February 10, 2004

Atkins Politics!

Confirmed. No autopsy on Dr. Atkins. I have long wondered that - whether one would be performed, but the man did have a history of heart disease, so I guess he wasn't going to open that can of worms.

Looks like some others did in reminding us of the late Dr. Atkins' cardiovascular system woes. And stirred up a hornet's nest in the meantime.

Atkins Nutritionals (and the widow Atkins) and a bunch of vegetarian doctors. Do you think that perhaps these folks would NEVER agree? I'm thinking that's the case.

Anyway, Yahoo's got an article about the craziness ensuing. It says things like this:
NEW YORK - Dr. Robert Atkins, whose popular diet stresses protein-rich meat and cheese over carbohydrates, weighed 258 pounds at his death and had a history of heart disease, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Atkins died last April at age 72 after being injured in a fall on an icy street.

Before his death, he had suffered a heart attack, congestive heart failure and hypertension, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a report by the city medical examiner.

At 258 pounds, the 6-foot-tall Atkins would have qualified as obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites)'s body-mass index calculator.
You know, newspapers put all of that important info at the top, no? That stuff you JUST CAN'T MISS. If you walk away from the article having read only that, you don't get the whole picture. It later states that no autopsy was performed and that the conclusions were formed only by reviewing medical records created, presumably, when Dr. Atkins was still alive and about yapping about his diet.

For every assertion, the Atkins pharmaceuticals have a loud "BUT!" What that "BUT" is telling you, gentle readers, is that there's still a lot of money to be made with this low-carb diet stuff. As far as the origin of Dr. Atkins' cardiovascular issues, who knows? How likely is it for a human to get cardiomyopathy - or heart infection - as humans quoted in this article asserted caused Atkins' issues? 50,000 Americans have it, according to this website, which appears to be an offshoot of the National Institute of Health.

Okay, I'll buy that's possible. I don't know about likely, though. Hard to glean any facts out of this political mess. So that's what I'll diagnose the situation as - a political mess. So don't expect me to forgo my whole wheat pasta spaghetti for lunch.


Posted by hln at February 10, 2004 12:33 PM | Nutrition | TrackBack

So a bunch of loony vegans get a hold of Atkins medical records (illegally), and try to use them to discredit the diet. Whatever. Honestly, I can't believe the amount of energy, and vitriol, some people are willing to devote to telling people what they should and should not eat. Personally, I'll stay on Atkins as long as it continues to work for me (close to 30 lbs worth so far), and if other people want to eat differently, more power to 'em.

Posted by: Spoons at February 10, 2004 02:28 PM

I think they're actually loony vegeterians (they make those, too) and not vegans.

But still - yes, this article clears nothing. Such fun.


Posted by: hln at February 10, 2004 11:28 PM

And these guys are certainly loony. As in, PETA looney. Check this out:

They have several undisclosed six digit contributors on thier tax return. I would bet cash money that one of those is PETA.

Posted by: Phelps at February 12, 2004 06:23 PM


My ex-husband had a cold that lasted for weeks. He became very ill and ended up in the cardiac intensive care unit for 6 weeks. He was 32 years old at that time, and he weighed 180 at 6'3". Not overweight at all.
The result of this virus - cardiomyopathy. He has suffered with this for many years (he is now 50 years old) and the drugs that keep him alive do make him swell up quite a bit - but his cholesterol levels are perfect.

His case is so bad that he had to have a defribilator implanted in his chest and is no longer able to practice law because of the implant. (a shock is a pretty traumatic thing for a jury to watch).

He would qualify for a heart transplant, but has decided not to go that route.

His heart disease has absolutely nothing to do with his diet.

Cardiomyopathy is not at all common, (50,000 cases out of 290,809,777 Americans (as of July 1, 2003) is about .00001 percent of the population. Cardiomyopathy is caused by a viral infection. It is terribly unfair for you to infer that it is caused by diet.

I understand that you keep thin by running and eating lots of carbs. Not everyone has the same body chemistry, and many people lose weight on a low carb diet, and decrease their cholesterol levels and blood pressure while doing so.

This is just something you and I will never agree on, but I did want to point out that 50,000 is a statistically insignificant number.

Posted by: Beth at February 15, 2004 10:11 AM

lady your wrong diet has everything to do with your heart ample supply of the right nutrients and a viral infection wouldn't be stop listening to docters start thinking for yourself for once.

Posted by: jade at March 28, 2004 10:24 AM