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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April, 2003, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Diet guru Atkins dies
Dr Robert Atkins
Robert Atkins' diet was controversial
Controversial US diet guru Dr Robert Atkins has died, aged 72, a week after he injured his head in a fall.

Dr Atkins died at New York's Weill-Cornell Medical Center and was surrounded by his wife and close friends, said Richard Rothstein, his spokesman.

He had suffered a severe head injury on 8 April after falling on an icy pavement while walking to his office in New York.

The doctor shot to fame in the early 1970s with his Atkins diet, a low-carbohydrate, high-protein eating regime.

Followers of the Atkins diet are allowed to eat unlimited meat, eggs, fish and shellfish.

But they can only eat small amounts of carbohydrates, such as bread, potatoes and pasta.

Celebrity diet

Dr Atkins first advocated his unorthodox weight-loss plan in his 1972 book, Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution."

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston
Brad and Jennifer are said to be devotees of low-carb diets
Its publication came at a time when the medical establishment was encouraging a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet - and it attracted much controversy.

Despite this, his books sold 15 million copies, and millions of people tried the diet.

Dr Atkins' philosophy enjoyed a resurgence in the 1990s with another book Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, which sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and spent five years on The New York Times best-seller list.

Stars such as Brad Pitt, Jennifer Anniston and Geri Halliwell are all said to be on Atkins-type diets.

It becomes rather disgusting after a week and your body starts crying for carbohydrates
Istvan Hunanui, Moldova

But recently, United States researchers found that high-protein diets can accelerate kidney disease in those at risk.

In a survey of women aged between 42 and 68, women who already had a mild kidney problem and ate a high-protein diet, particularly one high in meat protein, showed some kidney deterioration.

Other critics say diets with lots of meat eating and high in protein are linked to diseases such as osteoporosis and heart disease.

Obituary: Dr Robert Atkins
17 Apr 03  |  Americas
Atkins diet health warning
17 Apr 03  |  Health
Fashion diets health warning
23 Jul 02  |  Health
High protein diet warning
09 Oct 01  |  Health

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