Cheap Weight Loss Program Effective

AURORA, Colo., Oct. 18 (UPI) — Cheaper, non-profit weight-loss programs may work as well as more expensive commercial ones, U.S. researchers suggest.

Dr. Nia Mitchell of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., and colleagues find those who spent three years in the non-profit Take Off Pounds Sensibly program lost 5 percent to 7 percent of their body weight and kept it off.

“This is the first time a study of this size and duration has ever been done on a weight loss program,” Mitchell says in a statement.

“The natural history of weight loss is weight regain and we were happy to see that people were able to keep off the weight.”

The researchers tracked thousands of people enrolled in TOPS, which helps members lose weight through group support and education via weekly meetings and weigh-ins. Members receive a booklet with a six-week lesson plan, a one-year subscription to TOPS News and membership in the local chapter, Mitchell adds.

TOPS costs about $90 a year, Weight Watchers costs about $480 to $625, Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig, which include food, can cost between $3,600 to $6,500 a year, Mitchell sells.

The findings are published in the journal Obesity.

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