A New York federal judge tossed out a lawsuit by a Florida man against the company behind the Atkins low-carb diet that he alleged caused his cholesterol to skyrocket and necessitated an angioplasty.
Jody Gorran, 53, of Delray Beach, Florida, went on the Atkins Diet in 2001, admittedly eating mainly pastrami and cheesecake. After just two months, his cholesterol shot up to an unhealthy 230 from a low 146, according to the suit.
"Pastrami and cheesecake – large amounts of which Gorran admittedly consumed – may present risks, but these are risks of which consumers are aware," wrote Judge Denny Chin in his dismissal of the suit.
The low-carbohydrate diet, pioneered by Dr. Robert Atkins and widely blamed for a drop in sales of high-carb foods, involves eating proteins such as meat and cheese and limiting carbohydrates such as bread and pasta.
Gorran felt pain in his chest in the fall of 2003 and underwent an angioplasty to unclog one of his coronary arteries, according the suit.
"The average consumer surely anticipates that these and other high-fat or high-protein foods may increase cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease," Chin wrote of the salty deli meat and cream cheese-based dessert.
The diet consists of only "advice and ideas" that are protected by the First Amendment, Chin wrote.
Gorran had sued Atkins Nutritionals Inc. claiming its products were "defective and unreasonably dangerous," seeking money damages and an injunction requiring the company to put warning labels on all of its products and its Web site.
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