Atkins to drop ‘net carbs’ term from labels

Filed under: Atkins Diet — Tags: — @ October 8, 2004

The Wall Street Journal reports (paid sub. required) that Atkins Nutitionals will drop its widely used “net carbs” term from its food labels, calling it “imprecise.”

bq. The move comes just months before the Food and Drug Administration is expected to issue new food-labeling guidelines for carb content. Atkins coined the phrase “net carbs” back in 2001 to sidestep the FDA’s existing guidelines. Atkins says next year it will replace the words “net carbs” and the seal now found on its packages with a new phrase, “net Atkins count,” and a new seal. Atkins says the new term reflects a more-precise method of measuring the carbohydrates in its foods.

Atkins derives the “net Atkins count” for a product by testing blood-sugar levels of people who have just eaten it. The technique borrows heavily from the glycemic index widely used in Australia and some other places outside the U.S. that attempts to express carb content in terms of its effect on blood sugar. Atkins worked with Thomas Wolever, a Canadian nutritionist who helped to develop the glycemic index, to come up with the “net Atkins count” method.

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