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“Low-Carb”: America’s latest food fad
  1. Mary Shaw
  1. Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2PR, and South West Public Health Observatory, UK;

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    Any visitor to the USA cannot help but notice the current fixation with minimising (or even eradicating) carbohydrates from the American diet. Advertisements proffer all manner of low-carb options (for example, bread, pizza, chocolate). There are low-carb specialty shops and menus in restaurants offer low-carb dishes. You can even wash down you low-carb meal with low-carb wine (see left hand image). This contrasts with the situation in England, where the Atkins inspired diet has arrived but has yet to reach the same scale of acceptance (see right hand image). It will be interesting to see if this new fad will have a similar effect on American waistlines as low calorie, low fat obsessions of past decades.

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    Left: an advertisement in San Francisco, USA, August 2004 (taken by Mary Shaw); right: a supermarket leaflet, England, August 2004.

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    • Funding: Mary Shaw is funded by the South West Public Health Observatory

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