Millions of Americans have signed on to the Atkins plan, wooed by claims that they can eat almost limitless amounts of high-fat foods and still lose weight by limiting carbohydrates, including breads, fruits and vegetables. But some experts say there is a real problem here, a lack of reliable science.
"We have millions of Americans that are jumping on the latest bandwagon whenever a new book is published, without a scientific basis for knowing if its healthy or unhealthy. And given that lack of knowledge, there's a real danger here," says Dr. Steve Nissen from the Cleveland Clinic.
Now, in what is believed to be the first case of its kind, a Florida man is suing the maker of the popular Atkins Diet claiming it almost killed him. 52-year-old Jody Gorran says money is not the issue here because he's already a millionaire. He is asking the court to stop Atkins from selling its products unless a warning is added that explains the diet could be dangerous. He says he tried it to lose only about 10 pounds and that a CT Scan showed his heart was in good shape until after trying Atkins for 6 months. Then, another check showed he had dangerously high cholesterol and a blocked artery. The physicians committee for responsible medicine is also supporting the lawsuit.