Medical Group Challenges Atkins Diet

Key Takeaways:

  • The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is campaigning against the Atkins diet, aiming to raise public awareness about potential health complications from the low-carb, high-protein, meat-centric diet.
  • The Atkins Center refutes these concerns, labeling the Physicians Committee as an edgy organization in alignment with the animal rights advocacy group and accusing them of promoting a politicized agenda.
  • The American Medical Association holds a neutral stance on the Atkins diet, as well as other similar high-protein, low-carb diets.
  • Various medical studies suggest that a high-protein, low-carb diet could lead to health issues, such as kidney stones, osteoporosis, heart disease, and colon cancer.
  • The anti-Atkins movement, spearheaded by the Physicians Committee is collecting narratives from individuals claiming to have fallen ill due to this diet, to inform U.S. regulatory agencies.

An esteemed medical association, The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, has initiated a crusade against the Atkins diet.

Campaign Against Atkins Diet

Its campaign, labeled as “Disputes with the Atkins Diet?” encompasses an online registry for individuals to document health complications they assert are outcomes of this contentious weight-loss regimen.

The ultimate objective of this movement is to heighten public awareness about the plethora of health complications that could stem from consuming the low-carb, high-protein, meat-centric Atkins diet, states the committee’s chairperson, Dr. Neal Barnard.

“It is worrisome to see individuals so fervently chasing weight loss that they resort to perilous approaches,” warns Dr. Barnard. “We have seen this trend with Fen-phen, and its associated significant heart disease risks. It’s evident with amphetamine use, and risky diets which recommend a mere 400 calories.”

The same is noted with the Atkins diet. The weight loss experienced by most individuals doesn’t align with the sensational headlines and the long-term adverse impacts are of substantial concern.

Retaliation from Atkins Center

Nevertheless, the Atkins Center has returned fire, labeling the Physicians Committee an edgy organization in cahoots with the animal-rights advocacy group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

“This medical committee is a radical vegetarian animal-rights faction that has been consistently disparaged by the American Medical Association,” counters Michael Bernstein, senior vice president of Atkins Health and Medical Information Services in New York City. “Their agenda is clearly politically-driven rather than medically or scientifically grounded.”

Position of the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association (AMA) holds a neutral stance on the Atkins diet, and any other similar high-protein, low-carb diets. The AMA had censured the Physicians Committee in the past for its crusade against biomedical research but has remained silent on the Atkins diet issue, an AMA spokesperson affirms.

Health Dangers of a Low-Carbohydrate, High-Protein Diet

The Physicians Committee references a significant assortment of medical studies evaluating the health risks associated with a high-protein, low-carb diet. Recent research suggests diets laden with meat may lead to a host of health issues, including kidney stones, osteoporosis, heart disease, and colon cancer.

“The crux of the matter is that weight loss can be achieved in several ways. The healthiest methods resort to a low-fat, high-fiber diet, with maximum vegetarian options,” advises Dr. Barnard. “The Atkins diet is completely contradictory to this.”

Atkins Diet Overview

The Atkins diet, popular among those struggling with weight issues, recommends primarily a meat, dairy and non-starchy vegetable diet, with minimal intake of starchy vegetables, fruits, bread or other grains.

“The foundation of this diet is a massive reduction in carbohydrate intake which essentially eliminates a variety of foods, leaving out bread, rice, pasta, beans, starchy vegetables such as potatoes,” Dr. Barnard emphasizes. “This is unhealthy.”

The Anti-Atkins Movement

The anti-Atkins movement made its debut last week, with a promotional banner on the webpage of the Journal of Family Practices. There is now a website,, ready to collect narratives from individuals claiming to have fallen ill due to this diet. The group will submit these complaints to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

What To Do

For more insights on high-protein, low-carb diets, you can refer to this article from American Medical Association News. For guidance on maintaining a balanced diet, please see this guide from You can also learn about the Physicians Committee’s campaign against the Atkins diet here.

Susan Levin

Hello, wellness enthusiasts! I'm Dr. Susan Levin, and while I may share a name with a certain American film producer, our domains couldn’t be more different! My silver screen is the world of medical science, and I have a deep-rooted passion for guiding individuals on their health journeys.Born and raised amidst the picturesque landscapes of Great Britain, I've also called the vibrant state of New Jersey my home for a significant chapter of my life. Both places have contributed to my understanding of health, community, and the diverse lifestyles that shape our well-being.With an M.D. in hand and a wealth of knowledge from years of practice, my goal on is to translate complex medical jargon into understandable, actionable advice for our readers. From the latest health trends to tried-and-true practices, I aim to be your reliable source for all things health and wellness.Join me as we unravel the intricacies of the human body and mind, ensuring that your health journey is informed, inspired, and most importantly, effective.
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