South Beach Diet Fat Chicks on the Beach!

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Old 05-27-2004, 07:07 AM   #1  
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Default New York Times article re: Atkins

I'm not inserting this to start a debate. Just as general interest.

Dieter Sues Atkins Estate and Company

May 27, 2004

A 53-year-old man sued the estate of Dr. Robert C. Atkins
and the company that promotes his diet yesterday. The suit
says following the Atkins diet for two years raised the
man's cholesterol so much that his arteries became clogged
and required a medical procedure to open them.

The suit is apparently the first to involve the diet, the
most prominent and controversial low-carbohydrate regimen
and the one most associated with assertions that followers
could eat all the red meat and saturated fat they wanted
and still lose weight.

The plaintiff, Jody Gorran, who is being assisted by the
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an advocacy
group that supports a vegan diet, is seeking $28,000 in
damages. Mr. Gorran said he was using the suit to tell
other people about the dangers of the diet and to have its
promoters include warnings in books, other products and Web

Mr. Gorran, of Delray Beach, Fla., said that in 2001, when
his weight crept up to 148 from 140 he turned to the diet,
specifically, the 1999 edition of "Dr. Atkins' New Diet
Revolution." After two months he said, his cholesterol shot
from 146, well within the normal range, to 230, considered
in the hazardous range.

In October 2003, after three episodes of chest pain,
doctors found that Mr. Gorran had a 99 percent blockage in
a major artery and performed angioplasty and inserted a
stent to keep it open. Before starting the diet, he said,
tests showed that his arteries were clear.

In responding to a request for comment, a representative
for Atkins Nutritionals and the estate of Dr. Atkins said
they stood by "the science that has repeatedly reaffirmed
the safety and health benefits of Atkins."

Speaking of the Physicians Committee for Responsible
Nutrition, the statement says that the organization, "a
well-known vegan and animal rights group, has a long
history of initiating these kinds of scare tactics that are
designed to convince the American public to stop eating
animal protein of any sort."

Dr. Frank M. Sacks, a professor of cardiovascular disease
prevention at the Harvard School of Public Health who is a
critic of the diet and who looked at Mr. Gorran's medical
records at the request of The New York Times, said he was
not surprised by the increase in cholesterol.

"It could happen in two weeks," Dr. Sacks said. "There are
definitely people that happens to, though it is not a

The American Heart Association said it would not comment on
the suit, but issued a statement saying, "Eating large
amounts of high-fat foods for a sustained period raises the
risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and
several types of cancer."

Mr. Gorran said in his suit that after his cholesterol had
increased he was encouraged to continue the plan by a
passage in the book that acknowledged that cholesterol
would increase for about one in three dieters. The book
says those people should "eat only the lean proteins -
turkey roll, skinless chicken breast, fish, farmer cheese,
lean cuts of meat and so on - but do not increase your
carbohydrate intake more than 5 grams. However, if you are
not happy on the low-fat version of the diet or get hungry,
or don't feel well on it, then don't bother with it; go
back to the regular Atkins diet that you enjoyed more."

"I contend there ought to be a warning on this diet," Mr.
Gorran said in a telephone interview from Florida, where he
filed the suit. "I'm seeking an injunction to prevent them
from selling their products, books, or having their Web
site without a warning, because they know one-third of the
people on the diet will have what Atkins referred to as
'less favorable cholesterol.' "

Within two months after going off the Atkins diet, where
his favorite foods were cheese every day and cheesecake
three times a week, his cholesterol dropped to 146.

Mr. Gorran, a wealthy owner of a manufacturer of solar
panels for swimming pools, said he enlisted the physicians'
organization "because they are familiar with publicity.''

"The whole thing is based on getting the word out,'' he
said. "Even if the suit never gets anywhere, we'll be out
there and people will start to think."

A law professor who read the complaint said he did not
think that it would get anywhere.

"The lawsuit has two serious shortcomings from the legal
point of view," said the professor, Benjamin Zipursky, who
teaches torts and product liability law, said. "Tort law
generally does not permit a cause of action or lawsuit
based on bad theories put out in a book, and most courts
would recognize a valid First Amendment defense here. I
would be surprised if the case were not eventually
dismissed before getting to a jury."

Professor Zipursky said that the suit was "chock-full of
information about criticism of the Atkins diet.''

"So it really reads as if it were done by someone who is
doing it for reasons of publicity rather than private
gain,'' he added. "Not only is each claim for relief less
than $15,000, it does not ask for punitive damages, which I
think is appropriate and a sign of their seriousness."

The suit is not the first against a diet book. In 1989, a
suit against the publisher of "The Last Chance Diet," by
Robert Linn, a doctor of osteopathy, said someone died
following the liquid protein diet in the book. A judge
threw out the suit.

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Old 05-27-2004, 07:15 AM   #2  
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No debate here. The high sat-fat in the Atkins plan always bothered me. However, people do lose on it and remain healthy. I guess everyone has to find their own plan and monitor their own health.
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Old 05-27-2004, 08:35 AM   #3  
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There was a lady in Newfoundland not long ago who died from complications to her kidneys she as well was following Atkins. With all the information out there it is amazes me that people still want to diet and not find a healthy way of eating. It is the only thing that works.
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Old 05-27-2004, 09:36 AM   #4  
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Hi, all!

I had a long talk with my doctor before starting SBD, which she recommended. She said that she had done a lot of research on Atkins and was surprised to find that many people have lower cholesterol after being on Atkins. However, she does not recommend Atkins because she believes that patients find it hard to sustain. They lose the weight, but it is not a diet that they can live with for the long term. SBD has many good side effects and is a diet that people can live with, so she recommended that I try it. I saw her a week ago and she was very pleased with my progress so far and noted that many of my other concerns may go away as I progress on SBD.

I do agree with you, Little Chick. It is tough to understand why people would rather participate in odd diets than chose a healthy diet for life.
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Old 05-27-2004, 02:49 PM   #5  
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no debate here either, but i am concerned that theyre are so many people out there that dont think there is a difference between the SBD and atkins, i am suprised to find when talking to people they are under the assumption that it is a spin off from it. I hope people dont over look this way of life thinking of the bad publicity atkins gets.
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Old 05-27-2004, 05:02 PM   #6  
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There was a documentary on different diet plans here not long ago. I missed it unfortunately but what they said was that Dr Atkins often worked because people tended to choose not to eat the fat after awhile, but cut out all the processed carbs (white bread, pasta and rice). In other words the success stories on this doco erred more towards a South Beach Diet anyway.

They also looked at the effect of fat and protein on food consumption. Two groups were placed on two different eating plans - one was high fat and the other low fat. They thought the high fat eaters would eat less because they would get full faster but the opposite happened. They ate portions as large as the low fat group (and this contained more calories) and got hungrier sooner. The 'experts' claimed that the protein fulled you up and the fat made you hungrier sooner. So fat must work in a similar way to bad carbs.
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Old 05-27-2004, 07:48 PM   #7  
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I started on Atkins! Then I went to my doctor to discuss my weight with her and she requested that I switch to SBD because she didn't want my cholesterol to shoot through the roof!! She thinks that SBD is the better diet because it incorporates many many more veggies than Atkins and I totally agree!!
I love SBD and I have never been hungry after a meal as I was with atkins and I don't feel sick after eating a meal anymore because my meals aren't filled with FAT ugghhh!! Also all that fat brings havoc on your digestive system if you know what i mean!!
Great Article thanks for sharing
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Old 05-27-2004, 08:33 PM   #8  
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I don't have a debate either because I know I didn't feel the best on Atkins. I felt clogged I can actually eat too, like MichelleRae stated, because I don't feel sick looking at the meal ahead of me.

However, I have a problem with the media, although they did impress me by giving Atkins side. Hopefully in the court they will find out if the man was actually following the Atkins diet as was written because since his favorite foods were cheese everyday and cheesecake three times a week, I began to wonder if he was consuming any veggies. I just wonder how quickly arteries can clog? If that is the case, mine should be horrible.

Anyways great article Ellis. It just reinforces how much I LOVE SBD and thankful Dr. A won't be getting any lawsuits thrown at his company.
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