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More MS news articles for July 2003

Doctors Reveal Dangers of Atkins Diet

Doctors reveal dangers of Atkins diet in national advertising campaign: recent studies link meat-heavy diets to kidney damage, osteoporosis and colon cancer

Tue 15-Jul-2003

To counter widespread misinformation about the Atkins diet, including the misrepresentation of two studies recently published in New England Journal of Medicine, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is launching a summer ad campaign with two high-impact ads.

The full-page print ad, “High-Protein Diets Can Have Surprising Results,” will appear in the Hospital Guide of U.S. News & World Report, which hits newsstands July 21. The stark, black-and-white TV spot, “Safe Diets” airs throughout the month of July in hospital waiting rooms and doctors’ offices on CNN’s AccentHealth. View the ads at

“A fad-free approach to long-term weight loss is best, and that means a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and rice,” says Jen Keller, R.D., staff dietitian for PCRM. “Far from vindicating the Atkins diet, the studies published recently in New England Journal of Medicine reinforce what many health professionals have been saying all along: high-protein diets are hard to stick with and the weight loss is unimpressive.”

In 1990, a groundbreaking study published in Lancet concluded that a low-fat, vegetarian diet can reverse heart disease, and scientific studies have appeared every year since then showing this approach is best for long-term health and weight loss. During the same period of time, numerous studies have been published linking heavy meat consumption to serious illness. For example, a Harvard study published earlier this year in Annals of Internal Medicine showed that high-protein diets may cause permanent loss of kidney function in anyone with reduced kidney function. It is important for dieters to take this into account since as many as one in four Americans may already have renal problems. Other studies conclude that meat-heavy diets significantly increase one’s risk of colon cancer and osteoporosis.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, especially good nutrition. PCRM also conducts clinical research studies, opposes unethical human experimentation, and promotes alternatives to animal research.

Copyright © 2003, Newswise