A consortium of 11 nonprofit health and nutrition groups has blasted the low-carb diet industry for enticing consumers into risky eating and financial habits. The Partnership for Essential Nutrition warned June 22 that losing weight on extreme low-carb diets can lead to such serious health problems as kidney stress, liver disorders and gout. These diets Also increase the risk for coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and several types of cancer, the group said, and dieters often regain the weight. Quoting a recent survey by Opinion Research Corp., the group also said that the 19 percent of dieters who are on a low-carb plan spend about $85 a month on products marketed as low carb.
But before investing heavily in low-carb products, consider a warning issued June 29 by Wachovia food and beverage analyst Jonathan Feeney. ?Low-carb diet adoption rates in the U.S. are slowing,? he reportedly said in a note to investors, based on weak specialty retail sales, disagreement about the diet?s safety in the medical community and other ?credible? data. The industry may be the cause of its own undoing, Feeney wrote, since ?variety and volume attract consumers to buy and eat more—thus interfering with their weight loss.?
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 8/p. 10