Weight Loss Programs: Ratings of Sources
Total of 52 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
Comparison of the Effects of Four Commercially Available Weight-Loss Programmes on Lipid-Based Cardiovascular Risk Factors
by L.M. Morgan, et al.
Our AssessmentResearchers at the University of Surrey compare the weight loss and health benefits of four commercial diets. The study tracks 300 overweight or obese individuals for six months as they follow either "Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution," Slim-Fast, Weight Watchers, Rosemary Conley's "Eat Yourself Slim" or a control diet. All participants lost weight (between 11 and 20 pounds), with no significant difference between the diets. Weight Watchers and "Eat Yourself Slim" lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol in participants, but researchers observed no negative heart effects within the six-month study period in subjects following the Atkins or Slim-Fast plans. "No detrimental effects on lipid-based CVD risk factors were observed in participants consuming a low-carbohydrate diet," researchers conclude.
A Dietary Quality Comparison of Popular Weight-Loss Plans
by Yunsheng Ma, MD, PhD, et al.
Our AssessmentThis study compares seven weight-loss plans -- "The New Glucose Revolution," Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, Dean Ornish's "Eat More, Weigh Less," the Zone Diet, Weight Watchers and the USDA 2005 Food Guide Pyramid -- using the dietary guidelines of the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) to determine which is the most healthful and best able to prevent cardiovascular disease. The vegetarian Ornish diet comes in first, followed by Weight Watchers and "The New Glucose Revolution." The Atkins Diet finishes in last place, and the 2005 Food Guide Pyramid ends up somewhere in the middle.
Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets for Change in Weight and Related Risk Factors Among Overweight Premenopausal Women
by Christopher D. Gardner, et al.
Our AssessmentIn this clinical study, 311 overweight/obese premenopausal women are randomly assigned to follow the Atkins Diet, the Zone Diet, LEARN or Dean Ornish "Eat More, Weigh Less" diets for 12 months. Weight loss is greatest in the Atkins Diet group but not statistically different among subjects following the Zone, LEARN and Ornish diets. Health outcomes -- including lipid profiles, triglycerides and blood pressure (for the Atkins Diet) -- are comparable to or more favorable than the other diet groups. Although questions remain about long-term effects, a low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diet may be a feasible alternative recommendation for weight loss, according to these results.
Consumer Diet and Lifestyle Book Reviews
by Editors of the American Dietetic Association
Our AssessmentThe Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reviews numerous diet books on its website, EatRight.org. Various American Dietetic Association members who are registered dietitians publish the reviews. They include an overview of the diet, nutritional pros and cons, and a bottom-line conclusion. The diets aren't rated and no diet is picked as the best overall, but the detailed reviews cut through a lot of the hype surrounding diet books.
Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone Diets for Weight Loss and Heart Disease Risk Reduction
by Michael L. Dansinger, MD, et al.
Our AssessmentThis study randomly assigns 160 overweight individuals to the Atkins, Dean Ornish's "Eat More, Weigh Less," Weight Watchers or Zone diets. At the one-year mark, 25 percent of participants who stuck to their diets lost more than 5 percent of their body weight, regardless of which plan they followed. There is no correlation between the weight a person lost and the diet he or she was on. What does make a difference across the board is whether an individual stuck to the plan, which those on Weight Watchers and the Zone Diet were more likely to do. It appears that sticking to a diet is more important than the type of diet.
The Dietary Treatment of Obesity
by G. Dubnov-Raz, et al.
Our AssessmentIsraeli researchers analyze a number of studies that compare various diets and components of weight loss in an attempt to deconstruct the elements of a successful weight-loss plan. In particular, they note that low-carb and Mediterranean diets may be more beneficial than a low-fat diet in some circumstances. Low glycemic index diets appear not to significantly alter weight loss when compared to high glycemic index diets, although several avenues of research in this vein have yet to be explored. Study authors consider the effect of dairy products on weight loss, but results are inconclusive. Ultimately, the researchers conclude that personal choice is crucial in choosing a diet, "because many diets seem to work, but not universally in all studies."
Meta-Analysis Comparing Mediterranean to Low-Fat Diets for Modification of Cardiovascular Risk Factors
by A.J. Nordmann, et al.
Our AssessmentSwiss researchers analyze six trials that compare low-fat diets to the Mediterranean diet. They conclude after two years of follow-up that the Mediterranean diet appears to be more effective than low-fat diets for inducing "clinically relevant long-term changes in cardiovascular risk factors and inflammatory markers." It's unclear whether the studies analyzed are based on a single specific interpretation of the Mediterranean diet, or more than one interpretation.
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentConsumers Union, publisher of ConsumersReports.org, reviews seven well-known weight-loss programs. Each gets an overall score based on adherence to nutritional guidelines set by the 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the results of published randomized clinical studies. Critical factors include calorie count and how many calories come from each macronutrient (fat, carbohydrates and protein). It's unclear how many participants tested each diet, although in years past more than 40 testers were involved with ConsumerReports.org's diet ratings. The plans are also rated for long- and short-term weight-loss efficacy (based on published studies) and dropout rates.
A Diet Taste-Off
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentTwo sensory testers taste dozens of food products from the Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem Basic and Select meal plans. Although the items aren't reviewed for nutrition or cost, this provides an interesting breakdown of which diet tastes better, with one taking a slight edge.
Optimizing Dietary Fat in a Weight-Loss Trial Requires Advice Based on a Structured "Whole-of-Diet" Model
by Lynda J. Ross, et al.
Our AssessmentIn this study, more than 120 overweight participants are randomly split into two groups. One receives general low-fat diet advice, and the other receives more structured "whole of diet" recommendations. The latter group created a more significant shift toward optimizing their dietary fat profile than the general-advice group. Although no commercial diets are specifically named, the structured-advice group pursued a Mediterranean-style diet, consuming the majority of their fats from nuts, whole grains and oils.
Best Diets Overall
by Editors of U.S. News & World Report
Our AssessmentTwenty-two diet experts, including nutritionists and medical specialists, review U.S. News' detailed assessments of 26 diets. The evaluations took six months to complete, and drew on reputable sources such as medical journals and government reports, plus unspecified "other sources." The expert panel then ranks each diet on a scale of 1 to 5 in seven categories. Those that receive a "best" ranking overall are effective for weight loss as well as relatively easy to follow, offer appropriate nutrition, and help reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. While Jenny Craig ranks as one of the best for weight loss, it doesn't qualify for the overall category due in part to its potentially prohibitive cost. Weight Watchers comes out on top in the commercial diet plan division.
Effect of a Free Prepared Meal and Incentivized Weight Loss Program on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance in Obese and Overweight Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial
by C.L. Rock, et al.
Our AssessmentIn a randomized controlled trial, more than 440 overweight or obese women either participate in a two-year Jenny Craig protocol or receive "usual care," which includes two individualized weight-loss counseling sessions and monthly contacts. The Jenny Craig protocol includes prepackaged meals, in-person or telephone-based one-on-one counseling for weight loss, and increased physical activity. While the Jenny Craig dieters lost 7.9 percent of their initial weight after two years, the usual-care control group lost 2.1 percent of their initial weight.
Determining the Effectiveness of Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS), a Nationally Available Nonprofit Weight Loss Program
by Nia S. Mitchell, et al.
Our AssessmentThis study evaluates Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS), a nonprofit weight-loss program that's available at a much lower cost than commercial diets. The study examines results for more than 40,000 members, and finds that those who stuck with the program for a year or more lost about 6 percent of their body weight. "TOPS is associated with moderate weight loss among participants who remain in the program for at least 1 year," the researchers conclude, adding that it provides "similar results" to commercial weight-loss programs. However, experts acknowledge that trials comparing TOPS to commercial plans like Weight Watchers are still needed.
Systematic Review of Long-Term Lifestyle Interventions to Prevent Weight Gain and Morbidity in Adults
by T. Brown, et al.
Our AssessmentResearchers from the University of Teesside in the U.K. review 39 weight-loss studies that focus on diets and lifestyle modifications. Of those, only 11 produce statistically significant weight loss that lasted at least two years. The successful diets include low-fat, low-calorie and Weight Watchers, the only commercial diet mentioned as being effective for weight loss.
Diet Meal Ratings
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentConsumers Union, the publisher of ConsumerReports.org, tests 24 diet entrees, including 22 frozen meals from brands such as Smart Ones, Healthy Choice, Weight Watchers and Kashi. The meals are rated on taste and nutrition, and eight frozen diet entrees earn a recommendation. One brand receives very good taste and nutrition ratings for all of its tested meals.
Weight and Metabolic Outcomes After 2 Years on a Low-Carbohydrate Versus Low-Fat Diet
by Gary D. Foster, PhD, et al.
Our AssessmentResearchers at Temple University follow more than 300 participants assigned to either a low-fat or low-carb diet. The low-fat diet required subjects to get no more than 30 percent of their daily calories from fat, while the low-carb group limited their carbohydrate intake to less than 20 grams per day for three months, then slowly added more carbs. After two years, both groups lost the same amount of weight, roughly 15 pounds. However, after dieting for six months, the low-carb group improved their cardiovascular health more than the low-fat group did, and saw greater reductions in blood pressure, triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Weight Loss With a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean or Low-Fat Diet
by Iris Shai, RD, PhD, et al.
Our AssessmentA two-year trial in Israel assigns 322 moderately obese subjects to a low-carb, Mediterranean or low-fat diet. The Mediterranean and low-fat groups are limited to 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day, but the low-carbohydrate group can consume unlimited calories. Dietitians meet with each group throughout the study both in person and over the telephone. After two years, subjects on the low-carb and Mediterranean diets lost more weight than those eating low-fat. Women lost the most weight on the Mediterranean diet, and men lost the most on the low-carb plan.
Comparison of Weight-Loss Diets With Different Compositions of Fat, Protein and Carbohydrates
by Frank M. Sacks, MD, et al.
Our AssessmentResearchers randomly assign more than 800 overweight adults (gender unspecified) to a diet with one of the following percentage ratios of fat, protein and carbohydrates: 29:15:65, 20:25:55, 40:15:45, 40:25:35. Participants also receive "instructional sessions," both in groups and individually, for two years. Subjects average a weight loss of 6 kg (approximately 13 pounds) over 6 months but generally begin to regain weight after one year. After two years, participants show similar levels of weight loss, no matter which diet they had followed.
Comparison of Strategies for Sustaining Weight Loss
by Laura P. Svetkey, MD, et al.
Our AssessmentThis 36-month trial follows 1,032 obese or overweight adults as they lose weight for six months, then attempt to keep it off. At the end of the study, 71 percent of subjects were still below their starting weight, although all regained some of the weight they had lost. In the maintenance phase of the trial participants self-monitored, received personal-contact intervention or used computer-based tools. Personal intervention (monthly check-ins by phone) was found to be the most effective tool for weight-loss maintenance. There is little difference between the outcomes of the self-directed and technology-based groups.
Increased Consumption of Dairy Foods and Protein During Diet- and Exercise-Induced Weight Loss Promotes Fat Mass Loss and Lean Mass Gain in Overweight and Obese Premenopausal Women
by Andrea R. Josse, et al.
Our AssessmentResearchers analyze the effects of consuming dairy foods and protein during a weight-loss program by dividing 90 healthy, premenopausal, overweight or obese women into high protein/high dairy, adequate protein/medium dairy and adequate protein/low dairy groups, and monitoring both their body weight and body composition for 16 weeks. Each group also participated in daily exercise, intended to burn 250 calories every day and weight-trained twice a week. All groups lost weight, but the high protein/high dairy group gained the most muscle mass and the low-dairy group lost lean muscle mass. Of particular note, both protein and calcium intakes correlate with reductions in visceral fat volume, body fat percentage and trunk fat mass.
The Effect of Two Energy-Restricted Diets, a Low-Fructose Diet Versus a Moderate Natural Fructose Diet, on Weight Loss and Metabolic Syndrome Parameters: a Randomized Controlled Trial
by M. Madero, et al.
Our AssessmentEating excessive amounts of added sugar, particularly fructose, is a possible cause of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Researchers divide more than 130 patients into two groups -- a low-fructose diet or a moderate-fructose diet, using natural sources of fructose -- and track their weight loss and other health markers for six weeks. During this time, the moderate-fructose group shows superior weight-loss results.
Weight Management Using the Internet: a Randomized Controlled Trial
by Christine M. Hunter, PhD, et al.
Our AssessmentThis study examines how online weight-loss tools affect 446 overweight adults over six months. Researchers recruit subjects from a U.S. Air Force base and seek to include people who are normally under-represented in weight-management trials: healthy individuals, men, minorities, younger adults and people who are only moderately overweight. After six months, those receiving guidance over the Internet lost an average of 2.9 pounds, while those receiving usual care gained an average of 1.3 pounds. Internet tools used included food and exercise diaries, weekly counselor feedback and online weight-loss lessons, as well as two motivational phone calls. Participants found the food and exercise diaries and phone calls to be the most helpful components.
Randomized Controlled Trial of Four Commercial Weight-Loss Programmes in the U.K.: Initial Findings from the BBC "Diet Trials"
by Helen Truby, et al.
Our AssessmentThe BBC's "Diet Trials" is a medical study (also chronicled as reality TV) following the ups and downs of 293 dieters on Weight Watchers, the Atkins Diet, Slim-Fast, Rosemary Conley's "Eat Yourself Slim" (a U.K.-based diet and exercise program) and a self-regulated control group. The BBC sponsors the study and funds the dieters for six months. Study authors find that dieters who stick to a plan lose about the same amount of weight, regardless of which plan they follow. Beyond the sponsored study, dieters who report continued success are those on the Weight Watchers and "Eat Yourself Slim" plans, suggesting that these diets are easier to stick to long term than Slim-Fast and the Atkins Diet.
A High-Protein Diet With Resistance Exercise Training Improves Weight Loss and Body Composition in Overweight and Obese Patients With Type 2 Diabetes
by Thomas P. Wycherley, BSc (Hons), et al.
Our AssessmentResearchers randomly assign more than 80 subjects (both men and women) with type 2 diabetes to consume an "energy-restricted" diet of either the "standard" 53:19:26 carbohydrate/protein/fat ratio or a high-protein diet with a 43:33:22 ratio. Participants are also randomly assigned to do supervised resistance training three days a week. After 16 weeks, the high-protein group that did resistance training showed more favorable results in two of the four categories evaluated, including greater weight loss.
The Effect of a Plant-Based Low-Carbohydrate ("Eco-Atkins") Diet on Body Weight and Blood Lipid Concentrations in Hyperlipidemic Subjects
by D.J. Jenkins, et al.
Our AssessmentThis study from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto examines a new twist on the popular low-carb diet, dubbed Eco-Atkins, that's based on vegetable instead of animal protein. This version includes more carbohydrates than the original Atkins Diet, but is completely vegan. Researchers put 47 overweight individuals on either a low-carb, vegetable-protein diet heavy in soy, gluten and nuts, or a high-carb, lacto-ovo diet that includes animal-based proteins such as milk and cheese. Both groups achieved roughly equal weight loss, but the vegetable-protein group saw "lipid-lowering advantages" over the high-carb group.
Obesity: The Current Treatment Protocols
by Gilbert A. Boissonneault, PhD, PA-C
Our AssessmentThis article reviews the latest research on weight-loss programs and treatments. According to the author, Mediterranean and low-carb diets "appear to be more effective at maintaining sustainable weight loss than the American Heart Association low-fat diet."
Diet Plan Review: Best Ways to Lose 20 Pounds
by Jeanne Lee
Our AssessmentJeanne Lee reviews eight of the most popular diet plans in this comprehensive comparative review. She interviews nutrition and health experts, and looks at the latest clinical studies to determine which weight-loss plans are best for most dieters. Membership and food costs are also considered. The diets aren't rated, but Lee includes a bottom-line recommendation on whether they're worth the money. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Bistro MD and Nutrisystem all earn enthusiastic recommendations, as does the online-only eDiets.
Eating: Diet Guide
by Editors of Health
Our AssessmentNutrition gurus at Health magazine's website review more than 50 diets and weight-loss programs. Each plan gets a lengthy overview and analysis by a dietitian, doctor or fitness professional. You can click on up to three diets at once to see them compared side by side. While there are no ratings or clinical tests conducted, the write-ups are detailed enough to help you make a decision. Weight Watchers is said to be the best, most-proven plan. Most other programs get a mixed but balanced review.
America's Top 10 Healthiest Diets
by Tracey Minkin
Our AssessmentHealth magazine uses a panel of nutrition experts to evaluate more than 60 popular diets. Of those, 10 are recommended for providing a good balance of nutrition, calorie control, motivation and exercise. Reviews of each program are nicely balanced and include comments from diet experts. Unfortunately, Health hasn't updated this review to account for the latest research and diet plans.
Systematic Review: An Evaluation of Major Commercial Weight Loss Programs in the United States
by Adam Gilden Tsai, MD, et al.
Our AssessmentResearchers analyze randomized trials of adults in commercial weight-loss programs and collect data during follow-up periods of at least one year. They note that many of the reviewed studies didn't control for high attrition rates, and conclude that the evidence to support using major commercial weight-loss programs is "suboptimal." eDiets.com, Health Management Resources, Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS), Optifast and Weight Watchers are evaluated, and no one diet is singled out as the best.
Most Effective Diets for 2011
by Editors of TheDailyBeast.com
Our AssessmentResearchers compile data from clinical studies, rating 10 diet plans on weight loss, participant retention and changes in BMI. Although a gallery entry for each diet displays its ranking and individual ratings by category, there's no overall rating to make direct comparisons easy.
Best Diet Websites
by Editors of Good Housekeeping
Our AssessmentThe Good Housekeeping Research Institute evaluates 10 popular diet websites, focusing on their questionnaires, the science behind their recommendations, privacy policies and ease of use. SouthBeachDiet.com is ranked as the best overall diet site, and five other websites earn recommendations. Diet.com receives high marks for its user community, and SparkPeople.com earns a recommendation for its free advice.
Weighing the Evidence on 6 Popular Diet Programs
by January W. Payne
Our AssessmentJanuary Payne evaluates six diet plans, including Volumetrics, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. The diets don't receive a numerical rating, but experts give their feedback on each program. In the end, no weight-loss plan is recommended over any other, although the expert analysis is worth a read.
The Skinny on Big, Fat Diet Programs
by Angie C. Marek
Our AssessmentAngie Marek compares the cost, consumer feedback and major components of six popular diet plans, including Nutrisystem, Medifast, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. Although she doesn't pick one diet plan over the others, this quick, comparative overview of how these plans match up is worth reading. She also offers useful tips from consumers on how to access the various plans (and their meals) for less.
Transtheoretical Model for Dietary and Physical Exercise Modification in Weight Loss Management for Overweight and Obese Adults
by N.A.A. Tuah, et al.
Our AssessmentResearchers analyze five scientific studies involving nearly 4,000 participants to assess the use of the Transtheoretical Model (TTM), described as "a model of intentional change," in weight management. TTM predicts the possible outcomes as an individual adapts to a new behavior -- in this case, a weight-loss regimen -- and could be used as a tool for generating information on appropriate weight-loss strategies. Researchers find no conclusive evidence that TTM caused sustainable weight loss in participants, but speculate that its efficacy may vary depending on how it's employed and what other strategies are applied.
Editorial: Treatment Options for Obesity
by Rena R. Wing, PhD
Our AssessmentThe author describes a "critical need to identify effective treatment approaches for the 68% of U.S. adults who are currently overweight," and points out the scarcity of reliable data available to those who wish to evaluate the marketing claims made about commercial weight-loss programs. She reviews and comments on a single clinical study published in JAMA, in which participants were followed through two years of free access to a Jenny Craig-style weight-loss diet. She also advocates for more studies directly comparing the results of various commercial weight-loss programs, instead of comparing the results to usual care (control) groups.
What You Should Know About the U.S. News Best Diets List
by Editor Diana
Our AssessmentVarious experts react to the recently released U.S. News & World Report diet rankings. Although no diet plans are reviewed or compared specifically, this article offers a variety of tips and feedback about individual diet programs. For example, one dietitian warns that a meal-replacement diet may be good for short-term weight loss, but ultimately "cripples your ability to plan your own meals." A nutritionist and author points out that "no one diet fits all."
Online Diet Programs
by Editors of NextAdvisor.com
Our AssessmentThe editors of NextAdvisor.com break down the pricing, support, fitness and meal options for about a dozen diet plans. As one of three diets to win a 5-star overall rating, Jenny Craig also wins a blind taste test by nine independent testers. It's unclear who did the general research for each program, which includes signing up for the plan, comparing the offerings (and their suitability for those with dietary limitations), and monitoring emerging news, opinions and research reports about the diets, but the direct comparisons of ratings are very useful.
The Best Weight-Loss Plans
by Editors of Quick & Simple
Our AssessmentThis article from Quick & Simple magazine, reprinted at Delish.com, reviews six popular diet plans and weight-loss websites, including eDiets.com, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem. The diets aren't rated, but pros and cons are clearly noted. Editors also list the best type of diet for various types of people.
Your Best Body Is Just a Click Away
by Sarah Breckenridge
Our AssessmentWomen's Health magazine reviews five of the most popular online weight-loss sites, giving each a letter grade. Editors interview several nutritionists to get their takes, then give their own opinions on ease of use. eDiets.com gets the highest grade of A-. WeightWatchers.com, SouthBeachDiet.com, DietWatch.com and FitDay.com get lower ratings.
by Editors of WebMD.com
Our AssessmentDozens of popular diets, including Dr. Phil's "The Ultimate Weight Solution," "The South Beach Diet" and Slim-Fast, are reviewed here, starting with what the diet entails and how it works, and ending with a bottom-line recommendation and an expert's view. The diets aren't rated, which makes it difficult to compare them or pick the best ones, but the detailed analysis is extremely helpful for evaluating individual weight-loss plans.
Prepared Diet Food: The Good, the Bad and the Unhealthy
by Megan O. Steintrager, Heather Tyree
Our AssessmentThis article compares the quality of prepared diet food among five popular weight-loss programs: eDiets.com, the Zone Diet, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem and PureFoods. A week's worth of full meal plans was tested. Vast differences are noted in quality between companies, and rankings reflect flavor, nutrition, convenience, portion size, variety and similarity to real food, plus customer service. eDiets.com ranks the highest; the second most expensive plan, the Zone Diet, comes in second. Jenny Craig, which is consistently derided for its expensive and required prepared foods, is actually the next-to-cheapest plan, but its food is rated next to worst.
How the Cookie Diet Crumbles
by Melinda Beck
Our AssessmentReporter Melinda Beck examines the popular cookie diets -- Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet, Hollywood Cookie Diet and Smart for Life -- to see if they can actually lead to long-term weight loss. In the end, she says they may work for some people, but warns not to expect miracles. In addition, 10 staffers test cookies from each plan to see which taste the best and do the best job of staving off hunger. The best-tasting cookie is the Hollywood Cookie Diet's chocolate chip cookie, which Beck says tastes similar to a real cookie but has an "odd aftertaste." Dr. Siegal's cookies have lower scores, to which the founder responds: "I'm Dr. Siegal, not Mrs. Fields."
by Contributors to Viewpoints.com
Our AssessmentViewpoints.com has a good selection of user reviews for diet programs and weight-loss communities. Weight Watchers gets a high rating of 4.41 out of 5 stars from more than 800 individual reviews; "The South Beach Diet" gets high ratings, too, but fewer overall reviews. Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem and the Atkins Diet have lower scores. Among online diet communities, SparkPeople.com gets excellent feedback here: With more than 200 reviews, the site earns a near-perfect rating of 4.81 stars out of 5.
Delivery Diets That Deliver Results
by Nicole Yorio
Our AssessmentNicole Yorio tests six weight-loss programs that include food delivery. Each is evaluated for two weeks, and pros and cons are clearly noted along with tester comments and a bottom-line conclusion. Yorio says eDiets.com provides "the most bang for your buck," but the six diets aren't rated for comparison.
by Editors of DietTV.com
Our AssessmentA social networking site similar to eDiets.com, but with no fees for any services, DietTV.com has by far the most comprehensive listing of diets -- nearly 80. Each summary shows a list of loves and hates, what makes the diet different, nutrition ratings of what you can or can't eat (with five subcategories) and a section on community ratings (with seven subcategories). Despite all the information provided, neither the diets nor their subcategories get numerical rankings, so it's hard to tell at a glance which diet might be better than another. A link from each diet review lets you join up with that diet, track weight-loss and exercise goals, and join a support group.
Diets Higher in Dairy Foods and Dietary Protein Support Bone Health During Diet- and Exercise-Induced Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Premenopausal Women
by A.R. Josse, et al.
Our AssessmentThe same lead researcher who studied whether increased protein and dairy intake affect weight loss and lean muscle mass gain (they do) tackles whether consuming more dairy and protein also supports bone health. She and her team conclude that additional protein, dairy and calcium intake appears to support bone health better than adequate protein but medium- or low-dairy consumption.
by Contributors to DietsInReview.com
Our AssessmentThis site includes user ratings for dozens of diets, and exercise equipment, fitness DVDs and even fitness centers make the list, too. Each diet plan or weight-loss tool receives an overall percentage rating from users, but because some diets have only a handful of reviews, you can't tell at a glance how meaningful that rating is. And while some diet programs receive hundreds of comments, some of those stray off-topic. Nonetheless, DietsInReview.com is worth a look if you're interested in user feedback or the detailed write-up each diet receives.
Top Diets for Diabetes
by Madeline Vann, MPH
Our AssessmentMadeline Vann interviews a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, who recommends weight-loss diets appropriate for those with type 2 diabetes. The dietitian calls DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) the best weight-loss program, and offers a brief analysis of six other popular diets, including South Beach, Weight Watchers and the GI Diet. Although Vann and her expert consultant don't directly compare these diets, this article is still valuable reading for anyone who has type 2 diabetes and wants to lose weight.
by Contributors to Epinions.com
Our AssessmentEpinions.com's material on diet programs consists of minimal summaries of each and anecdotal ratings from users. Although these aren't as credible as head-to-head comparisons, they do provide individual experiences that may be helpful to read. A number of diet plans attract a huge number of reviews, including Weight Watchers and Slim-Fast. However, most are several years old.
Online Diet Services Review
by Editors of TopTenReviews.com
Our AssessmentTopTenReviews.com rates and ranks 10 popular online diet services on various criteria including food, exercise, community and ease of use. Each diet plan gets a lengthy review that explains the ratings in more detail. eDiets.com is the top-rated service, followed by Diet.com, Dietwatch.com and Fast Track to Fat Loss.
HCG Diet Products Are Illegal
Our AssessmentThis article doesn't compare diets, but instead warns that HCG -- human chorionic gonadotropin, sometimes known as human growth hormone -- isn't approved for over-the-counter sale, and that products containing so-called homeopathic HCG are illegal.