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  • Writer's pictureDr. Huegel

The Truth About Commercial Weight Loss Programs

Commercial weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are very popular. However, are they really as good as they say they are? Back in 2002 and 2004, the federal trade commission evaluated the advertising of such programs and found that false claims were very common. A more recent large study in 2017, evaluated 24 such programs to determine if their testimonials really lived up to reality. It was determined that the amount of weight loss in these companies’ testimonials was much higher than actually occurred in randomized controlled trials looking at actual weight loss. In addition, a study of weight watchers and Jenny Craig showed that testimonials did not specify weight loss time frame. Moreover, the trials contained older adults, who may lose less weight and lose weight more slowly than younger adults. In conclusion, it is important to be aware of false advertising when it comes to commercial weight loss programs. It is also important to understand that physician assisted weight loss is based on sound clinical research.

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