The Daily Meal announced its latest report, 12 Best and Worst Weight-Loss Programs According to the Experts, in partnership with Everyday Health and MedPage Today. Tapping into the MedPage Today audience of healthcare professionals, The Daily Meal surveyed nearly 1,000 physicians, clinicians, dietitians, and nurse practitioners, to determine which commercial weight-loss diets are recommended and which ones should be avoided.

“Many Americans practice diets on their own accord and dime, without consulting doctors or dieticians. To put it in perspective, we wanted to analyze which of the most popular diets a majority of professionals could stand behind,” said Lauren Gordon, entertainment editor of The Daily Meal. “Partnering with MedPage Today and Everyday Health not only allowed us to gain access to nearly 1,000 respected healthcare professionals to arrive at a conclusion, but it shed a more commanding light on the entire ‘dieting’ philosophy that is extremely powerful.”

MedPage Today users gave their opinions on twelve of the most popular commercial weight-loss programs, excluding any that entailed prescription or surgical intervention. The final ranking was based on the combined survey results from questions focusing on weight-loss effectiveness, long-term effectiveness, most recommended and least recommended.

“Weight loss is one of the most important challenges health care professionals face together with their patients,” said Ivan Oransky, MD, vice president and global editorial director of MedPage Today. Recent guidelines from several major medical societies urge doctors to become more proactive in managing obesity. But what are the best options, and what’s the evidence for them? We went straight to our registered users and asked them what they recommend, and why. The answers will help other doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and nutritionists work with their patients on this critical public health issue.”

The Results

While 89.6% survey participants recommend diet and exercise as the preferred weight-loss method, only 32.7% survey participants sometimes prescribe one of these popular commercial weight-loss diets in conjunction with said regimen. The Atkins diet was the most controversial amongst our panelists, resulting in an almost split approval range, while Weight Watchers was the most popular, with nearly 80% having felt comfortable recommending. Here are the top five weight-loss programs according to survey results:

1. Weight Watchers
2. South Beach Diet
3. Dash For Health
4. Jenny Craig
5. Nutrisystem

To learn more about the best and worst, visit Weight Loss Doctor