FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

Weight Loss – What’s a Dieter to Do?

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Weightloss pyramid.

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There has been a lot of hype from Consumer Reports that Jenny Craig, Slim Fast, and Weight Watchers were rated in the top three weight loss diets in terms of long-term and short-term weight loss results. They also considered dropout rates and nutrition quality. However, not all surveys agree.

Calorie Control Council was started in 1966 and has been keeping track of dieting and weight control habits in the U.S. since 1984.  The CCC is an international non-profit organization that represents the low-calorie and reduced fat food and beverage industry.

A national survey conducted for the CCC by Booth Research Services found that 54% of Americans are dieting in some manner. However, the survey of 1203 males and females 18 years or older found the opposite of the Consumer Reports survey.  They found that restrictive diets such as Jenny Craig, and Weight Watchers are at the bottom of the list as types of weight loss methods used by dieters. What’s at the top? Less restrictive methods such as limiting sugar intake (86%), eating smaller portions (85%), using low-calorie, sugar-free foods and beverages (78%) and of all things, eating less and moving more (73%).  These are primarily just common sense ways to control weight that can work for some but not all people.  Some need more structure and discipline when it comes to weight loss.  They also found that others, however less popular, used online weight loss programs (7%), diet pills (13%), and skipping meals (17%).

Beth Hubrich, a registered dietitian with the Calorie Control Council says, “Be wary of fad diets that suggest drastically cutting entire food groups or avoiding certain foods. Although it may be something you can do for the next few months, if it is not something you can maintain over the long haul, be cautious”.

Bottom line: The best diet for weight control and health involves lifestyle changes you create for you and can live with your entire life.

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