A review of 17 different studies that followed obese patients on low-carb eating plans found that dieters lost an average of almost 18 pounds in six months to a year. Overall, participants had improvements in their waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. "We have passed the time where we would say the Atkins diet is bad for you. That's an outdated position," said Gary Foster, director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple. "This is a viable alternative for weight loss."