The China Study by Thomas Campbell

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In one published study 47 funded by the Atkins Center for Comple-
mentary Medicine, researchers put fifty-one obese people on the Atkins
diet.^48 The forty-one subjects who maintained the diet over the course
of six months lost an average of twenty pounds. In addition, average
blood cholesterol levels decreased slightly,47 which was perhaps even
more important. Because of these two results, this study was presented
in the media as real, scientific proof that the Atkins diet works and is
safe. Unfortunately, the media didn't go much deeper than that.
The first sign that all is not rosy is that these obese subjects were
severely restricting their calorie intake during the study. The average
American consumes about 2,250 calories per day.49 When the study
participants were on the diet, they consumed an average of 1,450 calo-
ries per day. That's 35% fewer calories! I don't care if you eat worms
and cardboard; if you eat 35% fewer calories, you will lose weight and
your cholesterol levels will improve^50 in the short run, but that is not to
say that worms and cardboard form a healthy diet. One may argue that
those 1,450 calories are so satisfying that people feel full on this diet,
but if you compare calorie input and calorie expenditure, it's a matter
of simple math that a person cannot sustain this amount of calorie re-
striction over a period of years or decades without either becoming an
invalid or melting away into nothing. People are notoriously unsuccess-
ful at significantly restricting their energy intake over any long period of
time, and that is why there has yet to be a long-term study that shows
success with the "low-carb" diets. This, however, is only the beginning
of the problems.
In this same study, funded by the Atkins group, researchers report,
"At some point during the twenty-four weeks, twenty-eight subjects
(68%) reported constipation, twenty-six (63%) reported bad breath,
twenty-one (51%) reported headache, four (10%) noted hair loss, and
one woman (1%) reported increased menstrual bleeding. "47 They also
refer to other research, saying, "Adverse effects of this diet in children
have included calcium oxalate and urate kidney stones ... vomiting,
amenorrhea [when a girl misses her period], hypercholesterolemia
[high cholesterol] and ... vitamin deficiencies (ref. cited). "47 Addition-
ally, they found that the dieters had a stunning 53% increase in the
amount of calcium they excreted in their urine,47 which may spell di-
saster for their bone health. The weight loss, some of which is simply
initial fluid 10SS,51 may come with a very high price.
A different review of low-carbohydrate diets published by research-

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