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Consumer Reports Rates Diet Plans: MyFitnessPal, A Free App And Website, More Satisfying Than Weight Watchers

Paleo Diet Also Among Top Rated Diet Plans 

YONKERS, N.Y., Jan. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- MyFitnessPal, a free smart phone app and website, got one of the top satisfaction scores in Consumer Reports' new diet Ratings published in the February issue of the magazine and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.  And while Weight Watchers is still the people's choice, chosen by 4 out of 10 Consumer Reports' readers, its scoring on satisfaction is not as impressive as MyFitnessPal.

This year, Consumer Reports taps its large readership to rate diets. In fact the survey of 9,376 readers is one of the largest ever done on specific diets.  "We felt that this new approach would get right to the heart of what people care about most when choosing a diet, which is the experience of others who have tried it," said Nancy Metcalf, senior program editor, Consumer Reports.  "The good news is that you can pick a diet that reflects your personal needs and goals, and expect to lose weight on it if you stick to it." 

The results of the survey reflect the broadening landscape of diets that subscribers reported using.  "The rapid emergence of new apps to help dieters crunch numbers and stay on top of their calories and exercise regimens is clearly having an enormous impact that our new methodology was able to capture," said Metcalf.  In 2011, the last time Consumer Reports rated diets, it based the Ratings on the results of clinical trials and a nutritional analysis.

The survey garnered enough responses to rate 13 diets representing two categories, commercial plans and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) plans.  In the commercial category, Weight Watchers got one of the top reader scores (74), followed by Medifast (70), Jenny Craig (66) and Nutrisystem (56).   In terms of initial weight loss, Medifast was the only commercial plan to receive an above average Rating.  In fact, dieters said they lost more weight on the low-calorie Medifast program than any other diet rated by Consumer Reports: a typical weight loss of 20 to 43 pounds for men and 14 to 40 pounds for women.  Weight Watchers received top scores for allowing a variety of foods and for encouraging calorie awareness, exercise, and consumption of fruits and vegetables.     

Of the 9 DIY plans, MyFitnessPal received an overall satisfaction score of 83 and top marks for maintenance, calorie awareness, and food variety.  The Paleo Diet, which instructs dieters to eat like a caveman, received an 80 score, followed by the Mediterranean Diet (77) and SparkPeople (76) which, like MyFitnessPal, is an app and website.    

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