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Atkins reaches out to U.S. school children

Posted - Sep. 23, 2004 at 8:20 a.m.



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NEW YORK, Sep 23, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Atkins Nutritionals announced an educational partnership Thursday with the largest U.S. teacher's union targeting schoolchildren's diets, USA Today reported.

The group, which has sold more than 20 million books advocating a low-carbohydrate diet, is joining with the National Education Association on a Web site for teachers and students.

It's also working with school nurses in New York and underwriting a publication on childhood obesity for state education policymakers.

"This isn't about putting kids on Atkins," said Stuart Trager, Atkins Nutritionals' medical director. "We're just saying parents deserve to understand that (kids) can make better choices."

Critics agree that cutting back on sweets and processed foods is wise, but they say Atkins conflicts with the Department of Agriculture's Food Guide Pyramid, which, for example, encourages drinking milk. Atkins says milk is too high in carbs.

Other critics say the Atkins initiative is a failure of public schools to shield children from marketing as districts team up with corporations as diverse as Office Depot, Coca-Cola and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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