The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine, founded by the late diet and obesity guru Robert Atkins, M.D., will shut down Oct. 15, but an advisory council on the Atkins low-carbohydrate approach to nutrition will expand in size and scope in the coming year, practice officials say.
Atkins, a cardiologist who extolled a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that became controversial because of it encouraged the intake of fatty foods, died April 17, nine days after suffering a head injury from a fall outside his New York City office.
According to an Atkins Center spokesperson, the practice has been "winding down" for several months and is in the process of notifying patients and transferring records. The two remaining physicians, Keith Berkowitz, M.D., and John Salerno, D.O., are "discussing a number of options" with Atkins Nutritionals, a company that markets low-carb foods, nutritional supplements and literature following the Atkins philosophy, the spokesperson says.
Atkins Nutritionals and other businesses and institutions related to Atkins will remain, however.
Over the next year, the Atkins Physicians Council, which advises Atkins Nutritionals on medical and scientific issues, will add "at least another three or four" physicians from specialties including endocrinology, pediatrics, women's health, bariatric medicine and orthopedics, the spokesperson says.
Current council members Stuart Trager, M.D., of Philadelphia, Mary Vernon, M.D., of Lawrence, Kan., and Steven Sondike, M.D., of Milwaukee will remain, the Atkins Center says.
The Dr. Robert C. Atkins Foundation, chaired by his widow, Veronica, will continue to support research into treatment of obesity, Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to a statement from several Atkins organizations.