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Tips To Help Make Online Dieting Safer

Contributed by: NAPSA

(NAPSA) - Is going online for nutrition and fitness advice a healthy idea?

A Pew Internet Project report, "Vital Decisions," revealed that every day, approximately six million Americans-or five percent of all Internet users-go online to search for health advice, while only five million Americans visit a healthcare professional.

Nearly two-thirds of these online health information seekers look for information about nutrition, weight control or exercise. While there are benefits to surfing for information, nearly 75 percent of online health information seekers do not check the source or timeliness of information or verify what they read.

To help dieters make safer and more informed decisions, the experts at Weight Watchers offer the following tips:

  • Beware of an Internet diet site that promises unrealistic results. Any realistic Web site will set an initial weight-loss goal of five to 10 percent of your current body weight and a rate of weight loss that is not more than an average of two pounds per week.

  • Choose a Web site that promotes a healthy weight-loss plan that you can stick with over the long term. It should encourage you to eat a variety of healthy foods and partake in regular physical activity.

  • Steer clear of sites that focus on or promote diet pills or weight-loss stimulants.

  • Determine if the Web site is professionally managed and a panel of experts reviews the diet plan.

  • Read the diet Web site's privacy statements to be sure the personal information you supply will be kept confidential and not sold to third-party vendors and that ongoing communications from the site will only be sent to you at your request.

  • Before paying for anything, make sure that the site provides you with enough free information about the diet plan, an online tour or access to the message boards to ask questions to determine if the plan is right for you.

  • If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A good rule of thumb is to find a Web site that is part of or associated with a company or organization that you already have confidence in.



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