Answering the Right Questions When You Review Diet Programs - dummies

Answering the Right Questions When You Review Diet Programs

By Jane Kirby, The American Dietetic Association

After you consider the different types of diet programs and find one that you think may work for you, make an appointment to visit one of that program’s centers for a personal interview. Take along the following list of questions and demand satisfying answers.

  • What data proves that the program actually works? What has been written about the program’s success, besides individual testimonials?

  • Do customers keep off the weight after they leave the diet program? (Ask for results over two to five years. The Federal Trade Commission requires weight loss companies to back up their claims.)

  • What are the program’s requirements? Are special menus or foods, counseling visits, or exercise a part of the program?

  • Does the plan include physical activity recommendations? Will the program include guidance on physical activity for the long term? How?

  • What are the approaches and goals of the program?

  • What are the health risks?

  • If I don’t need to purchase special meals, does the plan take into account my personal food preferences? Will I have to give up all my favorite foods? Are the foods available at the supermarket? Will the program help me to discover how to live with its eating plan for the long term? How?

  • What are the costs of membership, weekly fees, food, supplements, maintenance, and counseling? What’s the payment schedule? Are any costs covered under health insurance? Will the organization give a refund if I drop out or give rebates for successful weight loss and maintenance?

  • Will the staff monitor my success at three- to six-month intervals and then modify the program if needed?

  • Does the plan have a maintenance program? Is it part of the package or does it cost extra?

  • What kind of professional support is provided? What are the credentials and experiences of these professionals? (Detailed information should be available on request.)