Arthur Agatston, MD
Leader in Cardiac Disease Prevention and Creator and Author of The South Beach Diet
Dr. Arthur Agatston is the Medical Director of Wellness and Prevention for Baptist Health South Florida. A pioneer in cardiac prevention, Dr. Agatston’s work with Dr. Warren Janowitz resulted in the Agatston Score, a method of screening for coronary calcium as an indicator of atherosclerosis that is used at medical centers throughout the world and considered by most experts to be the best single predictor of a future heart attack. Dr. Agatston is a clinical professor of medicine at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. His cardiology practice in Miami Beach is focused on preventing heart attacks in high-risk patients.
Dr. Agatston has published more than 100 scientific articles and abstracts in medical journals, including the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Circulation, the American Journal of Cardiology, and the Annals of Internal Medicine. Among his many television appearances, Dr. Agatston was featured along with President Bill Clinton on Sanjay Gupta’s 2011 CNN special, “The Last Heart Attack.” He is a frequent lecturer on diet, cardiac imaging, and the prevention of heart disease both nationally and internationally and participates as a speaker, faculty member, and organizer of numerous academic cardiology meetings and symposia. Dr. Agatston has also served as an expert consultant to the Clinical Trials Committee of the National Institutes of Health and has served on committees of the American Society of Echocardiography, the American College of Cardiology, and the Society of Atherosclerosis Imaging. He is currently on the board of directors of the Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE). In recognition of his contributions to cardiac prevention, the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) created the esteemed Arthur S. Agatston Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Award in 2011, which is given annually to pioneers in cardiac prevention. In 2009, Dr. Agatston received the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Award from New York University Medical Center for outstanding achievement in the medical profession.
In 1995, Dr. Agatston created his balanced approach to healthy eating to help his patients improve their blood chemistries and lose weight. His eating plan worked so well that a Miami TV station asked if it could offer the diet to its viewers. Hundreds of South Floridians went on the diet and lost weight three years running, and its popularity eventually led to the publication of Dr. Agatston’s internationally bestselling book--his first nonacademic work--The South Beach Diet, in 2003. Today, the South Beach Diet is the trusted choice of millions seeking a total solution for losing weight, reversing metabolic syndrome, and gaining health. There are more than 23 million copies of The South Beach Diet and its companion books in print worldwide, including The South Beach Diet Cookbook (2004), The South Beach Diet Good Fats/Good Carbs Guide (2004), The South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook (2005), The South Beach Diet Dining Guide (2005), The South Beach Diet Parties & Holidays Cookbook (2006), The South Beach Diet Taste of Summer Cookbook (2007), The South Beach Heart Health Revolution (2008), The South Beach Diet Supercharged (2008), The South Beach Diet Super Quick Cookbook (2010), and The South Beach Wake-Up Call (2011). His most recent book, The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution, was published in April 2013.
The South Beach Diet lifestyle program has grown to include Web-based materials and a family of healthy and convenient foods, including delicious and nutritionally balanced bars and snacks. Its popular online program, SouthBeachDiet.com, provides weight loss tools, recipes, exercise routines, customized meal plans, support from registered dietitians, and a vibrant community of South Beach Diet followers.
In 2004, Dr. Agatston founded the nonprofit Agatston Research Foundation for the purpose of conducting and funding original research on diet, cardiac health, and disease prevention. The foundation is dedicated to improving the heart health and wellness of the nation through research, education, and prevention. In the fall of 2004, the foundation implemented the Healthier Options for Public Schoolchildren (HOPS) initiative to provide nutrition and healthy lifestyle education programming, including daily physical activity, to more than 50,000 elementary school children nationally. Data from the initiative, presented at national conferences, including those of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American Dietetic Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and published in 2010 in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, show that children in HOPS schools improved their weights, blood pressures, and academic test scores more so than children in non-HOPS schools. Today the foundation is also working with the University of Pennsylvania on the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative (AUNI) to further pursue better nutrition in public schools and with the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Miami on research projects dedicated to developing healthier lifestyles and preventing cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Agatston also can be found on the Web at SouthBeachDiet.com and EverdayHealth.com, and he is an advisor on heart health for Prevention magazine. He lives in Miami Beach, Florida, with his wife, Sari. They have two grown sons.