From a discussion of celebrity endorsements of diet plans comes this gem from Nutrisystem exec Stacie Mullen:
“The dieting public understands that the dieter has a responsibility to comply with the program,” said Ms. Mullen, adding that if the dieter fails, “I don’t think the public blames the program the dieter was on.”
And from Zalmi Duchman of the Fresh Diet:
“If they don’t do good on it, it doesn’t mean the product doesn’t work,” Mr. Duchman said. “It just means that they’re not sticking to it.”
This perception really helps diet companies stay in business. I’m sure diet programs REALLY don’t like this:
Reviews of the scientiﬁc literature on dieting (e.g., Garner & Wooley, 1991; Jeffery et al., 2000; Perri & Fuller, 1995) generally draw two conclusions about diets. First, diets do lead to short-term weight loss. One summary of diet studies from the 1970s to the mid-1990s found that these weight loss programs consistently resulted in participants losing an average of 5%–10% of their weight (Perri & Fuller, 1995). Second, these losses are not maintained. As noted in one review, “It is only the rate of weight regain, not the fact of weight regain, that appears open to debate” (Garner & Wooley, 1991, p. 740)
—Traci Mann et al [emphasis added]
Most dieters regain their lost weight. It’s not that “they didn’t stay with the program.” It’s that most dieters regain. Period. The few who maintain significant weight loss long-term are a very small minority. But as long as they trumpet “Anyone can lose weight! Just pay us!” they can drown out the downer research that shows how unproven and full of lies their programs are.