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Weight Watchers and Medifast Top Consumer Reports Best Diets

Consumer Reports just released their top diets of 2012. They reached out to 9,000 of their subscribers to get honest, real-life feedback about some of the most popular diets on the market. This comes a couple of weeks after we compiled our fifth annual Most Popular Diets of the Year list, featuring 25 brands and products that our readers favored most in 2012. There are some strong similarities and also some big differences between the two lists.

When it comes to commercial diets, Weight Watchers ranks number one on both lists. It seems, according to the Consumer Reports feedback, that users like that there’s no specific food that has to be purchased, it’s just a matter of counting those PointsPlus values. Another diet high on both of our lists is Medifast. Those who replied to the Consumer Reports survey (of 9,000 readers) noted that they lost the most weight with Medifast than with any of the other diets. A few of the big names were ranked lower in the report; for instance, Nutrisystem, which ranked six on our list, and Jenny Craig, which did not rank for us, were not seen as fan favorites in this survey. It seems many are not big fans of the foods in these programs.
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Concerning Levels of Arsenic Found in Rice: FDA Conducting Full Investigation

Consumer Reports released a study this week regarding an investigation into arsenic levels in rice. After testing more than 60 rice products, the organization found there were “worrisome” levels of arsenic in all products.

Rice is the number one food source of arsenic in human diets, reportedly containing five times more than oatmeal.

Arsenic is an element found in nature and in man-made products, including various types of pesticides, according to My Health News Daily.

Because it is in the soil, plants absorb arsenic when they grow, which explains how it gets into our food products.

Because Consumer Reports detected “worrisome” levels of arsenic have been detected in our foods, experts are warning consumers to take caution, especially warning parents not to give more than one serving per day of infant rice cereal to their children.

Following the Consumer Reports investigation, which rested 60 rice products, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is conducting its own full study and has already tested more than 200 rice products. Various products have included rice cereals and beverages, and the FDA has already found traces of arsenic in all products. In total, more than 1,000 products will be tested over the course of a year.
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Food Fight: Light Ice Creams vs. Full-Fat Ice Creams

While you may think that it’s a no-brainer when it comes to which tastes better between a full-fat and reduced-fat bowl of ice cream, a recent study by Consumer Reports may surprise you. Their survey gives us the low-down on which light ice creams are the best for your taste buds, waistline and your wallet.

food fight

Consumer Reports took four ice cream makers and selected two of the same flavors that each of them sells, one full-fat and one light and compared them on calories, fat, price and overall taste. Here’s the skinny (or the chunky):
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One in Five Americans Need Pills to Sleep

We are an increasingly medicated population. Some of us rightly so, while others… not so much.

Consumer Reports just published a survey that says one in five Americans uses medicine at least once a week to help them go to sleep. sleepThe findings are based on a survey of 1,466 adults in the U.S. by the Consumer Reports National Research Center in April 2008. Previous studies have shown that proper amounts of sleep (7-8 hours) can actually help you lose weight, with appetite-regulating hormones in the body being at proper levels with the well rested.

I’m obviously not a statistician, but in my amateur opinion, this seems like flimsy evidence, only because the sample size is so small. One in five? Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, since we live such stressful non-stop lives.