The bakery industry has gone on the offensive against Atkins and similar low-carb diets with a celeb-backed campaign, despite consistent claims that Atkins has not hit UK bread sales.
The £30,000 promotion uses MTV presenter Cat Deeley to support a seven-day plan called the Vitality Eating System, which it hopes will wean consumers back on to carbohydrates.
Funded by the Flour Advisory Bureau, the Federation of Bakers (FoB) and the Grain Information Service, the campaign attacks "quick fix" diets and their "reliance on pseudo-science" and says that "faddy diets" like Atkins and South Beach only confuse consumers.
The Vitality Eating System developed by sports nutritionist and health writer Anita Bean claims to be a balanced, long-term diet based upon proven strategies for tackling weight gain. Its launch follows a research-based literature review last year by the Medical Research Council Human Nutrition Research called Tackling the Weight of the Nation. That recommended that consumers eat more wholegrain and high-fibre carbohydrate foods, less fat and increase exercise to avoid obesity.
In the US the impact of the Atkins diet on bread sales has been severe.