HEALTHY LIVING

The Skinny On Diet Books: Heavy On Profits, Light On Results

05/10/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Diet books are perennials on best-seller lists, and every year a new one seems to capture the public's imagination. But whether the latest fad involves no carbohydrates, low fats, grapefruit, cabbage soup or all beef all the time, the way to lose weight really always boils down to the same thing: Eat less and exercise more. So why do people shell out good money for diet books?

Maria Langer, a freelance writer and commercial helicopter pilot, seems like the kind of person who is nobody's fool. But she admits that over the years she's forked over more than a few dollars on the latest diet book: "I bought in on the Suzanne Somers book, also the Zone books, South Beach Diet books and Atkins Diet books."

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