U.S. News Media Group, publisher of usnews.com, the annual Best Hospitals rankings and an array of U.S. News & World Report-branded products, today announced the release of its Best Diets rankings.

Building on more than two decades of experience evaluating hospitals, U.S. News developed five diet rankings to address a broad range of consumers’ dieting goals and needs. Diets were ranked based on ratings from an independent panel of 22 experts. The brand-new rankings, and the top diets in each, are:

Best Weight-Loss Diets

Weight Watchers ranked #1 in weight loss. Tied at #2 were Jenny Craig and the Raw Food Diet, an approach that challenges dieters to avoid foods that have been cooked.

Best Heart-Healthy Diets

The Ornish Diet ranked #1 for heart health. The TLC Diet, a government-designed eating plan that stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, ranked #2. Another government-developed diet, DASH (for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), ranked #3.

Best Diabetes Diets

The DASH Diet ranked #1 for preventing or managing diabetes. Close behind it, in a three-way tie at #2, were the Mayo Clinic Diet, the Ornish Diet, and the Vegan Diet.

Best Diets Overall

The DASH Diet ranked #1 overall. Three diets tied at #2, excelling in all measures U.S. News considered: the Mediterranean Diet, the TLC Diet, and Weight Watchers.

Best Commercial Diet Plans

Some dieters may seek the structure and social support provided by many brand-name programs, so U.S. News also examined how 8 prominent diets stacked up. Weight Watchers ranked #1, Jenny Craig ranked #2, and Slim-Fast ranked #3.

Why rank diets? The obesity epidemic is unyielding—two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese and 1 in 12 Americans has diabetes, which is linked to excess weight and contributes to heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Given how hard it is for many Americans to maintain a healthy weight, U.S. News undertook Best Diets to go well beyond the too-common focus on short-term weight loss and appearance.

“The goal of the Best Diets rankings is to help consumers find authoritative guidance on healthful diets that will work for them over the long haul,” said Lindsay Lyon, U.S. News Health News Editor, who directed the project.

To create the rankings, U.S. News developed profiles of the 20 diets that explain how each one works, the evidence that backs up (or doesn’t) the claims made for it, how it breaks down nutritionally, and much more. A carefully chosen panel of 22 experts, including nutritionists, dietitians, cardiologists, and diabetologists, reviewed the diet profiles and rated the diets.

“This new U.S. News rankings project would not have been possible without the deep knowledge and hard work of our panel of experts,” said Avery Comarow, Health Rankings Editor.

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