Here's a routine article on various diets and how they were ranked by a panel of health experts:
Predictably, Atkins, the red headed stepchild of the health community, came in towards the bottom - second last, in fact. The diet our family follows - paleo - comes in dead last.
What's unusual about this article is that it allows readers to answer the question "Did this diet work for you?" Paleo - 3804 "yes" votes. Atkins, 1047 "yes" votes. Of the other 18 diets, only Weight Watchers also has over 1000 "yes" votes as of 20110705.
Not a scientific survey, but perhaps enough to suggest the health experts reexamine their reasoning.
Edit 20110705: At the time I originally posted this, I had looked at the survey twice, once shortly after the U.S.News article was published, and once as I wrote the post. The proportions of various votes were fairly stable over that time, though the absolute amounts had increased by a lot. The "haven't tried" option had also been eliminated, so I didn't mention it.
Since then, most numbers have stayed pretty much the same, except for the "No" votes for Atkins and paleo, which have increased by a lot - by a factor of 100 for paleo. I suspect vote manipulation. I've edited the paragraph on the vote result accordingly. The original paragraph, which reflected the vote results as of 20110624, was:
What's unusual about this article is that it allows readers to answer the question "Did this diet work for you?" Paleo - 37 times as many "yes" as "no". Atkins, and also Weight Watchers - twice as many "yes" as "no". None of the other 17 diets had even half as many "yes" as "no".
I think the best part of it is not that it's a paleo diet, but it encourages you to think about all foods. That's it's power, rather than exclude this, don't eat this, this is the key, the paleo diet, at lest from my perspective, has allowed me to really think about what food means for our bodies. It has allowed me to think about the anatomy of our bodies, how they developed, the biochemistry of food in the body, and the physiology of digestion. At least that's what I do. I don't think many other diets do this, that's why primal, paleo, ancestral is so successful--it's liking striving for a total mindset.