Professionals working for weight-loss programs should be able to answer questions about the program's features, safety, costs, and results. The following are sample questions you may want to ask.
What does the weight-loss program include?
-Does the program offer group classes or one-on-one counseling that will help me develop healthier habits?
-Do I have to follow a specific meal plan or keep food records?
-Do I have to buy special meals or supplements?
-If the program requires special foods, can I make changes based on my likes, dislikes, and food allergies (if any)?
-Will the program help me be more physically active, follow a specific physical activity plan, or provide exercise guidelines?
-Will the program work with my lifestyle and cultural needs? Does the program provide ways to deal with such issues as social or holiday eating, changes to work schedules, lack of motivation, and injury or illness?
-Does the program include a plan to help me keep the weight off once I've lost weight?
What are the staff credentials?
-Who supervises the program?
-What type of weight-control certifications, education, experience, and training do the staff have?
Does the product or program carry any risks?
-Could the program hurt me?
-Could the suggested drugs or supplements harm my health?
-Do the people involved in the program get to talk with a doctor?
-Does a doctor or other certified health professional run the program?
-Will the program's doctor or staff work with my health care provider if needed (for example, to address how the program may affect an existing medical issue)?
-Is there ongoing input and follow-up from a health care provider to ensure my safety while I take part in the program?
How much does the program cost?
-What is the total cost of the program?
-Are there other costs, such as membership fees, fees for weekly visits, and payments for food, meal replacements, supplements, or other products?
-Are there other fees for medical tests?
-Are there fees for a follow-up program after I lose weight?
What results do people in the program typically have?
-How much weight does the average person lose?
-How long does the average person keep the weight off?
-Do you have written information on these results?
Information from Weight-control Information Network (WIN.NIDDK.NIH.gov)