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Doctors' group urges Atkins diet ban

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WASHINGTON, Aug 22, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Nutritionists are urging the top 10 U.S. hospitals to ban the Atkins diet, reports said Friday.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine announced Friday in Washington it hopes the hospitals will emulate England's Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, which is eliminating the controversial diet from its menus, fearing a link to kidney damage.

"Hospitals that serve meat-heavy, fatty foods might be good at keeping their beds filled, but they're doing little to improve patient health," committee nutrition director Amy Joy Lanou said.

"Research has clearly shown that high-protein, meat-heavy diets increase the risk of osteoporosis and kidney disorders and that low-fat vegetarian diets help prevent heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and other health problems."

The doctors group is in the process of reviewing food served at top hospitals across the country for a major report to be released next year. It's unclear if any U.S. hospitals actually serve the Atkins diet.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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