Finding the Right Diet for You

Questions to ask before joining a commercial diet program.
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If you're considering a commercial weight-loss program, Tom Wadden, PhD, director of the Weight and Eating Disorders Program at the University of Pennsylvania, recommends asking a number of questions before you join:

  • What are the staff's qualifications?
  • What guidelines does it offer for diet, physical activity, and behavior modification?
  • Will it teach me how to maintain weight using everyday foods, instead of relying on meal replacement shakes or packaged foods provided by the weight-loss program?
  • What kind of social support does it offer?
  • What are the possible health risks?
  • What does it cost? (Dr. Wadden says that a cost of $15 to $20 per pound lost is "reasonable.")
  • How long will the program last?

From the National Women's Health Resource Center. Copyright 2003-2004 by the National Womens's Health Resource Center, Inc. (NWHRC). All rights reserved. Reproducing this content in any form is prohibited without written permission. For more information, please contact



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