Real-Life Weight Management: 100 Percent Fad Free

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Turn on the TV and there's the latest super-pill "guaranteed" to make you slim and sexy for just $39.95 (or so) per month. Log onto your computer screen and the pop-ups offer dozens of products to "detoxify" your life and shed pounds miraculously. Glance at the magazines covers in the checkout line and every celebrity in America has a new diet plan to give you a perfect body just like theirs (right!). Flip through those same magazine pages and the (allegedly) before-and-after photos promote quick answers to all your weight-loss dreams.

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"Americans spend more than $40 billion on weight loss every year," according to Christine Emerson, a registered dietitian and president of the Montana Dietetic Association. "Sadly, many people waste their hard-earned dollars on fad diets, weight-loss gimmicks, and modern-day snake oil. At best these products don't work; at worst, they can actually harm your health."

There is no doubt that Montanans, young and old, are increasingly overweight. Recent surveys suggest that 57 percent of the state's adults are overweight or obese. Programs in Billings and Missoula have documented that about a third of preschool and elementary-aged children are already overweight or at risk of becoming so. These trends are troubling, since being overweight can increase the risk of serious medical issues, like type 2 diabetes and joint problems.

However, the path to a healthy weight

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