It’s a new year, and many Americans are dieting with new resolve. To help them, U.S. News & World Report has released its second annual Best Diets rankings. The centerpiece of Best Diets 2012 is U.S. News’s first-ever ranking of Easiest Diets to Follow. Dieters who choose a diet at or near the top of this list are more likely to succeed in staying on their diet for the long haul.
Any diet can promise weight loss, but it’s those that dieters can stick with all year — and year after year — that prove successful. Of the 25 diets evaluated, the five Easiest Diets to Follow are: (#1) Weight Watchers, (#2) Jenny Craig, (#3) Mediterranean Diet, and (tied at #4) Slim-Fast and Volumetrics.
Best Diets 2012 features six other rankings: Best Diets Overall, Best Commercial Diet Plans, Best Weight-Loss Diets, Best Diets for Healthy Eating, Best Diabetes Diets, and Best Heart-Healthy Diets. All six rankings were first published in 2011, when U.S. News evaluated a total of 20 diets. The five new diets added for 2012 are the Abs Diet, Biggest Loser Diet, Dukan Diet, Flat Belly Diet, and Macrobiotic Diet.
Big winners across the rankings included:
“The Best Diets rankings are designed to guide each dieter to the diet or diets best suited to his or her goal, whether that’s weight loss, management of diabetes, healthy eating, or something else,” said U.S. News’s Lindsay Lyon, who directed the project. To create the rankings, U.S. News profiled each diet using information culled from scientific journals, government reports, and other resources. Profiles describe how a given diet works, how it breaks down nutritionally, how safe it is, and more.
A volunteer panel of 22 nationally recognized experts in diet and nutrition reviewed each profile, conducted independent fact-finding, and rated the diets on seven criteria, such as their ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss. U.S. News converted panelists’ ratings to scores and constructed the rankings.
For the Easiest Diets to Follow list, panelists assessed likely taste appeal, ease of initial adjustment, ability to keep dieters from feeling hungry, and special eating restrictions. U.S. News turned to the same 22 experts for Best Diets 2012 as it did for Best Diets 2011. “I can’t say enough about their commitment and hard work,” said Avery Comarow, U.S. News Health Rankings Editor. “They enabled us to provide meaningful, evidence-based rankings.”
The roster of participating panelists: