Accusation 10: “Exaggerates” Side Effects

A number of objectionable statements appear on the website regarding Atkins…

  • Side Effects. You exaggerate the potential side effects of the ANA [Atkins Diet] at pages 12 and 14 of the website.

We quote directly from the medical literature–including from studies directly funded by Atkins–documenting the extensive list of pervasive side effects.

For example, Danish obesity expert professor Arne Astrup, M.D., of the Centre of Advanced Food Research in Copenhagen, published a September 2004 review of your diet in The Lancet. [866] Long-term Atkins adherents “start to suffer headaches, muscle cramps and diarrhea,” Astrup concluded. “This is consistent with a carbohydrate deficiency. They simply do not get enough carbohydrate to supply the tissues with blood sugar. That is why the organs start to malfunction.”[867]

For further documentation we refer you back to the extensive studies cited in our Short Term Side-Effects and Long Term Side Effects sections.

Atkins Implies That Their Diet is Not Extraordinarily Constipating

Constipation can occur on any weight loss program.

As documented in the Constipation section, one study funded by Atkins found that 70% of the patients on the Atkins Diet suffered from constipation.[869] Dr. Atkins himself even admitted that nearly all of his patients were constipated.[539]

It is true that consipation can occur with any weight loss program. However, even compared to other low-carb diets, the Atkins Diet is exemplary for its dearth of fiber. Compared to 7 other popular diets, the Atkins Diet came out by far the lowest in fiber.[868]

Independent nutritional analyses have found that the initial phase of the Atkins Diet, which dieters may have to repeatedly return to, has less than 15% of the minimum daily recommendation for fiber of the American College of Gastroenterology.[870]

Atkins Level Another False Accusation at

  • Contrary to your assertion, the ANA [Atkins Diet] includes fiber-rich foods such as spinach, eggplant, broccoli, asparagus and leafy greens.

We never assert that one can’t eat foods such as leafy greens on the Atkins Diet. In fact, we specifically commend Dr. Atkins for recommending that exact thing in our Where Atkins Deserved Credit section.