Bob & Andrea Mondello's Response
Time Magazine's Article
You can send letters to TIME responding to their articles by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Low Carbohydrate Eating (www.lowcarbeating.com) November, 1999:
As Atkins dieters for the past year, my husband Bob & I were very disappointed in your 11/1/99 issue. Not that we expected your publication to actually recommend the diet - heaven forbid you go against the AMA - but we certainly expected you to present some scientific evidence to state your case! Instead, you merely quoted, in your own words, "mainstream doctors and professional dietiticians".
Having lost a total of 148 lbs. on the Atkins diet over the last year, I think we can properly make some comments about your article.
1. We eat a lot more than bacon, which is featured so prominently in your article. And we eat lots of fiber. Raw broccoli, raw celery, all kinds of salad greens, nuts... the list goes on and on. No, we did not eat much of these things on the first two weeks of the diet (the induction phase), but that is only the first two weeks. Honestly, we eat a much greater amount of vegetables than we did before we started the diet. We also eat a small amount of fruit. By the way, Dr. Atkins recommends psyllium fiber for his dieters. Have any of the five authors of your article actually read the Atkins book? It appears not.
2. You state that "the reason some people lose weight on low-carb diets...is simply that by cutting out carbs, these dieters are reducing their calorie intake". Having been on very low calorie diets in our past (as low as 900 calories per day - medically supervised) and knowing how little you actually eat on them, we have to tell you that the notion that we are reducing our calorie intake on this diet is just plain silly. While we don't count calories on our eating plan(hallelujah), we can confidently say we eat quite a few of them. And even if that were not the case, restricting calories to lose weight is the goal of the mainstream low fat diets, is it not? And your problem being...?
3. Your article states that "millions are willing to risk...long-range health effects to get rid of their obesity". What long range health effects? Where is the proof that a high protein, high fat or moderate fat diet, WITH LOW CARB CONSUMPTION has long range health effects? There certainly seems to be evidence that the low fat, high carb diets that have been propounded are not working! On the other hand, the long range effects of obesity are pretty well documented.
4. We thank you for presenting the article by Dr. Merrell that follows the main article. We started on the path of low carb dieting because our family doctor recommended it to Bob. It is important to let people know that doctors have been finding that it works for their patients. We wonder, however, why his comments were not provided in the context of the main article. Some folks are sure to miss his piece (as we did the first time around). It would have made the article more balanced.
No question, you have picked a topic for your cover that will "sell" and create controversy. Perhaps on the next go around, you could present some scientific evidence, pro and con, about the issue. Perhaps you could refrain from suggesting that low carb dieters are like "Henry VIII". And perhaps you could remember that we eat a lot more than bacon.
Bob & Andrea Mondello