LOS ANGELES — Weight Watchers offers dieters the best staying power, according to a recent article in Consumer Reports (CR).

Weight Watchers earned the highest overall rating due to its nutritionally based diet, plus weekly meetings and weigh-ins for behavioral support. CR liked that the plan didn't exclude any food group and that its point system encourages low-fat, high-fiber meals. The magazine compared each diet to U.S. dietary guidelines and studied published research as well as nutritional analysis.

Slim Fast came in second and was recommended for dieters who don't like spending time in the kitchen. The Zone was recommended for those who want a short-term, high-protein diet plan while the Orinish plan provided fairly large portions for low calories. Atkins was found to work well in the short term, but its nutritional deficiencies — too much fat, and too little fiber and fruits — dropped its rating.

While the magazine also studied eDiets, Jenny Craig, South Beach Diet and Volumetrics, it didn't rank them because of the “lack of long-term published clinical trials” on which to base the rankings.