DOCTORS WARNED OVER LEGAL RISKS OF LOW-CARB DIETS
DOCTORS are being warned of the potential legal risks of prescribing high protein and low carbohydrate diets.
A campaign has been started by a group of physicians and dieticians concerned that the promotion of meat-heavy diets is damaging people’s long-term health.
Diets encouraging people to eat less carbohydrates, such as the Atkins diet, have been getting increased publicity and are reportedly behind the weight loss of several celebrities.
The campaign against them is backed by the US-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which is warning doctors promoting low-carb diets could face future damages claims from patients.
An advert targeting doctors with the headline ‘Could prescribing a high-protein diet put you at legal risk’ is to appear this week on The Journal of Family Practice’s website.
PCRM’s president Neal Banard told The Observer: "Given the health problems associated with high-protein diets, doctors who prescribe them may be assuming serious legal liability. There’s no need to put yourself at risk when there are safer and healthier alternatives, especially low-fat, plant-based diets.
Dr Robert Atkin’s diet claims low-fat diets encourage us to rely too much on carbohydrates which cause our metabolism to hang on to fat. He says insulin makes the body store fat and restricting intake of bread, potatoes, pasta and sugar stops over-production of insulin.
There is an ongoing debate on the value and science behind low-carb diets, but many health experts point to studies suggesting meat-heavy, high-protein diets increase chances of heart disease, kidney disease and osteoporosis.