More than 60% of Americans have tried to lose weight at some point in their lives, and 29% are currently on a diet. It’s true. Weight loss is big business. In a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine rated the efficacy of commercial weight loss programs, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig came out on top, as you may have seen in the news. Before you get too disappointed , let’s take a look at the facts.
• First of all, this is not a true meta-analysis. The researchers disclose that they did not perform a meta-analysis, yet present as though it were and draw conclusions.
• As with any analysis, the results are only as good as the inputs and if they don't include well-executed studies then the results are going to be skewed.
• Comparisons are misrepresented. Many of the trials listed only include a low-fat diet in addition to counseling.
• The conclusion doesn’t add up to the findings and the researchers say it themselves, “Atkins showed the greatest weight loss and six and 12 months .”
• The data are presented with multiple time points from same studies, allowing for influence of the readers by giving appearance of more data. Without an actual meta-analysis, this means that they are allowing misinterpretation about the weight of evidence.
What the study does show is that any weight loss program that comes with a price ($50/month for Weight Watchers and $570/month for Jenny Craig) certainly is successful because of the cost of the program and amount of follow-through and accountability that comes with that price. But once you remove the weekly meetings and pre-packaged meals that arrive at your doorstep, how prepared are you with the tools you need to live a healthy lifestyle, maintain your weight loss and/or continue losing weight?
Atkins is 100% free and its efficacy is proven with more than 80 independent studies, much of which was not included in this analysis because the studies included used counseling. In addition, Atkins has a robust online community of members who motivate and support each other to lose weight and live a low-carb lifestyle. And having that social support is an important component that makes a diet like Atkins, which has been proven to work (and has the science to support it) even more successful.