In 1975, Pierre Dukan was a general practitioner in Paris when he was first confronted with a case of obesity. At the time, being overweight or obese was thought to be best treated by low calorie and small sized meals. Dukan thought of an alternative way to prevent patients from regaining their lost weight. He designed a new approach in four phases, including stabilisation and consolidation. After more than 20 years of research Pierre Dukan published his findings in 2000 in his book Je ne sais pas maigrir (I don't know how to get slimmer), which became a best seller.
In 2013, Dukan, then aged 72, was banned from practising as a GP in France for eight days for breaching medical ethics by prescribing a diet pill to one of his patients in the 1970s that was later pulled from the market.
Pierre Dukan said the paleo diet was a copy of his weight loss strategy. The Paleolithic diet is claimed to be based on the human ancestral diet. Other similar diets include the ketogenic diet being low carb moderate protein and high fats and Atkins diet being low carb high protein and moderate fats.
Promotion and media exposure
Dukan has been promoting his diet since the 1970s; it gained a wider audience after the 2000 publication of his book, The Dukan Diet, which has sold more than 7 million copies globally. The book was released in the United Kingdom in May 2010, and in the United States in April 2011.
The French magazine L'Express' list of the 20 top-selling non-fiction books for the week of 27 December 2010 ranked La méthode Dukan illustrée in 19th place.
The Dukan diet is categorized as a commercial fad diet and carries some risk of causing chronic kidney disease and worsened cardiovascular health. It is unclear whether it helps people lose weight or increase their glucose tolerance. Nephrolithiasis is a potential side effect of the diet that is of particular concern to people with a history of kidney stone formation.
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