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Consumer Reports Does Dieting

I've definitely consulted Consumer Reports when I bought my car and I even think I checked them out when I bought my cappuccino machine, but I would have never thought about looking to them for dieting advice. Until now, that is...


In their June 2007 issue Consumer Reports rated eight popular diet plans that have been studied in clinical trials. Ratings are based on adherence to nutritional guidelines and the results of published randomized clinical studies that reported short-term (3-6 months) and long- term (12 months) results and together studied at least 40 subjects per diet. Volumetrics was the top rate plan followed by Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and Slim- Fast.

Consumer Reports also rated seven diet books. "The Best Life Diet" was the top-rated, followed by three closely ranked books, "Eat, Drink & Weigh Less," "You On a Diet" and "The Abs Diet."

Want to know which diets got doubtful ratings and find out strategies that they think will work? Then read more

Consumer Reports rated the The Glycemic Index, Angel and devil food diet, and Diet pills as doubtful ways to lose weight, but here are a few strategies they suggest for a successful diet:

  1. Start right: Eating a substantial morning meal is recommended by every diet book Consumer Reports analyzed. Seventy-eight percent of the successful losers at the National Weight Control Registry say they eat breakfast, typically some cereal and fruit.
  2. Crank up the activity: Dieters should get off the couch if they want to lose weight and keep it off. Increasing time spent doing formal exercise and activities such as housework and yard work will help burn calories.
  3. Fill up on low-density foods: One way to spare calories and still eat a satisfying amount of food is to focus one's diet on foods that have fewer calories per bite. The "Volumetrics" diet, which finished at the top of the Consumer Reports ratings, is based on this strategy.
  4. Bring back the scale: Dieters who stay vigilant about their weight can make quick corrections before the pounds add up. While many of the books reviewed discourage the practice of frequent weighing in, 75 percent of the members enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry weigh themselves at least once a week.
  5. Bore yourself thin: This approach is outlined in "The South Beach Diet," "The Sonoma Diet," and "Ultra Metabolism." Since variety stimulates the appetite, the will eat. People should steer clear of buffet tables, which can be a dieter's worst enemy.

For more information and to get the full diet report, check out ConsumerReports.org.

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