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U.S. News Launches 'Best Diets 2012' with Help From Nationally Known Simmons College Nutrition Professor

Professor Teresa Fung Ranks 25 diets in Categories Including "Easiest to Follow"

BOSTON (January 4, 2012) — Those looking for the best way to trim down in 2012 have a new tool: U.S.News & World Report, which today announces its second annual Best Diets rankings, created with the help of renowned Simmons College Nutrition Professor Teresa Fung, Sc.D.

For the second year in a row, Fung was among the 22 nationally recognized diet and nutrition experts invited by U.S.News to evaluate popular diets, including Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. The panel of experts provided the ratings used to generate Best Diets 2012, which includes the first-ever Easiest Diets to Follow rankings. Among the factors panelists considered for the new rankings were the initial difficulty of adjusting to a diet, and its ability to keep dieters from feeling hungry.

Of the 25 diets evaluated, Fung and other diet experts on the panel determined that the five Easiest Diets to follow are: (#1) Weight Watchers, (#2) Jenny Craig, (#3) Mediterranean Diet, and (tied at #4) Slim-Fast and Volumetrics.

Overall, the DASH Diet, ranked #1 in Best Diets Overall, Best Diets for Healthy Eating, and Best Diabetes Diets (tie); Weight Watchers, ranked #1 in Best Weight-Loss Diets, Best Commercial Diet Plans, and Easiest Diets to Follow; Biggest Loser Diet, ranked #1 in Best Diabetes Diets (tie); and Ornish Diet, ranked #1 in Best Heart-Healthy Diets.

To create the rankings, U.S.News profiled each diet using information culled from scientific journals, government reports, and other resources. Profiles describe how a given diet works, how it breaks down nutritionally, how safe it is, and more. The panelists reviewed each profile, conducted independent fact-finding, and rated the diets on seven criteria, such as their ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss.

A highly respected nutritionist and dietician, Fung she led a study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which found that those who adhered to a diet low in carbohydrates but rich in animal-based fats and proteins increased their risk of death — especially from cancer. This study was the first of its kind to demonstrate the link between different types of low carbohydrate diets and mortality. Conversely, the study found that a diet low in carbohydrates but rich in plant-based fats and proteins was associated with a lower risk of mortality.

Simmons College (www.simmons.edu) is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston. It offers an undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs in health sciences, education, liberal arts, social work, library and information science, and communications management, as well as the nation's first MBA program designed specifically for women. Follow Simmons on Twitter @SimmonsCollege and @SimmonsNews.

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