The Next Step For Atkins Nutritionals: Bankruptcy

A few months ago, I told you about the fade of low-carb trend and the fortunes of Atkins Nutritionals dwindling right along with it. Sunday, the company the late Dr. Robert Atkins launched some 16 years ago filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Atkins Nutritionals was the first company to take advantage of the low-carb trend and, according to food industry experts, "owned" the category for some time but eventually gave it away. The company Dr. Atkins built couldn't overcome three very crucial obstacles:

  • Dr. Atkins' untimely death in 2003.
  • The products Atkins Nutritionals sold -- breads, shakes and nutritional bars -- tasted bad, according to industry experts.
  • Consumers were still confused about the net carbs concept behind his popular diet plan.

It's no secret I agree with the general principle that guided Dr. Atkins' efforts: Carbohydrates increase the rate of insulin in the body, which, in turn, spurs the body to generate and store fat. But, there were other problems with the Atkins Diet that also doomed it to failure. The major reasons:

  • The emphasis on the Atkins Diet as a one-size-fits-all solution, although about a third of the general population thrives on a high-carb diet based on their body's unique nutritional type.
  • The emotional side of a patient's weight problems -- the learned behaviors that paved the way for their obesity -- weren't addressed at all, which is why I emphasize learning how to deal with them by using the Emotional Freedom Technique.
  • Atkins advocated choosing foods based on a glycemic index that contains so many exceptions, rendering it practically useless.
  • Atkins recommended the use of Splenda, the dangerous and unnatural sugar substitute.

USA Today August 2, 2005

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