HEALTH

U.S. News & World Report ranks top five easiest diet plans

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The U.S. News & World Report on Wednesday named the top five "easiest" diets New Year’s resolutionists should follow — Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Mediterranean Diet, Slim Fast and Volumetrics — out of a total field of 25 diet plans.

Best Diets 2012 featured 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 were the Abs diet, Biggest Loser diet, Dukan diet, Flat Belly diet and Macrobiotic diet.

Big winners across the rankings included:

  • DASH Diet, which ranked No. 1 in best diets overall, best diets for healthy eating and best diabetes diets (tie);

  • Weight Watchers, which ranked No. 1 in best weight-loss diets, best commercial diet plans and easiest diets to follow;

  • Biggest Loser Diet: ranked No. 1 in best diabetes diets (tie); and

  • Ornish Diet: ranked No. 1 in best heart-healthy diets.

"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," stated U.S. News‘ 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. A volunteer panel of 22 nationally recognized experts in diet and nutrition review each diet profile, conduct 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.


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Pediatric cough-cold line sweetens OTC

BY Michael Johnsen

Zarbee’s has been expanding its pediatric cough-cold line featuring buckwheat honey with the launch of Zarbee’s Nighttime Cough and Sleep Drink, an over-the-counter nighttime cough remedy proven safe and effective for children 2 years of age and older.


“In this product we’ve taken the dark honeys, but we’ve put it in a granulated form so that it can be mixed in hot water,” noted Zak Zarbock, the pediatrician who created the product. In the first two months on shelf, Zarbee’s Nighttime moved more than 180,000 units across one national pharmacy retailer.


And while the product is a dietary supplement, and advertised as such, that doesn’t mean it can’t run head-to-head against other products on the cough-cold shelf. A Penn State survey published in 2007 in The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that the parents of a group of children taking buckwheat honey to reduce cough reported significant difference in symptom relief versus the parents of a group of children taking a honey-flavored dextromethorphan product.


In addition to buckwheat honey, Zarbee’s Nighttime Cough and Sleep Drink contains vitamin C, zinc and elderberry, as well as a small amount of melatonin.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements Sell-Through Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Niche demographics shake up diets

BY Michael Johnsen

The market for meal replacement ready-to-drink shakes is expanding beyond the need for a shake-shake-sensible-meal diet plan, or the need for a protein booster, with a number of niche marketing opportunities.


“In the evolving healthcare landscape, more healthcare providers and consumers are recognizing the significant role that nutrition plays in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and in overcoming health setbacks,” noted Sondra Miller, divisional VP therapeutic nutrition for Abbott. “To stay independent longer and control rising health expenditures, many adults are actively seeking nutrition solutions that deliver healthy aging or recovery benefits and offer convenience and great taste.”


For example, Abbott launched Ensure Muscle Health for adults beginning to lose muscle after age 40, a much younger demographic from Ensure’s traditional baby-boomer customer. And in September, responding to the growing diabetes and obesity epidemic in the United States, Abbott introduced Glucerna Hunger Smart specifically for people with diabetes. The shakes offer 15 g of protein to help people manage hunger as part of a diabetes weight-loss plan.


And while these niche demographics represent additional growth opportunity for the liquid nutritional category, there also still is growth to be had within that traditional diet and protein position. For the 52 weeks ended Oct. 30, 2011, sales of the venerable Slim Fast diet shake were up 20.3%, and the popular protein RTD Muscle Milk was up 28.8%, according to SymphonyIRI Group data across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart).

  

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Diet/Weight Loss Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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