NEW YORK (AP) The Atkins diet is protected by the First Amendment against the claims of a 53-year-old Florida man who said the low-carbohydrate meal plan was dangerous and to blame for his heart troubles, a federal judge ruled Monday.
U.S. District Judge Denny Chin made the finding as he tossed a lawsuit in which Jody Gorran, of Delray Beach, Florida, claimed his cholesterol level shot up from 146 six months before he began the diet to 230 afterward, leading to severe chest pain and an angioplasty treatment.
The judge said a book about the diet was not an advertisement for products but rather was a guide to leading a controlled carbohydrate lifestyle.
In his lawsuit, Gorran sought unspecified damages, accusing Atkins Nutritionals Inc. and Paul D. Wolf, co-executor of the estate of Dr. Robert C. Atkins, of products liability, negligent misrepresentation and deceptive conduct.
A lawyer for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which represented Gorran, said he expected to file an appeal within days.
The Atkins company did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.