Does Weight Watchers really work?

According to a study published recently in the British medical journal The Lancet, people following the Weight Watchers program for a year lost twice as much weight as those who followed weight-loss guidance from their doctor.

What does this mean?

This means that there clearly is some worth to programs such as Weight Watchers and while the study did not compare it to other popular programs such as Jenny Craig, we can surmise that other similar programs may also provide healthful results.

This is good to know since these days, we are bombarded by books, commercials, and infomercials that tell us about a new diet that may or may not do anything. You hear about low-carb, no-carb, high-carb, low-sugar, high-protein, the all-chocolate diet (ok I made that one up; but, wouldn’t that be nice?) and what seem like hundreds of other regimens that experts or medical authorities believe to be the optimal way to control our health. With all these options, it’s hard to know what should work best for our own bodies.

The Washington Post tells us that this European study tracked a total of 772 overweight and obese people who sought to lose weight. Roughly half were assigned to follow weight-loss guidance hewing to nationally accepted standards of care and offered by their primary-care doctors. The others were referred by their primary-care doctors to take part, free of charge, in Weight Watchers.

By the end of 12 months, those in the Weight Watchers group lost a mean of about 15 pounds (6.7 kg); those under their doctors’ guidance lost just over 7 pounds (3.3 kg). The Weight Watchers group also saw greater reductions in waist circumference and fat mass.

Over the past year, two surveys published in the U.S. came to different conclusions as to which commercial weight-loss program works best: Consumer Reports in May named Jenny Craig the most effective, while U.S. News and World Report in June put Weight Watchers at the top of its list.

If you are one of the millions of people struggling to achieve your health goals, programs such as Weight Watchers should at least be something to consider and investigate—it’s worth a try!

Of course, abiding by the wisdom of your physician should always be a priority.

 

For more information on Weight Watchers check out their website http://www.weightwatchers.com or Jenny Craig at http://www.jennycraig.com/.

Also check out one of my favorite health resources at: www.doctoroz.com

 

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