Atkins Diet - Bankruptcy News
It was announced today (Aug 1, 2005) that Atkins Nutritionals, the company that promoted the low-carbohydrate Atkins diet, pioneered by Robert C Atkins, MD (Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution) and triggered a worldwide craze has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States. The company was established in 1989 by Dr Robert C Atkins and the diet gained international fame as a range of celebrities claimed it helped them to lose body fat.
Reduction in Demand For Low Carb Weight Loss Diets
There has been an acute fall in demand for Atkins-type low-carb food products, as people who want to reduce weight have increasingly turned their backs on an eating-plan that emphasises a drastic reduction in carb-intake by cutting out foods such as bread and pasta in favour of protein-rich meat and cheese.
Medical Concerns About High Levels of Saturates
Despite the craze for low-carbohydrate or no-carbohydrate foods, the Atkins diet horrified many doctors, nutritionists and dietitians because it advocated a higher consumption of fatty foods, including foods rich in saturated fat, associated with higher cholesterol and increased risk of coronary heart disease.
Atkins Nutritionals Bankruptcy Hearing
A spokesman for Atkins Nutritionals said a hearing on its filing was due to take place today in a US bankruptcy court. Chapter 11 gives a company time to reorganise itself by giving it protection from its creditors. It is reported that the company, which is privately owned, owes 300 million US dollars (£169.7m) and is understood to have reached an agreement with the majority of its lenders to give them equity in exchange for lower debt. It is reported that after it leaves bankruptcy, the company will focus on its nutrition bars and shakes.
Consumer Interest in Low Carbohydrate Weight Loss Diet
A recent market research report highlighted the increasing reduction in interest in Atkins-type very low carbohydrate weight loss diets. Less than 3 percent of those questioned in the report were currently on a low-carb regime, such as the Atkins Diet. Another 10 percent said they had followed one of the diets but had given up, with only 1 percent willing to try it again. A few months ago, in the UK, administrators were appointed to the UK arm of Atkins Nutritionals in March after the business was hit by poor sales and amassed heavy debts. In June 2005, the UK Advertising Standards Authority called for an advert promoting the Atkins diet to be cancelled because its claim that dieters could "enjoy a healthier lifestyle" could not be proved.
South Beach Diet
Other, less stringent low carb weight loss plans, like the South Beach Diet, appear to be less affected by the drop in demand for Atkins.
Balanced Eating Plans
Whether this event is likely to signal a return to more balanced eating, as a way of losing weight, remains an open question. Clinical trials have validated the "lower carbohydrate" approach, in terms of both weight loss and general health.
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