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Robert Atkins (nutritionist)
Robert Coleman Atkins, MD (October 17, 1930 – April 17, 2003) was an American physician and cardiologist, best known for the Atkins Nutritional Approach (or "Atkins Diet"), a popular but controversial way of dieting that entails eating low-carbohydrate and high-protein foods, in addition to leaf vegetables and dietary supplements.
Additional recommended knowledge
Around 2000, Atkins started to develop a heart condition, cardiomyopathy, which he claimed was unrelated to his diet. On April 18, 2002, Atkins suffered a cardiac arrest caused by an infection that spread to his heart muscle. At the time, Clyde Yancy, a cardiologist and member of the board of directors of the American Heart Association, was quoted as saying, "Despite the obvious irony, I believe there is a total disconnect between the cardiac arrest and the health approach he (Atkins) popularizes."
On April 8, 2003, Atkins slipped on ice and fell in front of his medical office in New York City and sustained major head injuries that put him in a coma. News of this quickly turned into rumors that Atkins had a heart attack while he was on his own diet. He never recovered from his injuries, and subsequently died on April 17 of kidney failure. Although it was illegal to do so, the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office released Atkins' medical records to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group associated with PETA and which advocates a vegetarian diet. The record stated his weight to be approximately 255 lb (116 kg) at the time of death. In terms of simple height/weight measure (BMI), this would mean he was obese; the apparent irony of a diet guru being obese caused the information to be circulated around the world by the media and animal rights groups, much to the distress of his family. The Atkins company released a statement claiming that he weighed only 196 lb (89 kg) upon admission to the hospital and that his apparent increase in weight was due to fluid retention following the failure of his major organs. William Leith interviewed him in the period between his cardiac arrest and his fall. Leith writes, "He looks to be just under 6 feet tall and around 200 lbs – not skinny, not thin, but definitely not fat. The jowls around his neck are fairly minimal, signs of age rather than excess weight."
It should be noted that due to the great popularity of low carbohydrate diets in 2002-2003, Atkins had made many television appearances in the year before his death. This would have made it very difficult to hide it if Atkins had, indeed, been obese.
Bankruptcy of company
On July 31, 2005, Atkins Nutritionals—the company that Atkins founded in 1989—filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York. The company had been hurt in recent years by the fading popularity of its namesake diet and the rising popularity of other high-protein/low-carb diet plans. The company emerged from bankruptcy January 10, 2006 with a business strategy that softened the emphasis on the low carbohydrate diet and concentrated on the sales of prepared nutritional bars and shakes.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Robert_Atkins_(nutritionist)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|