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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 December, 2003, 12:53 GMT
Dieticians slam Atkins food range
Atkins Diet book
Dr Atkins's book has sold millions
Dieticians have criticised as exploitative a food range designed to capitalise on the Atkins diet craze.

Atkins Nutritionals is due to start selling its range of low carbohydrate, high protein products for people on the diet in the UK in January.

British Dietetic Association spokeswoman Amanda Wynne said it was another example of a "fad diet taking advantage of people".

People would be much better following a good balanced diet, she added.

"People who are struggling with their weight are very vulnerable and have problems with low self esteem," she said.

But Atkins Nutritionals spokesman Richard Rothstein said it intended to send experts into stores to help train professionals and sales staff to offer proper advice to customers.

Doctors' concerns

The food range includes the 1.79 Atkins Advantage Bars , which contain two to three grams of carbohydrate and 18 to 22 grams of protein.

A box of 10 shake mixes priced 11.69 and Morning Shine breakfast bars at 4.99 a box will also be on sale from January 5.

The US-based firm will initially sell the range through health food stores and branches of the high street chemist Boots.

The company has no immediate plans to stock the range in supermarkets, as it does in the US.

Three million people are said to be on the Atkins diet in the UK and 30 million in the US, including a host of celebrities.

Emerging science supports our position
Stuart Trager
Medical consultant to Atkins
But doctors have expressed concern that the diet with its high fat content and low vegetable intake could cause health problems.

These include the risk of cardiovascular and renal disease, high cholesterol, mineral deficiencies, effects on blood fat and long term impact on the liver and kidneys.

An orthopaedic surgeon in the US and medical consultant to the Atkins company, Stuart Trager, said "misconceptions" had built up around the diet.

"These are bound to emerge ...and are propagated by those with ulterior motives or who may not be aware of the emerging science which supports our position," Mr Trager said.

Low carb diets 'not the answer'
01 Dec 03  |  Real Story
Diet craze boosts US beef sales
22 Nov 03  |  From Our Own Correspondent

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