20 Most Popular Diet Web Sites Rated
Ratings by Consumer Reports' WebWatch Show Wide Range in Quality
WebMD News Archive
Sept. 29, 2006 -- The 20 most popular diet web sites are all over the map,
in terms of quality, according to a new report.
The report comes from Consumer Reports WebWatch and the Health
Three of the top 20 web sites were rated "excellent," two were rated
"very good," three were rated "good," six "fair," and
"I think clearly there are some good web sites that publish information
that will be useful for people trying to lose weight," Consumer
Reports' Beau Brendler tells WebMD.
"But out of the top 20 sites, there are a lot of them that really need
some work," says Brendler, who directs Consumer Reports
"Diet sites that are pushing one particular diet or one particular way
of losing weight, we generally found were not as good as those that provided
in-depth information on health and weight
loss," Brendler says.
Diet Sites Rated
"We started with Nielsen net ratings traffic data and projected some of
our own methodological exclusions to come up with the top 20 most trafficked
diet sites," Brendler says.
"Obviously, they're the most popular and so we felt those were the most
critical to evaluate in terms of information quality and site quality," he
Here are the ratings. Sites within a rating category are not ranked higher
or lower than others in that same category.
- Aetna InteliHealth
- MedicineNet.com (a WebMD company)
- National Institutes of Health
- About Health & Fitness
- MSN Health & Fitness
- The Biggest Loser Club
- The Sonoma Diet
- The South Beach Diet
- Yahoo! Health
- AOL Health
- Light 'n Fit
Advice for Users
"There's so much information out there now hitting people about how to
lose weight this way or that way," Brendler says.
"Consumers really need to pay attention, but we think that obviously a
ratings list like this is one way to help people figure out the best place to
spend their time for getting good diet information."
He offers this advice for people looking for dieting information on the
- Look at how well the sites separate advertising from editorial
- Check the source's medical or nutritional qualifications.
- Read the fine print.
"So many diet ads nowadays say that you're going to lose10 pounds in a
week, but if you read the small print at the bottom of the screen or the bottom
of the ad, they usually say things like, 'Not typical results. Individual
results may vary,'" Brendler says.
"Those are all things that consumers should pay attention to and those
should be red flags for them, that perhaps what they're looking at is not as
good as some source of diet advice on a site where there are less commercial
influences," he says.