What if Atkins were more likeable – could that have changed nutrition history?

Dr. Robert Atkins was probably right, when it came to the effect of low-carb diets in weight loss. But he was still ridiculed and viciously attacked, and low carb kept being referred to as a fad diet.

Dr. Atkins was also known for not always being very polite, so here’s an interesting question. Could the outcome have been different, if Dr. Atkins had been more pleasant and less angry?

Would that have changed the course of nutrition history?

Watch above how Gary Taubes answers the question (transcript). The full Q&A video is available (with captions and transcript) with a free trial or membership:

Q&A with Gary Taubes

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More with Gary Taubes

More about Dr. Atkins

The Man Behind the Atkins Diet – Jackie Eberstein


  1. Dana
    This is rich. Everyone was convinced Atkins was wrong and continually misrepresented his diet when they hadn't read any of his books. I shouldn't even say that in past tense because IT IS STILL HAPPENING. And he was supposed to be a saint and put up with it all? THEY EVEN LIED ABOUT WHAT KILLED HIM! And now we have all these "ketogenic Paleo" jokers who suddenly get what ketosis can do for health when 5 years ago they were listening to Carbsane and the Perfect Health Diet people. "But Atkins uses bars and shakes". Atkins Nutritionals MAKES bars and shakes. The diet has NEVER required them. I've got four editions of the book, three written by him, NONE of them say you have to use those products. You want people to be nice to you? Pay attention when they're talking and make an effort to understand. And DO NOT LIE ABOUT THEM. EARN the pleasant interactions--you are NOT entitled to them.

    Seriously, his books are likely in most U.S. library systems. You can find them in thrift shops too.

  2. Katie
    Someone has to be the ground-breaker in revolutionizing a system. Galileo was hung because he said the Earth revolved around the sun instead of the opposite. Me, being a psychic, I notice that the older generation of Psychics have a harsh/defensive attitude because they were the ground breakers, opening the world up and being beat up and criticized to let our new generations practice with ease. Same with this, it's revolutionary.. our next generations will talk about it with ease, joy and happiness.
  3. Jennifer Bowerman
    I really enjoyed this series of Q and As with Gary Taubes. He is a wonderful role model as someone who is truly humble about himself and his own knowledge, yet absolutely knows his stuff. It is difficult to stand your ground against establishment and monied interests. He does it well! I especially enjoyed it when he compared Yudkin to Atkins, one nice, one not so, yet both were pilloried for their ideas and their science!

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