AtkinsFacts.org Ignores "the overwhelming weight of the evidence"
Atkins Ignores the Balance of Evidence
In fact, as documented on the Atkins website (http://atkins.com/science/researchsupportingatkins.html), there are currently no fewer than thirty-four studies demonstrating the weight loss and other health benefits -- and absence of adverse health effects -- of a low-carbohydrate diet.
What counts is an objective review of all the available data to find out what the balance of evidence shows. Stanford researchers did just that last year, publishing "Efficacy and Safety of Low-Carbohydrate Diets: A Systematic Review" in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
That review, the only comprehensive systematic review ever done of low-carb diets, found that the carbohydrate content of the diet seemed in no way correlated with weight loss. "Reduced carbohydrate content" the investigators wrote, "was not significantly associated with weight loss."
Another review of hundreds of studies in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association came to the same conclusion: "Weight loss is independent of diet composition." That's what hundreds of studies show.
A 2003 review of Atkins "theories" in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition concluded: "When properly evaluated, the theories and arguments of popular low-carbohydrate diet books... rely on poorly controlled, non-peer-reviewed studies, anecdotes and non-science rhetoric. This review illustrates the complexity of nutrition misinformation perpetrated by some popular press diet books. A closer look at the science behind the claims made for [these books] reveals nothing more than a modern twist on an antique food fad."
Another 2003 review of the safety of low-carbohydrate diets reeled off an alarming list of potential problems: "Complications such as heart arrhythmias, cardiac contractile function impairment, sudden death, osteoporosis, kidney damage, increased cancer risk, impairment of physical activity and lipid [cholesterol] abnormalities can all be linked to long-term restriction of carbohydrates in the diet." A September 2004 review in The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, concluded "low-carbohydrate diets cannot be recommended." That's what the balance of evidence shows.