Arthur Agatston, MD, is a cardiologist and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He has served on committees of the American Society of Echocardiography, the American College of Cardiology, and the Society of Atherosclerosis Imaging, where he is a founding member of the board of directors. He was recently elected to serve on the board of directors of The American Dietetic Association Foundation.
Dr. Agatston has authored over 100 articles and abstracts for scientific journals, including the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the American Journal of Cardiology and the Annals of Internal Medicine. He has served as an expert consultant to the Clinical Trials Committee of the National Institutes of Health, and he has participated as a speaker, faculty member, and organizer of numerous academic cardiology meetings and symposia.
Along with his renown as a researcher, lecturer, and pioneer in clinical and preventive cardiology, Dr. Agatston is best known publicly as the author of the best-selling The South Beach Diet ®.
Where It All Began
Raised on the north shore of Long Island, Dr. Agatston's father and grandfather were doctors, and Arthur Agatston knew from an early age that he also desired a career in medicine. After graduating from New York University School of Medicine and completing his cardiology fellowship at NYU, Dr. Agatston elected to combine academics with clinical practice. He accepted a position at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, which was associated with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Where It's Led
Over the years, Dr. Agatston's pioneering work in noninvasive cardiac imaging has resulted in computerized tomography scanning methods and measures that bear his name: the Agatston Score and the Agatston Method, which are used for screening coronary calcium — and are recognized worldwide.
As a practicing cardiologist, Dr. Agatston did not set out to develop a weight-loss plan. But he did create what became known as the South Beach Diet in the mid-1990s to help his patients whose weight and blood chemistries were not improving on the standard, low-fat American Heart Association diet. His balanced approach became the basis for The South Beach Diet, his first nonacademic book, which became an international best seller. Subsequent books published under The South Beach Diet® franchise also became best sellers, 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); and The South Beach Diet Dining Guide (2005). His next two books are: The South Beach Diet Parties & Holidays Cookbook (October 2006) and The South Beach Heart Program: The 4-Step Plan that Can Save Your Life (January 2007).
Where It's Going
In 2004, Dr. Agatston founded The Agatston Research Foundation for the purpose of conducting and funding original research on diet, cardiac, and disease prevention. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the heart health and wellness of the nation through research, education, and prevention. His goal is to educate and empower both his patients and the public about healthy lifestyle choices and disease prevention, encouraging the practice of such prevention in America and throughout the world. In creating The Agatston Research Foundation, Dr. Agatston is fulfilling a personal dream as he continues to "change the way America eats."
Dr. Agatston lectures extensively on prevention both nationally and internationally and has served as a reviewer for major medical cardiology journals. In addition to his work with his wife, Sari, on the South Beach Diet and The Agatston Research Foundation, Dr. Agatston maintains a cardiology practice in Miami Beach, where they reside. The Agatstons have two sons, currently attending college.