Atkins, Robert Coleman (1930–2003),
American cardiologist and nutritionist. In 1972 he published Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution, the first of seven best-selling diet books. His controversial system of weight loss was based upon an extremely low intake of carbohydrates that induces ketosis and forces the body to burn stored fat. He operated the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine, and in 1999 established a foundation to support research on ways in which a low-carbohydrate diet can prevent or treat a variety of illnesses. Despite varying medical opinions on the efficacy and health effects of his method of weight loss, it gained popularity and prompted a demand for low-carbohydrate foods.