Four of the biggest names in the “lose weight, fast” game have been charged with fraud by the Federal Trade Commission. On Tuesday, January 8, the FTC determined that Sensa Products, L’Occitane, HCG Diet Direct, and LeanSpa had deceptively marketed weight-loss products and made “unfounded promises” that people could lose weight by simply using their products.
The four companies will collectively pay $34 million to customers as a refund. No company has yet admitted or denied the charges.
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The most popular diet of the year is none other than the incomparable Jillian Michaels. It’s not entirely surprising when you consider she’s been one of the most consistent players on our list since 2008, with her online brand, detox product, and earliest workout DVD ranking each year. In fact, the latter two were both on last year’s top ten list. We expect to see Curves, ranking for the first time since 2008, as the Biggest Loser trainer just announced a new partnership with Curves.
What is most surprising is how Jillian Michaels knocked the giant that is Weight Watchers out of the number one position. That’s only been done once before, by 17 Day Diet in 2011. Even that year Weight Watchers held on to number two, but this year they slipped in to the fifth most popular spot.
And 17 Day Diet grabbed ranking number four, hardly losing any ground since its overwhelmingly popular release in late 2010. Its position on our annual Most Popular lists, ahead of Weight Watchers once again, will no doubt help with the release of 17 Day Diet: Breakthrough Edition on the 31st.
The only constant between last year’s list and this – Medifast. They’ve got number 3 on lock, with the meal delivery diet staying strong in the top ten since 2010.
Another staple of our list fell pretty hard this year, with hCG falling down to number 14. No, the supplement boom isn’t over, as its disappearance only made room for brands like Skinny Fiber (a shocking number 2) and Plexus Slim (at number 6) to move on up the list. Dr. Oz-endorsed Raspberry Ketones (17) and Green Coffee Bean Extract (20) were other weight-loss-by-pill categories that did especially well this year.
Check out the 25 Most Popular Diets of 2013* as determined by you, our readers.
1. Jillian Michaels
2. Skinny Fiber
4. 17 Day Diet
5. Weight Watchers
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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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For the fifth year we’re excited to announce our Most Popular Diets of 2012 list! And it’s a good one!
While Weight Watchers gave up the number one position in 2011 for the first time in our history, they reclaimed the top spot this year earning them the title of Most Popular Diet of 2012. As they are weeks away from celebrating their 50th anniversary, they announced Weight Watchers 360 to help people establish healthy, lasting habits right at the new year.
In a sort of diet tag, 17 Day Diet moved to number two, a more than respectable position for a series of weight loss books that has been hard at work since its debut in late 2010. This year 17 Day Diet expanded its value to its loyal followers with the publication of a cookbook and an anti-aging plan. One of only two brands that makes multiple appearances on the list, 17 Day Diet’s Meal Plan, facilitated by Bistro MD, landed at number 24 (down from number 3 in 2011).
For the first time in our list’s five-year history, acai doesn’t show up. It seems the heyday for this diet pill has run its course, but hasn’t taken the entire supplement industry down with it. Dr. Oz’s hyped promotion of raspberry ketones landed it at number 19 on the list, no doubt stealing a lot of thunder from acai.
Jillian Michaels is the only other brand that makes multiple appearances on our list, as she does every year. Her nearly five-year-old workout DVD 30 Day Shred took position 8, an improvement over last year’s number 10 ranking. Right after that is her Detox and Cleanse product, and anchoring the list at number 20, down from number 4 in 2011, is her Jillian Michaels Online subscription program. Her exit from both Biggest Loser and The Doctors in the past 18 months may have caused a slight decline, but her popularity is rarely wavering. In fact, America’s Toughest Trainer returns to NBC’s Biggest Loser for season 14 in January. We expect to see her on the list again next year.
CLICK HERE to view the Most Popular Diets of 2012
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Betsy Schow’s weight struggles began early on in life. She recalls her childhood, growing up with two parents who both struggled with their weight and three siblings who were the stark opposite.
“I have three older sisters and they were always skinny little whips. It was obnoxious,” she joked. “When I was 12 my dad lost quite a bit of weight – 150 pounds – with Atkins and Fen-Phen. It was at that point that he not so politely pointed out that was I fat.”
Perhaps not so aware of her weight before that moment, Betsy’s struggles all of the sudden became a preoccupation. She did everything she could to try and lose the weight, testing out various diet and fitness programs but they all ended up leaving her heavier than she was before. It didn’t take long before this pattern left her fed up and willing to do just about anything to lose the weight.
At 5 feet 7 inches tall, Betsy weighed just shy of 220 pounds at her heaviest. A big push came when she tried to eat better over one summer in an attempt to finally get in a swimsuit and feel comfortable. But when she stopped nursing her youngest daughter that year she gained an unexpected 10 pounds in one month, which sent her to a sinking point.
“Between that 10 pounds and the scale I lost it. I broke down and realized I had to change,” she recalled. “Even then it started out pretty much the same but I needed to do something drastic because my doctor was warning me I was pre-diabetic.”
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