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Drama Over Atkins Weight Loss Plan

Aug 17, 2007
It all started when a doctor sparked on a topic within earshot of an ardent low-carb blogger. The doctor, an associate professor, Dr David Katz of Yale University was reported by Forbes to have claimed that the Atkins diet had resulted to the hospitalization of one of his patients. The blogger and also purveyor of low-carb diets Jimmy Moore of Livin La Vida Low-Carb Blog felt his feathers ruffled by this claim.

Moore, author of the weight loss book with a similar title to his blog, and the subtitle 'My Journey from Flabby Fat to Sensationally Skinny in One Year' claims to be living proof that low-carbs work. He says he has lost over 180 pound on a low-card diet in a year. In his blog on he posted an article titled 'Health experts gang up on Atkins Diet' where he criticized, first the media for a seemingly regular "orchestrated negative splash against low-carb diets". The article in contention was one appearing in Forbes titled "Atkins diet not safe for everyone" where Dr. Katz was reported to have had a patient that developed serious ketoacidosis which he linked to the Atkins diet the unnamed patient was on.

Secondly, Moore turned on the doctors cited in the article starting with Kartz. Moore went to the extent of calling the co-authored diet book by Dr Katz Flavor Point Diet "one of the biggest fad diet books you'll ever read". Disdainfully, but seemingly aggrieved, the good doctor responded to the posting by email. Moore went on to dissect the email in his blog.

Dr. David L. Katz is a clinical professor, division of Health Policy and Administration, Epidemiology and Public Health of Yale University. Even Moore, though sarcastically, thinks of him as a nutritional genius with his string of titles.

Katz asserted that Moore has no academic ground to differ with him. And on the doctor's bashing of the Atkins diet, Katz says he wasn't starting on bashing the diet rather he's "been beating up on Atkins for years, never wavered never will".
He further criticized the diet as lacking in fundamentals of healthful eating and sustainable weight loss. Moore on the other hand defended it on grounds that he's 180 pounds lighter.

Atkins diet is a low-carb ketogenic diet designed for weight loss using significant changes in your dietary macro-nutrients. It recommends you eat fat and more proteins to replace the highly restricted carbohydrates. This is unconventional as carbohydrates are considered to be the primary source of calories for the body. Often this drastic change of dietary requirement is viewed with great suspicion. But the underlying question and continued basis of feuds such as this is how do we explain outstanding results by people like Jimmy Moore?

Lyn Steffan of the University of Minnesota school of Public Health was reported in the contentious Forbes article as saying that low-carb diets are not diets for life. She went on to recommend a healthy diet that results to weight loss and that can be used for life. But the question still remains unanswered. How do Moore and others who swear by low-carbs mange to shed off pound of body fat, improve their cholesterol and claim to be healthy.

Steffan seems to think it's not sustainable long-term. Then one wonders what she thinks of the massai diet that is low-carb, high fat and high protein like Atkins. Yet the East African massai, who are extremely lean, have lived with the diet for centuries.

So would this comparison vindicate Atkins diet?

It is best to view weight loss in the environment in which it occurs. A particular lifestyle is associated with obesity. Naturally, to deal conclusively with the menace one has to deal with the environment in which it occurs. Permanent weight loss is possible; it is also possible that it can be achieved relatively fast, safely as well as healthy. But this requires a holistic and long-term approach. Such a weight loss plan should deal with most of the reasons that result to weight gain.
About the Author
Mark Kimathi writes about Weight Loss at Health-eMark.com and related topics like weight loss surgery.
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