Saturday, January 10, 2004

Atkins and epilepsy

Saw this article on Yahoo! News yesterday about how food companies are jumping aboard the Atkins diet bandwagon and pushing the low-carb nature of their offerings. Suddenly everything from fried chicken to beer is being repositioned as health food, and you don't need anymore evidence that this diet has caught the nation's imagination than that. Sure beats the endless supply of grapefruit and carefully planned out veggies I had to down during the Scarsdale diet craze (have I dated myself? does anybody else remember the Scarsdale diet? Really, it was a book, not etched on stone tablets or anything.)

But while it's amusing to read about how the food industry has figured out ways to make a buck from people's desire to get healthier, the most interesting thing I've read about the Atkins diet has been some preliminary research indicating that it might be useful in controlling epilepsy -- an easier, more socially do-able and less involved alternative to the ketogenic diet. My son's had enough seizures to get a diagnosis of epilepsy but not so many that we've needed to medicate him for it. Every time I research epilepsy medication, I think -- hmmm, maybe we could do the ketogenic diet instead. And every time I research the ketogenic diet, I think -- hmmm, maybe we could medicate instead. But if the Atkins diet does indeed fulfill this early promise of being effective for seizure control -- and especially if it keeps being America's no. 1 diet obsession, with restaurants coming up with approved offerings and food manufacturers marketing Atkins goodies galore -- it'll be a pretty darn exciting alternative. If nothing else, it's a diet I can join him on and maybe lose a little weight.

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