Atkins weighs in on USDA Food Guidance System

Filed under: Atkins Diet — Tags: — @ August 19, 2004

At a key meeting of national stakeholders in the current review by the US Government of the food guide pyramid, Dr. Stuart Trager, Medical Director of Atkins Nutritionals, today called for an overhaul of the government’s graphic to one that is reflective of the dynamic relationship between physical activity and the elimination of non-nutritive carbs from one’s daily diet.

“It’s time to move beyond a one-size-fits-all approach,” Trager said. “We need solutions that work not only in the laboratory, but in the real world, for real people with busy lives and healthy appetites. Working in partnership with the federal government, we can combat the obesity epidemic by giving people the tools and knowledge they need to make informed choices about the food they eat.”

Despite the admonishment of the evils of fat in the national dietary guidelines, Trager noted that overall fat consumption is on the rise, as greater quantities of highly refined carbs and low-fat products loaded with caloric sweeteners have become part of the daily diet.

“Fortunately for consumers there is a mounting body of scientific evidence that points to the safety and efficacy of controlled carbohydrate nutrition as well as the metabolic advantage this approach provides,” Trager said. “It’s why the Atkins lifestyle has proven to be so successful. Instead of being disillusioned over empty promises offered by low-fat advocates, tens of millions of Americans are following a low-carbohydrate diet and enjoying healthier lives. Success is not only being measured on bathroom scales across America. This is about more than weight loss. People are feeling more in control, at the same time lowering their risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and a multitude of other obesity-related medical problems with an approach they can follow.”

Trager added that controlling carbs is just part of the solution to the obesity epidemic; the other critical element is regular physical activity to create lifestyle changes.

“There is no escaping the understanding that exercise is vital for long term healthfulness,” he said. “For this reason the Atkins-recommended pyramid clearly demonstrates the relationship between increasing activity level and food choices, as well as stressing the importance of fruits and vegetables. It refocuses attention toward nutrient dense whole foods that have the least impact on blood sugar and should be part of a healthy diet.”

In concluding his remarks, Trager emphasized the need to revise the food pyramid in such a way that it can be individualized and easily incorporated into people’s busy lifestyles.

“We hope that revisions to the guidelines include recommendations that recognize the benefits of adequate protein consumption, incorporate a balance of untreated fats, and teach carbohydrate awareness,” Trager stressed. “At Atkins Nutritionals Inc., we have had the privilege to see firsthand the benefits of greater carbohydrate awareness. We are optimistic that as others become aware, the impact will be lower obesity rates and a healthier America.”


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