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April 5, 1995

Weight Cycling

Author Affiliations

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Cleveland, Ohio

JAMA. 1995;273(13):998-999. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520370038027

To the Editor.  —We are concerned that the NIH Task Force members1 may not have fully revealed potential conflicts of interest, as required by JAMA's editorial policy. The major undisclosed conflict is that seven of the nine scientific members (Drs Atkinson, Dietz, Foreyt, Hill, Pi-Sunyer, Weinsier, and Wing) are employed by weight-loss clinics and thus have an economic interest in encouraging use of their facilities. Concern over the effectiveness and long-term safety of severe dietary restriction represents a clear threat to clinical income from these programs. Other undisclosed conflicts of interest are that Dr Hirsch has received grants from Diet Center Inc and Weight Watchers Foundation and advises the Millennium Corp, and that Dr Hill was supported by Procter & Gamble. At issue is whether the $30 billion collected annually by the weight-loss industry, including $1 billion by clinic and hospital-based programs, represents a sound investment of health

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