The low-carbohydrate Atkins diet, which encourages followers to virtually give up eating bread, has been relaunched, with a new book outlining a revised version of the diet and a £200,000 campaign in national newspapers promoting Atkins food products.
Sales of bread in the UK suffered at the height of the Atkins craze in 2003, when it was estimated that up to three million Brits were following the diet, which advises people to cut carbohydrates and increase protein intake. Interest subsided after health warnings about the diet surfaced in the media, but a new book, entitled New Atkins, New You, aims to revive its popularity by revising the rules of the original Atkins diet to make it more flexible and easier to follow.
To coincide with the book, Atkins Nutritionals has launched a £200,000 marketing campaign to promote its range of low-carb products. Adverts have been placed in national newspapers, including The Times, The Daily Mail and The Observer and PR company Tangerine has been hired to promote the range.
However, the Flour Advisory Bureau criticised the diet. "The New Atkins diet is an attempt to resuscitate a damaged brand; it would appear that ’new’ Atkins is very similar to ’old’ Atkins, with the same requirement to avoid carbohydrate in the initial phase," said a spokesperson. "Although the new Atkins diet addresses some of the problems associated with the original diet, there is no scientific evidence to support the exclusion of white bread from the diet or to suggest that eating white bread is more likely to be linked with weight problems."