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Diets Evaluated

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CHICAGO, Jun 30, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Among weight-loss programs, Weight Watchers is the best and the Atkins diet is the worst, registered dietitians said in a Chicago Sun-Times survey.

Dietitians who specialize in weight management gave Weight Watchers an average total score of 20.4, of a possible 25. Among the seven programs rated, Atkins finished last, with 7.9 points. The lowest possible score was 5.

Weight Watchers is the nation's most popular commercial weight-loss program. Participants attend weekly one-hour meetings and pay up to $12 a week.

Finishing second in the survey was TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), followed by Overeaters Anonymous, Jenny Craig, Optifast, Slim-Fast and Atkins.

Dietitians from Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Wellness Institute helped design the survey.

At the Sun-Times' request, the American Dietetic Association e-mailed the survey to 30 dietitians nationwide; 15 responded. The survey is not scientific, the Sun-Times said.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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