Jody Gorran of Delray Beach, Florida
Jody Gorran is a 53-year-old businessman who had a healthy heart
before he began following the Atkins diet. A heart scan conducted
six months prior to Gorran embarking on the diet revealed no plaque
But after more than two years on the low-carbohydrate plan, he
began experiencing angina. Gorran’s cholesterol had shot from
a pre-diet level of 146 to 230. An angiogram
showed a severe artery blockage, and Gorran underwent angioplasty.
His cardiologist told him that he could have died. “I believe
this diet gave me heart disease,” Gorran said.
Gorran is owner and chairman of the board of Aquatherm Industries.
The company, which is based in New Jersey, is the largest manufacturer
of solar swimming pool heaters in the United States.
Gorran has also served as a volunteer fire fighter, a reserve deputy
sheriff, and a volunteer environmental crimes investigator for the
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, which awarded him a special
In 1996, Gorran founded the National Foundation to Prevent Child
Sexual Abuse (NFPCSA), a nonprofit child protection organization.
He has also served on the board of directors of Home Safe, a Florida-based
child protection organization.
Gorran worked with Representative Mark Foley (R-FL) to originate
the Volunteers for Children Act, which was signed into law by President
Clinton in October of 1998. This law allows organizations working
with children, the elderly, and the disabled to request fingerprint-based
national criminal history background checks of volunteers and employees.
Prior to this law, organizations in most states could order only
local and state checks.
In March of 2003, Gorran flew to Israel to serve as a civilian
volunteer on an Israeli Defense Forces base outside Tel Aviv. As
the United States military launched Operation Iraqi Freedom, Gorran
helped repair Israeli communications equipment.