This is the truth about the world's most famous, most glamorous and most controversial diet. The Atkins diet says that eating fat can make you thin. It says you don't need to bother watching the calories. Rene Zellweger, Geri Halliwell and a host of other celebrities swear by it. But many scientists think it is scientific nonsense. Some even believe it is dangerous. Horizon cuts through the confusion and provide the answers.
When Dr Atkins first launched his diet, he was accused of breaking one of the most fundamental laws of nature. Scientists said that if you eat more, you'll get fatter. They also said it could kill. Fat increases your cholesterol levels. You'd get a heart attack.
The only problem was that people who followed the Atkins diet got thinner. Much of the rest of us got fatter. Then came studies showing that cholesterol levels can actually improve on the Atkins diet.
So what was going on? Horizon's investigation seems to show that the diet may really work - but for a reason and in a way that no scientists or even Atkins himself had seriously considered.
In my view interesting and thorough... if a little hyped.
In particular it is misleading to suggest that this way of eating was a new discovery by Dr Atkins and that we don't know the long term effects of eating diets high in Fat and Protein, low in Carbs -- indeed there are traditional communities that ate this way for thousands of years, and my Mother could have told you that in order to lose weight you cut out the bread and potatoes -- arguably there has been even less research and certainly less history for a diet low in Fat and high in Carbs (mostly refined/concentrated as on offer in our food stores these days) but I'd suggest you only need to look all around you to see the obvious effects of such a dietary "experiment" on our health and waistlines.