Diet Programs Becoming America’s New Status Symbol

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Diet doctor and author identifies new social trend.

Dr. Leonard J. Ram, MD is the founder of a new telephone diet consulting service called Trimtalk. Find details at: Dr. Ram is a medical doctor who is board certified in gastroenterology and nutrition, and is also the author of The Ram Nut Diet.

“It’s that time of year again – ‘diet season’ in America. We’ve all added more than a few pounds for the holidays and have made our New Year’s resolutions to shed them. However, something new is happening. The “diet season” now seems to last 365 days per year.”, according to Dr. Ram.

In 2005, most weight loss programs were booked solid right through the summer. As America’s girth has grown and obesity and diabetes rates climb to epidemic proportions, the demand for weight loss programs is now high year-round.

Something else has changed. There’s a new attitude toward dieting by the public and the media. It’s now fashionable to have achieved weight loss. This is the era of the “makeover”. We have home improvement makeover TV shows (Extreme Makeover; Home Edition), and now personal weight loss makeover “reality” shows such as The Biggest Loser. By the way, the business of personal appearance enhancement is booming as well—botox injections to get rid of wrinkles, tooth veneers to give us perfect smiles, etc.

"We cheer obese contestants on week by week as they shed pounds, and empathize with them as they share their weight loss struggles with millions of public viewers. The difference is that WE have to foot the bill, not the TV producers, for our weight loss makeovers—and often that tab is steep," says Dr. Ram.

Typical cost of various kinds of weight loss programs:

(average 12-16 weeks, according to Marketdata Enterprises research)

  • diet food home delivery services – up to $1,200 per month
  • commercial diet company plans - $850-1,100
  • weight loss (bariatric) surgery - $25,000
  • personal counseling and meal planning by a dietitian - $800
  • low-calorie medically supervised meal fasting programs - $1,500-3,000
  • one week stay at a residential weight loss facility/spa – $4,000-6,000.

Of course, one can try to do it themselves, on the cheap, and many do. But the fact remains that losing a lot of weight can be expensive.

Now weight loss advice is coming to the telephone. The prices are more affordable than most of the diet programs mentioned above and the quality of the consulting is improving.

According to Dr. Ram, we now wear our successful weight loss endeavor as a badge of pride. We’re proud to let all our friends and colleagues know that we lost 40 pounds, and it cost us $1,500, $3,000, or $25,000 to do it. This trend is similar to what happened to the online dating market about five years ago. Before online dating was made mainstream by, one would never admit that they used a dating service or costly matchmaker. I believe that our attitude toward weight loss programs is moving in that same direction. The social stigma is gone—because so many of us are in the same boat—overweight.

Celebrities such as TV weatherman Al Roker and singer Carnie Wilson had weight loss surgery and lost huge amounts of weight. Their success has been covered extensively and they are glorified by the media. They are our new heroes. On the other hand, when a popular actress or entertainer (usually female) gains a lot of weight, the magazines and media are the first to vilify them and publish the unflattering photos.

The price of some weight loss programs now approaches the price of a new car (at least a used one). Is weight loss the new American status symbol? I think so.

It’s something to think about.

ABOUT Trimtalk / Ram Nutrition & Weight Loss

Trimtalk, a new telephone diet consulting service, with its supporting website, is owned and operated by Ram Nutrition & Weight Loss, Inc. Leonard J. Ram, MD., the founder, is a medical doctor board certified in gastroenterology and nutrition. Dr. Ram is the only physician/diet book author in the United States with these qualifications. Dr. Ram is also the author of the Ram Nut Diet book, written for do-it-yourself dieters and for those wishing to learn more about healthy eating and weight loss.


Trimtalk / Ram Nutrition & Weight Loss

email: drlram at


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