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Editorial Issue 108

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 108 - February 2005

Dr Robert Atkins, who tragically died last year after falling on the pavement and hitting his head, has been the subject of innumerable, inaccurate and sometimes ignorant swipes, both for his Atkins diet, as well as his personal life.

The Atkins diet has at various periods over the past few decades, been the subject of both craven embrace and vicious criticism from the medical establishment and the media. Following the celebrity status attained by the Atkins diet due to successful weight loss by scores of celebrities and ordinary mortals, it appeared as though the entire carbohydrate section of the economy of the US and the UK were in danger of collapse. I have read dire warnings and mutterings regarding plummeting sales of pasta, bread and potatoes as consumers deserted these foods in their droves.

There have been rumours that Dr Atkins himself was obese when he died; also, a new book is about to be published about the private life of Dr Atkins, exposing his philandering ways with women and his own struggles with overweight. My understanding is that while in hospital and in a coma, Dr Atkins became bloated with drugs administered to him. I also guess, not having met the man, that had he not struggled to lose weight, the Atkins diet would never have seen the light of day.

The tittle tattle of much of the media hype about Atkins encapsulates so many of the inaccuracies abounding about diet and nutrition in general, and weight loss strategies of this diet in particular. The fact is that carbohydrate-controlled dieting is nothing new; other terminology for the metabolic problem behind this type of diet, include Syndrome X and Insulin Resistance. In fact, the latest – the GI (Glycaemic Index) – diet supposed to be replacing Atkins at the Top of the Pops of 2005, is in fact, a variation on the theme of limiting carbohydrates.

It is a disgrace that, according to the media, Atkins means a monotonous diet of bacon and eggs, steak, lots of fat and no fruits, vegetables or grains. In fact, and as reiterated in this issue by two of our professional Expert Regular Nutritionists Penny Crowther and Dr June Butlin (see pages 34 and 62 respectively), the Atkins diet does encompass these foods in a metabolically individual programme, using highly effective strategies to lose weight and achieve blood sugar control. I would highly recommend reading both Penny Crowther's column and Dr June Butlin's book review, as they set out in succinct language the real Atkin's diet.

No diet is perfect for everyone, and in my ideal world, we should all be eating only the highest quality organic produce, fresh fruit and vegetables, sprout our own seeds, grow our own wholegrain bread, take regular exercise, meditate and reduce the stress in our lives. We should also live in the purest and tranquil environment, breathe pure, clean air and drink the purest of water. There should also be world peace and an absence of violence in our homes, schools and on our streets.

Take it as read that some of us achieve lifestyles closer to my ideal than others, and many individuals don't share my ideals. One person's freedom is another person's straitjacket. So, in my opinion, we shouldn't go around imposing our particular views upon people against their wills.

However, in view of the incredible divergence of information and opinion published in the media regarding diet and nutrition, we owe it to ourselves to be properly informed, so that we don't get taken in by media hype and propaganda. The best way, in my view, to be able to discriminate between the myriad of opposing theories about virtually all aspects of healthcare is to read widely about even those health practices with which we disagree. Otherwise, we are all living in a fool's paradise.

As discussed many times, I don't think that we can necessarily believe what so-called medical experts advise on so many crucial topics regarding our health. This includes issues such as mercury fillings, mercury within vaccination adjuvants, fluoridation, drugs to control high cholesterol and blood pressure. It behoves us to become as fully informed as we can, as there will come a time in each of our lives when we will have to confront these health problems. So much better for us to act while we are still healthy, rather than in the midst of a life-threatening health crisis.


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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US, focusing upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. Dr Goodman was recently featured as Doctor of the Fortnight in ThinkWellness360.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 27+ years, with facilities for training, to fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and


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