Robert C. Atkins, M.D., was the founder and medical chair of The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in New York City. A 1951 graduate of the University of Michigan, Dr. Atkins received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical School in 1955, and went on to specialize in cardiology. In his more than 40 years of practice, he cared for more than 65,000 patients.
Until a week before his death, along with seeing patients daily, Dr. Atkins continued to champion the natural healing arts as a safe and effective alternative to pharmaceutical drugs and surgery for many debilitating illnesses. He stressed the importance of proper diet in concert with nutritional support to prevent and combat heart disease, diabetes and obesity, all of which have grown to epidemic proportions. As a pioneer in complementary medicine, Dr. Atkins helped to bring national attention and credibility to its practice. In more than 30 years at The Atkins Center, he offered patients the best of both worlds, integrating the latest conventional medical techniques with alternative therapies.
Dr. Atkins was the author of a number of books that promote controlled carbohydrate nutrition and complementary medical techniques. His original Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution, published in 1972, introduced the Atkins Nutritional ApproachTM. Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution (1992, 1999) has sold in excess of 10 million copies worldwide, is one of the top 50 best-selling books of all time and has remained on The New York Times bestseller list for five years.
Dr. Atkins' latest book, Atkins for Life, is different from his other books in that its focus is not just about losing weight but keeping it off forever. It also is designed to help people who are comfortable with their weight to enhance their health and sense of well-being by following the Atkins lifestyle. Atkins for Life is already #1 on The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. There are already 600,000 copies in print.
The 2002 edition of Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution was completely updated, and enlarges upon the body of scientific research supporting controlled carbohydrate nutrition. It includes seven new chapters and supplies additional practical advice in the form of numerous tips, and also has 100 new recipes to make doing Atkins easier than ever. True to form, a few weeks after publication the new edition topped the self-help bestseller list.
Dr. Atkins enlisted the help of his wife, Veronica, who is a talented cook, in writing Dr. Atkins' Quick & Easy New Diet Cookbook, published in 1997. Dr. Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution: Nature's Answer to Drugs (1998) is a comprehensive guide to using vitamins, minerals, herbs and other natural substances to prevent and treat many chronic diseases and other medical problems. Dr. Atkins' Age-Defying Diet Revolution (1999) discusses the potent substances in vegetables and fruits and the antioxidant supplements that can help prevent and even reverse many common signs of aging.
In 1989, Dr. Atkins founded Complementary Formulations, Inc. (renamed Atkins Nutritionals in 1998), with three key goals in mind: 1) to provide controlled carbohydrate foods and nutritional supplements, herbs and minerals to a growing population of Atkins followers and 2) to generate funds to invest in controlled carbohydrate nutritional and medical research. Today, Atkins Nutritionals is a market-leading provider of supplements, food and information products designed to serve the millions of Atkins followers.
Dr. and Mrs. Atkins established the Dr. Robert C. Atkins Foundation in 1999, thus far endowed with $3 million in grants. The Foundation is dedicated to providing funding for research and education on the role of controlled carbohydrate nutritional protocols in treating and preventing a wide range of diseases and medical conditions. Unrestricted research grants have already been awarded to a number of institutions including Duke University and the University of Connecticut. In March 2001, The Foundation agreed to provide Harvard University with a $275,000 grant in support of controlled carbohydrate research.
As a leader in the areas of natural medicine and nutritional pharmacology, Dr. Atkins built an international reputation. He was the recipient of the World Organization of Alternative Medicine's Recognition of Achievement award and was the National Health Federation's Man of the Year. Dr. Atkins was also the cofounder and past president of the Foundation for the Advancement of Innovative Medicine (FAIM).
Among his many media appearances were those on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "20/20," "Larry King Live," "CBS Evening News," "The View," "Sally Jesse Raphael," "CBS This Morning,", "Dateline NBC," "The Today Show," "ABC World News," CNN, "48 Hours" and "Good Morning America." Dr. Atkins' work has also been discussed in countless magazines and newspaper articles. He was a prolific writer and sought-after speaker.