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A Review of Commercial and Proprietary Weight Loss Programs

  • Nasreen AlfarisEmail author
  • Alyssa Minnick
  • Patricia Hong
  • Thomas A. Wadden
Chapter

Abstract

More than two thirds of the US adult population is overweight or obese, and many individuals use commercial and proprietary programs to lose weight. Few high-quality studies have examined the efficacy of these programs. This chapter summarizes the results of three types of commercial programs, as assessed by randomized controlled trials (RCTs). These programs include: (1) traditional nonmedical programs (e.g., Weight Watchers®); (2) medically supervised, very-low-calorie-diet programs (e.g., HMR®); (3) remotely-delivered programs (e.g., eDiets.com, Innergy™). This review found that two nonmedical programs, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, demonstrated long-term weight loss (i.e., at least 1 year). Medically supervised very low-calorie diet programs produced the largest weight losses observed; however, participants, on average, regained large amounts of weight. Remotely delivered programs show promise, but additional research is needed.

Keywords

Obesity Weight loss Commercial programs Diet Low calorie Behavioral therapy Physical activity 

Abbreviations

ADA

American Diabetes Association

BDD

Balanced deficit diet

BMI

Body Mass Index

DSE

Diabetes support and education

DSME

Diabetes self-management education

HCP

Health-care professionals

HMR

Health Management Resources

LCDs

Low-calorie diets

NHLBI

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

NIH

National Institutes of Health

POWER

Practice-based opportunities for weight reduction

RCTs

Randomized controlled trials

T2D

Type-2 diabetes

VLCD

Very low-calorie diet

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nasreen Alfaris
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alyssa Minnick
    • 2
  • Patricia Hong
    • 2
  • Thomas A. Wadden
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Weight and Eating DisordersUniversity of Pennsylvania Perelman School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Medicine and PsychiatryUniversity of Pennsylvania Perelman School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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