After reading this blog post I e-mailed one of my good friends. Her mom was good friends with Dr. Atkins.
My e-mail read as follows:
I just read an interesting statement about Dr. Atkins. Seeing how your family was well acquainted with him, I was wondering if you had any feedback on this. One of the strongest proponents of a high protein diet was Dr. Atkins, who had a heart attack, slipped on the sidewalk, and later died of kidney failure. At the time of his death he was also obese (255 lbs, 116 kg). Later his company declared bankruptcy. If you want to look like your skin has died on your body, then yeah, high protein is the way to go.
The response: Dr. Atkins never followed his own diet. Just like a scientist who discovered face cream, but never used it on themselves, Atkins discovered this diet and never tried it out. The reason why this diet worked for my mom was because she is yeast-intolerant (bread, sugars have yeast). This diet is not for everyone in my opinion (just like it wasn't for Dr. Atkins), and it is often followed incorrectly -- low carb candies, etc. should not be a part of the diet -- Protein and natural carbs (like fruits and vegetables) should. According to my mom's diet, one is supposed to cut out ALL carbs and sugars ONLY for the first 2 weeks, at that point the body goes through a process called ketosis (to speed up ones metabolism -- a state after which one can eat a lot and still lose weight).
I personally think that other diet companies tried to sabotage people by writing things that influence people to think that Atkins was evil. Yes, a bunch of low carb candies all day is not healthy, but 6 full meals filled with lots of proteins, veggies, and fruits is not going to make anyone " look like your skin has died on your body."
It sounds like neither his heart attack, his slipping on a sidewalk, nor his kidney failure was a direct result of the Atkin's diet.