says Stanner. "If they think they are going to lose weight, they might be motivated by that even if it's not the best thing for their health."

Calcium loss is just one of the problems nutritionists are concerned about. The Atkins diet is also low in fibre, the results of which are well known. "Because it's low in fibre, people complain of diarrhoea or sometimes constipation," says Stanner.

Fruit and vegetables are not something the body can live healthily without for long. "If you don't eat fruit and vegetables, you are excluding a lot of essential minerals and vitamins from your diet. And we know that consuming these foods reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer," says Steer. The problem is that long-term studies to find out if going without these foods does lead to more heart disease and cancer have not been done. "We still need to know more, and until we do no more, I'm not going to recommend the Atkins diet," says Bonow.

One of the biggest problems is that many of those trying to lose weight are obese people who are susceptible to diabetes. Because diabetes slowly but steadily damages the kidneys, the extra burden of a high-protein diet can be enough to speed up the kidney damage. "If you've got that early, slow kidney damage going on, and many diabetics don't know it, a high-protein diet is going to be a problem," says Bonow.

So the jury remains out on Atkins' big idea, and the prognosis for the future of dieting is rather more mundane. According to Bonow, to lose weight and keep it off, you need three things: motivation, diet and exercise.

And unless you want to lose weight fast, only to put it all back on again in a few months, your best bet, he says, is to choose a reduced- fat diet. "No one has ever shown that with the Atkins diet you can both lose weight and maintain that loss. But with reduced fat diets, you can do this.

"The initial weight loss is easy. It's maintaining it over the course of time that's more difficult. Studies that look at people who are successful at losing weight and maintaining weight loss for five to 10 years are primarily people who are on a reduced-fat diet and exercise more," he says.
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