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Doctors Warn 'Atkins' May be Deadly

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WASHINGTON - A nutrition advocacy group said yesterday the popular Atkins Diet has caused heart disease and could have killed a teen-age dieter, as it urged the government to monitor the high-fat weight-loss approach.

The Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine said it could not prove the diet hurt or killed anyone, but one dieter said he was convinced the approach clogged his arteries, and the parents of a teen-ager who died while on the diet blame her meat-heavy regimen.

The parents of Rachel Huskey of Columbia, Mo., say the 16-year-old died of a heart arrhythmia in 2000.

The committee called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor diet approaches and check for evidence that the Atkins and other high-fat, high-protein diets may be harming people's health.

The CDC had no immediate comment.

But Atkins Nutritionals Inc. said its diet was safe. "There is no logic and no science to support any association between these individuals and the ANA [Atkins Nutritional Approach]," said Colette Heimowitz, vice president of education and research for the company. Reuters

Copyright 2003 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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