The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), which bills itself as the largest study of weight loss maintenance ever, has about 10,000 people in their research database. Participants must be 18 years old, have lost at least 30 pounds, and have kept it off for at least a year. Recruitment to the registry is ongoing, so you can sign up any time if you meet those basic requirements.
Of those in the registry, 55% say they “received help from some type of program” in order to lose weight (the rest did it “on their own”). The weight loss industry rakes in over $60,000,000 per year in the United States. Over sixty billion dollars per year on an industry that, in the so-called most extensive independent research ever on what they do, can only find fewer than six thousand people who’ve maintained their “success stories” for more than a year.
Still, somehow, through some miracle of believe-the-hype-madness, “success stories” are still one of the diet industry’s most effective marketing tools.
As Arsenio used to say, “Things that make you go hmmm…”