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Sally Squires, who writes the excellent “Lean Plate Club” column in the Washington Post, has a piece about how “11 health organizations have teamed up to dispel what they call popular misconceptions about the low carbohydrate approach and to warn about the risk of its long-term use.”

However, the organizations already have been accused by Atkins Nutritionals of being the puppets of diet organizations that are losing money and market share because of the popularity of low carb diets.

The group, called The Partnership for Essential Nutrition, includes such organizations as Shape Up America! (which is led by former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop), the Alliance for Aging Research, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the American Obesity Association, and the National Women's Health Resource Center, among others. While some get funding from corporate sources, 10 of the 11 involved organizations reportedly are contributing time and not money.

The Partnership for Essential Nutrition “cautions that studies show the low-carb approach can starve the brain of carbohydrates, produce constipation and other gastrointestinal problems, reduce energy levels and cause difficulty concentrating.” In addition, Squires writes, the coalition warns that low carb regimens “can stress the kidneys and increase the risk of liver disorders, gout, coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and several types of cancer.”
KC's View:
So while the inside of your body is falling apart, you look mahhvellous…!

It is hard to take seriously the complaint from organizations like Atkins Nutritionals that the people behind the Partnership for Essential Nutrition have monetary concerns influencing their decisions…especially when the Atkins folks have so much at stake from a financial perspective.

Logic suggests that a balanced diet, combined with a steady exercise regimen, is the best alternative for people who want to eat intelligently. Low-carb diets seem to be all about short-term weight loss, not about long-term health and nutrition. Looking mahhvellous just isn’t enough.

The Partnership for Essential Nutrition will be doing television commercials and engaging in other marketing efforts to get the message out. It’ll be a battle, because the low-carb folks won’t take the challenge lying down.

But it is time to start applying some long-term common sense to how we eat and drink.