Apparently the programs’ emphasis on group support and, like Alcoholics Anonymous, deference to a higher power aid some people in losing weight. But a Yale diet expert is extremely skeptical.

L.A. Times:

When the First Place Christian weight-loss program came to his church in 1998, Chino computer programmer Mark Gutierrez ? who weighed 310 at the time ? was skeptical. The 44-year-old father of two had tried numerous high-profile weight-loss programs, starting as far back as age 13.

“I had lost weight many times, but always put it back on and more,” he says.

Fear and doubt, he says, delayed him from committing to the program for a year. But once he signed on, in early 1999, he met with rapid success ? dropping 120 pounds in the first 12 months.

The program’s spiritual component made all the difference to him.


Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig