The study, published Wednesday in the journal Obesity, found that the programs in question may not adhere to weight management guidelines set by the American Heart Association (AMA), the American College of Cardiology and the Obesity Society.
The researchers reviewed 191 weight loss centers in the Maryland-Washington, D.C.-Virginia corridor in several categories – including diet and exercise – and found that only 1 percent of all of these centers followed all recommended medical guidelines. Fewer than 1 in 3 were physician-supervised and only 3 percent of centers reported advising the proper amount of physical activity. The AMA recommends that adults aim for 150 minutes or more of moderate exercise each week to ward off heart disease and stroke.
ABC News’ Dr. Jennifer Ashton appeared on “Good Morning America” on Thursday to discuss what the findings mean for people who are trying to lose weight. An estimated two-thirds of all adults in the U.S. are considered to be overweight or obese, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.