Atkins: What goes up just came down 31 Jul 2005

15 comments Latest by Kathy

Atkins Nutritionals files for bankruptcy. Welcome to the low cash craze.

15 comments (comments are closed)

Ben 01 Aug 05

Awesome. This post delivers maximum punch with a minimum of words.

Jake Tracey 01 Aug 05

Wow, they must have been seriously mismanaged. I wouldn’t have thought a company with that much word of mouth advertising behind it could fail.

Dan Boland 01 Aug 05

It’s not surprising to me that Atkins went belly-up, what’s surprising is how quickly it happened.

Jeff Koke 01 Aug 05

I’ve been living a low-carb lifestyle for about 4 years, although I never did “Atkins” I have a lot of experience with their products. Their problem is that their stuff is overpriced and just not very good.

They introduced the lifestyle, but when the market got crowded with other companies offering better products at a lower price, they couldn’t adapt.

Don Schenck 01 Aug 05

I’m going to eat a big plate of pasta tonight to celebrate the end of the latest craze. Sheesh.

Will 01 Aug 05

I wouldn�t have thought a company with that much word of mouth advertising behind it could fail.
Except many people living the Atkins lifestyle developed heart problems, had skyrocketing cholesterol and were in abismal health (albeit in a skinnier frame). This word of mouth spread just as much.

Atkins is horrible for your health.

Will 01 Aug 05

Whoops, sorry about the big text - formatting bug or something…

Dan Boland 01 Aug 05

Hey Will, do you have any numbers on how many people have suffered poorer health due to the Atkins (or any other low-carb) diet? I’ve heard a wide range of accounts and percentages, and I’m curious to see if there are any official numbers on the effects of the Atkins diet.

Nonetheless, I think a significant percentage of those people who are worse off health-wise (significant implies something a percentage larger than, say, Apple’s PC market share) are the results of people not following directions. Let’s face it, people are stupid. Both of my parents have been using Atkins to maintain a healthy lifestyle on and off for years now, and they’re just as healthy now as they were ten years ago. But I think a lot of folks took the Atkins diet to mean “eat nothing but steak.” And if you continue to shun exercise, any diet has little chance of working anyway. And I don’t know if he fits that category, but that skinny dope who sued Atkins because it gave him heart problems is a good example of stupidity. (Why do you need to lose weight if you’re already skinny?)

Personally, I think the notion that grains, which is the staple of just about every diet of every culture on earth, are somehow to blame for rising obesity levels is completely unfounded. In my opinion, it has to do with the overabundance of food and the rapid increase of sedentary lifestyles throughout the developed world.

Jeff Koke 01 Aug 05

The myth that a low carb diet leads to high cholesterol and poor health is pervasive but wrong. As Dan said, people who use the diet as an excuse to overload on steak, eggs and bacon are likely to have poor health.

I eat more vegetables than I do meat — lots of salads, green beans, green peppers. I also eat plenty of grains, just whole grains in low-carb wheat bread, tortillas and pasta. I also exercise three times a week. My cholesterol is the lowest it’s been in a decade.

I just don’t eat very much processed flour, sugar, potatoes or rice (except when it’s attached to sushi).

Atkins (which is not the best low-carb lifestyle out there) is often misunderstood.

Tim Case 01 Aug 05

As Atkins fades into the broken ship yard of Fad diets you have to give credit to Robert Atkins for at least introducing the idea that there is something about the American diet that is causing obesity and that a possible source may well be an increased intake of sugars starting in the twenties.

Whether sugar is to blame or not I don’t know but as an American currently travelling through Brazil I can tell you that you don’t see fat people walking around here the way you do back in the US. You can say, “Oh well, the Brazilian diet is different or Brazilians are just more active than Americans…” But having noticed this same thing in other countries and not noticing that the way people eat and how much they exercise is any different I have to wonder if there is something in the food of America that doesn’t exist abroad?

Tony 01 Aug 05

It’s not low-carb that leads to health problems, it’s the high-fat foods. With the Atkins plan, you can eat as much bacon as you want, but you can’t have a slice of bread. Some people take that too far. Something like the South Beach Diet is much more reasonable, and heart-healthy.

The real problem with Atkins as a brand, is that low-carb food is an impossible market to corner. There is very little reason to pay licensing fees to the Atkins company to put their logo on your food, when the keyword for most people is “low-carb” not “Atkins.” Additionally, they have to compete against established brands who have rolled out low-carb recipies, such as Slim Fast and Weight Watchers.

Political Pie 01 Aug 05


Ian 02 Aug 05

Dan hit the nail on the head. This diet is already difficult to stick to—having done a low carb diet myself, I found myself skirting all but about 4 ailes in the grocery store. And carb-centric companies weren’t going to go down without a fight. I think their best move was to create “low carb” snack food, something that defies the concept of Atkins or any other low carb diet. Sure, a box of 1 carb each cookies to munch on in front of the TV…?

The low carb diet comes and goes (Atkins was not the first). I don’t believe 100% in the Atkins approach, or any diet methodology for that matter, but they had a great system and it works. No, you don’t gain weight, have high cholesterol, or have cardio problems on Atkins—find some statistics not put out by animal rights groups, please.

You can say that low-carb is a fad, but consider that Pepsi and Coke make more money from Diet these days. As a nation we’re slowly starting to “get it.”

Mark 26 Sep 05

I Still think that exercising and eating sensibly is better than any stinking diet that’s out there. It’s cheaper and it’s easier to make it fit into your lifestyle, wether it’s just walking more or actually finding time to go to the gym, exercise is better than having a 360 done on your eating regiment.

Kathy 26 Sep 05

WOW Mark you are absolutely right… You are the smartest guy i know and i am wearing a red bra and no panties and i live in New York… You should stop by some night..