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Tara Gidus --registered dietician and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association

thinks that you all are wasting your time and not really doing anything. Is she right- maybe you can post your response to her quote as well as your experience on PT.

"Tara Gidus, a registered dietician and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, notes that while chatting and making friends online can help users form support groups, it also can be a time waster. "I think more people talk about diet and exercise than they actually do it," she says."

(this was from the wall street journal article that covered peertrainer.)

Wed. Oct 10, 10:51am

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I think PT has been both of these things for me. I have lost 20 lbs in 4 months and met wonderful people. However, there are times when I say to myself: "man! this logging and commenting/reading comments is eating up my time". I'm not complaining, (and certainly don't think the 20 lb loss indicates that "I've wasted my time) just saying that for me, it has been both, so I see where this gal is coming from. You gotta take the good with the bad and for me it was worth it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 11:05 AM

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I think I save a lot of time by being more active. Working out and eating right makes me more productive and efficient so the time I spend on PT is nothing compared to sleeping extra hours because I'm exhausted or watching TV out of boredom (what I used to do).

I understand what she is saying and sure, threads like "What's your hairdo down there?" have nothing to with me reaching my goal. So I choose to avoid them and read the ones that really matter. Thanks PT for helping us achieve our goals!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 11:19 AM

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We often don't see the world as it is, we see the world as we are. We also don't attack something unless we're protecting our livelihood. Maybe that's what she's doing. Maybe that's her experience from people she's spoken to. Who knows? I know that before peer trainer all I did was talk, frankly to nutritionists that never helped me. I don't know why but here I am and I work out more than I ever have in my entire life. I've also lost over 21 pounds. I would say that it has not been a time waster for me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 11:32 AM

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I think she means participation in unstructured community formats like this one, not the groups. If she actually dug into the groups and logs and understood what PT is, I don't think she'd say that logging is a waste of time or that group support is a waste of time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 11:36 AM

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I agree with the 11:32 PM poster, it does sound like Tara is both a bit threatened and a bit uninformed. This is the organization she represents, of course she is going to say this. She is not going to say "yeah, just log your food and get help from people online, because the truth is you really already know what to do"

American Dietetic Association

"With more than 67,000 members, the American Dietetic Association is the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being. ADA members are the nation's food and nutrition experts, translating the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 11:44 AM

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It seems to me that she would rather people see her. For a fee of course. My experience was that from other PT memebers I got so much valuable advice and information for free, I lost 30 lbs.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 11:57 AM

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Well, the actual sentence, ""I think more people talk about diet and exercise than they actually do it," isn't really that offensive. At least from this I don't believe she's implying we're "wasting our time" rather that some people aren't making the most of a resource and what it's intended for.

I for one have benefitted hugely for my online support (I'm also on SparkPeople) and know that the added accountability has gotten my behind off the couch some days I wouldn't have under my own steam. Sadly I think she has a point. Many people use this (and other sites) as a virtual quilting bee to gossip, moan about lack of weightloss, make their home pages pretty (wasted plenty of time on that myself!) and make friends. None of these are "bad things" but don't necessarily help achieve the stated goal of improved health. In short, I don't have a problem with what she said, I'm just going to make sure it doesn't hold true for me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 11:59 AM

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I actually read the whole article in the wsj, and it is clear that the "experts" feel the need to protect their franchise. This happens all the time now. Simple question- if the experts were so effective, why are obesity levels at all time highs?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 12:11 PM

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For me, what she says is untrue. Especially when I was getting started, I was in a group across time zones, so that the other 3 exercised earlier in the day than I did. I didn't always feel like exercising, but when I saw that everyone else had done it, I could get my butt into gear.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 12:39 PM

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Well of course more people talk about losing weight than are putting in a real effort - online or in the real world. As someone who has lost over 60 lbs, I do find those who clearly have no intention of "walking the walk" annoying and discouraging because it's too easy to go back to being one of them.

Think about the people in your groups. How many are actually losing? Of the 12 people I engage with, maybe 3 are putting in any real effort. My experience in the past year (I've been using PT longer than that) is that, for most people, it's a better tool for maintaining than losing. I don't see that as a bad thing though.

And come on, anyone timewasting on PT would just be timewasting elsewhere on the internet anyway, so that point is hardly relevant. The point the RD should be making is that journaling your food is the #1 habit of successful dieters, and if having an online forum makes you more likely to do it, then more power to us!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 12:50 PM

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