Marketing of Atkins Diet Products in Europe vs The US Term Paper

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Marketing of Atkins Diet Products in Europe vs. The U.S.

Background on Atkins Diet

(A) Who was Robert Atkins?

Atkins was born in Columbus, in the state of Ohio in the year 1930. After having joined the University of Michigan, he graduated with a Major in Pre-meds, after which Atkins received his Medical Degree in the year 1955 from the Cornell University Medical School. By the year 1959, he had finished his residencies at both Rochester and Columbia Universities, and also at St. Luke's Hospital at New York. Equipped with the experiences gained from the residencies, Dr. Atkins was able to start his private practice at New York City in the year 1960. It was in the year 1963 that he began to conduct a lot of research and also formalize his findings on the subject of 'controlled carbohydrate intake', as based on a series of articles that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. However, it was not until the year 1972 that the very first edition of the revolutionary book, 'Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution' was published, which was followed by Dr. Atkins findings on the effects of the destabilizing effects of Diabetes or Blood Sugar published in the book 'Dr. Atkins' Super Energy Diet' in the year 1977. (From Past to Present)

Owing to the popularity of this book and popular demand for more, Dr. Atkins was able to create certain formulas of nutritional control and regulation for his patients, and this was published in the year 1978. The book, 'Dr. Atkins' Nutritional Breakthrough' that was published in the year 1981 provided his patients with the definition of the various benefits of nutritional therapies. Soon he renamed his private practice 'The Atkins' Center for Complementary Medicine', and in the year 1988 published yet another popular book 'Dr. Atkins' Health Revolution' on nutritional as well as complementary medicine. In 1992, he released his 'Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution', and in 1997, published his 'Dr. Atkins' Quick and Easy New Diet Revolution Cookbook' in collaboration with Veronica Atkins. (From Past to Present)

The year 1998 saw the dawn of a new book, the 'Dr. Atkins' Vita Nutrient Solution, Nature's Answer to Drugs', and in 2000, Dr. Atkins published his 'Dr. Atkins' Age-Defying Diet Revolution', and in 2003, the book 'Atkins for Life'. Dr. Atkins met with an unfortunate and untimely death in the year 2003 due to a serious accident. (From Past to Present) Dr. Atkins was a pioneer in complementary medicine and he was primarily responsible for introducing the concept of 'alternative medicine' to his patients, with the integration of conventional medical therapies. (Robert C. Atkins: M.D. 1930 -- 2003) Though Dr. Atkins was a Cardiologist, he was in fact better known for his ground breaking diets that actually helped people to lose the excess weight that they were carrying with the help of a well formulated and scientifically researched plan to shed the weight successfully.

(B) How did he develop his theories?

The diet was based on the controversial idea of the intake of a High protein as well as high fat diet with the reduction in the intake of carbohydrates. What makes this diet safe is the fact that this diet does not comprise of the consumption of high proteins, which other diets insist on, and that may lead to dangerous side effects. Dr. Atkins diet comprises the intake of less carbohydrate, and a higher intake of fats, which are considered to be the main source of energy for the Atkins dieter, in addition to protein, which supposedly provides less than 40% of the daily requirement of the calories needed by a human being to function normally. The lesser the intake of carbohydrates, the more the hunger is suppressed, and this automatically leads to a significantly less intake of any type of food, over a period of time. (Dr. Atkins (Nutritionist).

When a person's intake food intake is reduced, then he will definitely shed his excess weight. It is said that Dr. Atkins developed his diet because of the fact that he was obese and he wanted a permanent remedy for reducing his weight and therefore he created his nutritional plan based on his knowledge of medicine, with the collaboration of his wife and others. Though there are dissenters for any idea, this particular diet became almost like an 'epidemic' according to some, and not everyone thought that this was a safe plan, and there were quite a few controversial lawsuits filed against the plan during Dr. Atkins lifetime. (Dr. Atkins (Nutritionist).

(C) What is the Atkins Diet based on?

The Atkins diet is based on a four-phase eating plan that is generally combined with vitamin and mineral supplements as well as a plan for regular and constant exercise. The idea is that this diet would prove to reduce the intake of food in a manner that would increase energy levels of the dieter as well as improve his physical appearance so that he would feel good about himself. Basically, the dieter is allowed to, with intelligence, choose those foods that would be healthy and at the same time would help to cut weight. Once the pattern was established, the person would be able to follow the same plan for many more years, probably throughout his life, thereby keeping away the weight that has been lost. (What is the Atkins Nutritional Approach?)

The Atkins diet is based on the following four principles: the reduction of carbohydrate intake, or 'induction' that in other words means the reduction of grains and fruits and vegetables from the persons diet to a mere 20 grams a day, followed by OWL or 'ongoing weight loss' where carbohydrates are added to the diet in the form of fiber rich foods that contain cellulose and tannin and so on. The first week sees a 25-gram intake and the next week a 30-gram intake and so on until the weight loss stabilizes, after which a 5-gram decrease of carbohydrates in encouraged so that the weight loss is continued and sustained. The next step is the 'pre-maintenance' one wherein the change from weight loss to weight maintenance is encouraged by the increase of the carbohydrate intake at a rate of 10 grams per week so that there may be a steady but slow weight loss at all times. The final step is the 'lifetime maintenance' wherein the weight loss is maintained by controlling carbohydrate intake while weight loss is going on. (What is the Atkins Nutritional Approach?)

What is special about this diet is that unlike all other diets this one is a total nutritional approach to a dietary problem. Nutrient rich and unprocessed foods are to be consumed and the intake of processed foods like breads and pasta and cereals and other high sugar foods that provide unnecessary calories are prohibited. These are to be supplemented by a total spectrum of multivitamin and essential oils. Why this particular diet works so well is because, while most other diets focus on the reduction of fats and this leads to 'hunger' that many people cannot tolerate for a short period of time, leave alone a whole lifetime, the Atkins diet focuses on reducing carbohydrate intake and not calorie intake, and this in itself leads to fulfillment and the satisfaction of a good meal as against hunger experienced with other diets.

Here the dieter is encouraged to eat, but not carbohydrates and this allows them to maintain the weight loss that has been achieved instead of going back rapidly to the original weight by eating normally and therefore regaining the lost weight and endlessly repeating these vicious cycles. Good health is achieved, and the groundwork for a lifetime of freedom from diseases is also laid, and herein lay the innate success of the Dr. Atkins Nutritional Plan. (What is the Atkins Nutritional Approach?)

(D) Controversy Regarding Health

However, it is a fact that the controversies surrounding the Atkins diet are many. One of them is that during the ongoing weight loss plan of carbohydrate intake reduction, or 'ketosis' as it is called, the stores of 'glycogen' in the liver is reduced, and this can be dangerous, as this is the store that the body draws from when it is faced with the need for glucose or energy. The Atkins diet also emphasizes that some people produce excess insulin, 'hyperinsulinism' as it referred to, and this is why they tend to eat more carbohydrates so that it can be stored in the body as 'fat'. The digestion of carbohydrates generally produces insulin. The reduction of carbohydrate intake may lead to 'hypoglycemia' or low blood sugar levels, or even tiredness and fatigue since their bodies are used to the consumption of high quantities of carbohydrates. The metabolic rates of some persons may also become affected, and this may lead to serious health complications. Another topic of controversy is that of the long-term effect of ketosis on the bones of a person due to calcium loss. (Scientific Analysis of…[continue]

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