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The Mysterious Dr. Atkins Death

Dr. Atkins death was unexpected. On 8 April 2003, he fell on an icy street, lost his conscience and never recovered until his death, 9 days later. On 17 April 2003 medical support was withdrawn and Robert C. Atkins passed away.

Soon after his death, nonbelievers and people who denied and blamed Atkins diet, showed very little compassion or sympathy.

Veronika Atkins, the widow, was very upset and spoke out about the real circumstances of her husband's death. She also felt extremely sad as the unkind rumors prevented her from grieving for her husband.

The rumors

258 pounds

This weight was considered obese by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's body-mass index calculator. Unusual because the 6-foot tall doctor had always been a very active person and dieting himself for many years.

Heart Disease

Dr. Atkins was suffering from a form of heart disease, of heart's muscle, in fact. This seemed odd, since he had always insisted that his diet made the heart and the blood vessels stronger and lowered the cholesterol level. In January 2003, the author of Atkins diet plan had a heart stroke arrest, which confused people even more.

The official version

This was puzzling information and everybody waited for the truth to be unveiled. But Dr. Atkins' widow and a good friend of the deceased (Dr Keith Berkowitz) untangled the situation and presented their version:

1. Dr. Atkins was a rather healthy 72-year-old person, with a moderate weight (less than 190-200 pounds). Dr. Keith Berkowitz said that the coma condition and being artificially fed led to an abnormal swelling during those nine days when his life was supported by medical equipment. People who saw him admitted that he was unusually swollen.

The liquids given by medical assistance could have been the cause of his growing.

2. Three years before his heart attack, Dr. Atkins (69) announced that he had been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which may have been responsible for the heart arrest three years later. Also, on his regular heart control, he found that his coronary arteries showed insignificant signs of coronary disease. Given his age, Dr. Atkins was a healthy person, able to control his cardiomyopathy, said Veronika Atkins.

Given these facts, everybody had to admit that Dr. Atkins had a stupid, accidental death. His head injury was in fact fatal to dr. Atkins.

Mayor's blunder

Just when things seemed clear and settled, a malicious statement of New York's Mayor brought the doctor's death into attention once more. Wrongly believing that he is off the record, Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor, joked around Dr. Atkins' death. He called him ?fat", saying that all the information about his head injury are ?bullshit". Thus, Mayor Bloomberg insinuated that Atkins may have died from weight-related problems, not from head injuries. All these just after he had sent the widow a condolence letter.

Before and after Dr. Atkins passed away

Dr. Atkins' life was remarkable. His studies and efforts regarding proper nourishment, diet and an active lifestyle really helped people. Lately, Dr. Atkins had begun to receive international medical recognition. Everyone following Dr. Atkins diet had to admit that it really works. Many people were satisfied and grateful for losing weight and attaining a new slim figure along with a new lifestyle.

Without a doubt, anyone undertaking a diet - any diet - should be aware of some health risks.

The Atkins had a major influence on the food industry. While Atkins meals (high protein foods, high fat) and Atkins supplements became notorious, others suffered a severe decline. Bread and high-carbohydrate foods manufacturers were removed from the market. Pizza and bread are not for Atkins dieters: those 30 million people who followed Atkins have known it for about 30 years.

It is hard to say how Atkins food chains and Atkins Nutritionals will evolve from now on. Will Atkins diet still be a popular one, after the author's death? How about health officials? Will they intensify their efforts in persuading dieters to drop off the diet? How about the competition? They might be thrilled with Atkins' absence, since he was the core of low-carb diet craze?

So far there have been some signs of distress for Atkins Nutritionals. It is stated that the company is dealing with some difficulties and is reducing staff. Atkins Nutritionals in Ronkonkoma, New York has 370 employees. Nevertheless, general opinion is that because the diet always had spectacular weight-loss results (especially on Induction phase), people will always want to try it.

Dana Scripca is a web editor and writes for Dr. Atkins' Diet Plan, from You may contact her at



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