NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Diet specialist and best-selling author Dr. Robert Atkins died Thursday after being hospitalized for injuries suffered in a fall on an icy sidewalk in New York last week.
Atkins, 72, has made his name instructing millions to peel off pounds by steering clear of sugar and other carbohydrates, and in his recipe to skinniness he believes that protein is crucial and fat does not necessarily make people fat.
World famous diet doctor Robert Atkins, above, died on Thursday. (Photo: Atkins)
The advocate of the popular but controversial diet was taken to the hospital last week after falling near the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in Manhattan.
Privately held Atkins Nutritional, founded by Atkins himself, grew 70 percent in 2002 to more than $100 million in revenue, according to Business 2.0 magazine.
His label is sold in many major chains, such as Wal-Mart Stores (WMT: Research, Estimates) and Target (TGT: Research, Estimates), and shopping clubs like Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST: Research, Estimates).
Atkins first published, "Diet Revolution" in 1972, which was updated twice and hit the best-seller lists despite the criticism. His latest book, "Atkins for Life," was published this year.
The Atkins diet -- now referred to as "the Atkins Nutritional Approach" -- has been criticized by the medical establishment as risking disease, but several recent studies have shown that the diet can help people lose weight without damaging their health.
In addition to his wife, Veronica, Dr. Atkins is survived by his mother, Norma Atkins.
-- from staff and wire reports