Trend toward extreme low-carb diets expected to decline

Susan Farley
Published Online: Thursday, April 1, 2004

Food manufacturers are trying to satisfy the recent demand for low-carb products while at the same time recognizing the potentially harmful effects of extreme low-carb diets. According to recent studies, between 10 million and 24 million Americans are following low-carb diets. The Atkins plan, which allows liberal amounts of bacon, eggs, and other high-fat products, is viewed as more extreme than some of the other diets, and a report from the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine asserts that the Atkins diet could lead to heart disease. The trend may be swinging back to that of a more balanced diet, and food makers are trying to follow suit. For example, the Hershey Company is teaming up with Barry Sears, MD, advocate of the Zone diet, to make a line of nutrition bars that will not stress a low-carb diet but rather a balanced diet. William Johnson, CEO of Heinz, the makers of Smart Ones frozen entrees, agrees that the trend will become about balanced diets."It hits people who are interested in low-carb, it hits people who are interested in caloric intake, and it hits people who just want to feel better about themselves."

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