Atkins Lawsuit Will Proceed, Doctors Say
Former Dieter with Heart Disease Will Not Drop Lawsuit Seeking Warning Labels on Atkins Products
WASHINGTON—A former dieter who developed a life-threatening artery blockage after following the Atkins diet for two and a half years will proceed with his lawsuit against Atkins Nutritionals, despite the company's announcement that it is filing for bankruptcy. Florida resident Jody Gorran is seeking warning labels on all Atkins products.
Assigned to Palm Beach County Court under Judge Susan Lubitz, Gorran's case is in the discovery phase. Gorran is represented by Dan Kinburn, associate general counsel for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). PCRM, a health advocacy and research organization, has been warning the public about the hazards of the Atkins diet for several years and operates a registry for members of the public who believe they've sustained health problems from following the diet (http://www.AtkinsDietAlert.org).
"As long as Atkins products remain on the market, we will proceed with our lawsuit seeking warning labels on those products," says PCRM nutrition director Tim Radak, Dr.P.H., R.D. "Atkins, like all low-carb, meat-heavy diets, is a dangerous diet. Scientific studies clearly show that heavy meat consumption greatly increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and other diseases."
Gorran argues that the Atkins diet caused him to develop severe coronary disease, including dramatically elevated cholesterol levels, crushing chest pains, and a potentially fatal arterial blockage requiring an angioplasty and a stent. A heart scan done prior to Gorran beginning the diet showed no signs of heart disease. In addition to the warning labels on Atkins products, he is seeking less than $15,000 in damages.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.