Which popular weight loss programs work best?
Weight loss programs are one of the largest industries in the U.S., grossing roughly $60 billion annually, according to Marketdata Enterprises. There are several options for commercial diet plans, but which ones really work best?
A new study finds that the majority of commercial weight loss programs nationwide show no real evidence that customers maintain weight loss for at least a year. Weight Watches and Jenny Craig were the only two programs that were sustainable for people to keep the weight off. Nutrisystem also showed promising results, along with Atkins, The Biggest Loser Club and Slim Fast.
“We still don’t know whether a lot of these programs work,” said Dr. Kimberly Gudzune, lead author and assistant professor of medicine and weight loss specialist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, in a news release.
The study collected 141 commercial and proprietary weight-loss programs and divided them into categories including weight loss, diet change and meal replacements. Categories also included physical activity, behavioral and social support.
Researchers found that Jenny Craig participants lost 4.9-percent greater weight loss at 12 months than a control education and counseling group, while Weight Watchers participants lost at least 2.6 percent at 12 months.
Doctors agree that commercial diet plans that manage the caloric intake for people are helpful in weight loss, but people need to be committed to taking responsibility for maintaining a healthy weight.
“People have to examine and care about their health,” says Dr. Rudyard Smith, internist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago. “They have to be knowledgeable about what is going on in their bodies, and making sure you are the proper weight is essential to your overall health.”
Two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, and excess body weight increases the risk for hypertension and Type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
Weight problems can also lead to high blood pressure and cardiac issues.
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