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Atkins diet may be harmful to your health

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CAMBRIDGE, England, Aug 12, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A British medical expert says people who use the Atkins diet are gambling with their health.

Dr. Susan Jebb of the Medical Research Council's Human Nutrition Research Center, told the London Daily Mail she would consider it "negligent" to recommend the diet.

Jebb, who says claims made for the Atkins diet are based on "pseudo science," argues the long-term effects of the diet are still unknown.

The Atkins diet eliminates most carbohydrates from one's diet while encouraging the consumption of protein.

The late Dr. Robert Atkins, who developed the diet, believed carbohydrates such as those contained in bread, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables over-stimulate production of insulin, resulting in hunger and weight gain.

Jebb told the Daily Mail: "We simply do not know the long-term health implications and it's such a profound change from what we're doing at the moment. I certainly think we should be adopting a precautionary principle in terms of public health."

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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