Health: Bringing Sanity to the Diet Craze

The Government considers tough new rules for weight-loss firms

Despite its obsession with dieting, the U.S. population seems to grow fatter every year. And so does the industry tailored to respond to the needs and neuroses of those who are fighting, and largely failing, to keep their waistlines under control. Americans spent more than $30 billion last year on such offerings as diet books, videotapes, appetite suppressants, "lite" foods, low-calorie beverages and commercial weight-loss programs. Now the overweight and overwrought are rushing to try the latest raft of crash-diet plans, which promote ways to trim fat quickly by doing little more than taking pills or swilling specially formulated drinks.

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