Robert Atkins (nutritionist)

Robert Coleman Atkins (born 17 October 1930 in Columbus, Ohio, † 17 April 2003 in New York) was an American cardiologist and nutritionist. He was known primarily for his namesake Atkins diet.

Life and work

Atkins graduated in 1951 to study medicine at the University of Michigan from 1955 and earned a Ph.D. at Cornell Medical College. Then he specialized in cardiology and examined the applicability of herbal remedies in place of or as a supplement of pharmaceutical drugs in various diseases.

His own obesity led him to look for a diet, with which you can lose weight without going hungry. After extensive studies of scientific literature he presented in 1972 in a book his diet revolution called diet before, which sold 15 million times. Atkins ' proposal to dispense almost entirely when eating carbohydrates and instead to eat only proteins and fats made ​​in the professional world for lively discussions and is still controversial. From the proceeds of his books, he financed the Atkins Center in New York that deals with methods of alternative medicine. He increasingly devoted himself to the food science and business at great expense carbohydrate research. Some universities were given scholarships and research grants. Atkins was author or co- author of about 35 books. In 1989 he founded the food company Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., which specialized in the production of low-carbohydrate foods.

Social impact

Atkins and his followers consider the Atkins diet as a way of life that leads to an uncontested weight reduction and will also influence the ketogenic diet the metabolic process positive. Through the Atkins diet also metabolic diseases should therefore improve or even cured.

In the U.S., the Atkins diet was very popular and influenced the eating habits of many Americans: So hamburgers are even today in some places offered in which the meat is served in a bun held in a lettuce leaf. The trend has now been reversed again, and so the company Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. had to apply on 1 August 2005 bankruptcy. The company was subsequently restructured so that the division will now less strong is in the range of low carbohydrate diet, but more in the production of processed foods in the form of bars and drinks.

Atkins ' death

Atkins died on 17 April 2003 in a hospital in New York City. The cause of death complications were reported as a result of an operation of a head injury he had sustained in an accident on April 8 on icy roads. After a later published autopsy report, which was also printed in the Wall Street Journal, Atkins weighed in at his death at a height of 1.82 m ( 6 feet ) allegedly 117 kg (258 pounds) and would thus have been obese. The autopsy report also contains information on the medical history of Atkins, including myocardial infarction, heart failure and high blood pressure.

However, at the entrance to the hospital authored document noted in contrast that Atkins weighed in at his arrival just 88 kg ( 195 pounds). According to Atkins widow Veronica the logged difference in weight of 29 kg between admission and death could be explained by the abundant occurred during the hospital stay infusions. In addition, the diagnosed heart failure was due to a viral infection in 2000. Atkins attending physician confirmed this information. In addition, he stated explicitly that Atkins heart problems bear no relation to his diet.