Researchers report that a new study involving 11 different weight loss programs showed poor results. The 11 programs tested were Medifast, OPTIFAST, Atkins, Health Management Resources, The Biggest Loser Club, Weight Watchers, eDiets, Lose It!, Jenny Craig, SlimFast and Nutrisystem.
Only two programs, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, were qualified as programs that result in actual weight loss. People who used Jenny Craig program lost 4.9% more weight than people who used other programs. Jenny Craig clients work with a nutritionist who helps them choose three different meals a day, and regardless if the meals were low-carb, low-fat or just regular menus the program showed great results.
Weight Watchers showed results 2.6% better than their counterparts in a group that received only education in a period of 12 months. Being the most popular weight program in the U.S. it allows clients to eat anything they want, but it encourages them to cut back on the calories intake with a system that uses “points” that favors healthy food like watermelon and celery and leaves litte room for sweets and snacks.
Jenny Craig may be the best working program but the program’s cost may limit the clientele it gets and for that reason the Weight Watchers is praised as “the most cost-effective” choice.
Americans spend over $2.5 billion on diet programs and weight-loss services each year, according to the LA Times. Weight Watchers gets the 45% of the share and another 13% is spend on Jenny Craig and 14% on Nutrisystem, which involve premade low-carb meals.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Dr. Christina Wee” author_title=”Director of the Health Services and Behavioral Research Program”]
Programs that help patients restrict calories with a structured approach to making healthier, real-world dietary choices, such as Weight Watchers, may fare better over the long term than programs that rely solely on prepackaged meals or supplements.
The medical costs correlating to obesity add up to about $150 billion a year, experts estimate. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act advises physicians to screen for obesity and make sure the patients get medical care and treatment they need. The Obesity Society recommends the same for persons classified as overweight or obese.