"Robert C. Atkins (October 17, 1930 ? April 17, 2003) was an American doctor and cardiologist, best known for the Atkins Nutritional Approach, a popular but controversial way of dieting that entails eating low-carbohydrate, high-fat and high-protein foods. As many of the alleged negative side effects are linked to a high protein intake it is worth noting that Atkins is not actually a high-protein diet. Most Atkins dieters actually aim for an intake where fats are the main source of energy and protein provides less than forty percent of the daily calories. In addition, the low carbohydrate intake suppresses hunger, which normally results in a lower total food intake in the longer term.
Atkins graduated from the University of Michigan in 1951 and received a medical degree from Cornell Medical College in 1955, after which he specialized in cardiology. Atkins also advocated the use of vitamins and herbal remedies in place of, or before, pharmaceutical drugs and surgery for healing certain ailments including but not limited to acne, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, and depression.
On April 18, 2002, Atkins suffered cardiac arrest, which he and his doctor said was due to cardiomyopathy, a heart condition not related to diet.
Nearly a year later, on April 8, 2003, Atkins slipped on ice and fell in front of his medical office in New York City and sustained major head injuries that put him in a coma. He never recovered from his injuries and died on April 17. Interestingly, Atkins' medical records stated he was clinically obese at the time of his death, weighing approximately 260 lb (118 kg). However, this was likely due to fluid retention following the failure of his major organs after his fall. Medical records obtained by USA Today show his weight to be 195 lb (88 kg) upon admission to the hospital following his fall on April 8, 2003. Critics of the Atkins diet argue that although this is a valid explanation, his rate of fluid retention was higher than normal.
Jody Gorran, 53, of Delray Beach, Florida, filed a lawsuit against Atkins' estate and his company in May 2004. He claimed that he had followed the Atkins diet for two years, resulting in a needed medical procedure to open his cholesterol-clogged arteries.
Many doctors do not recommend the Atkins Diet. Studies have shown that the doctor-recommended normal food-pyramid way of eating (lots of carbs) is the most healthy over a span of thirty years. The studies that have tested Atkins have only gone for three years."