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Going in person to dieting support groups and working with a licensed nutritionist is more probable to be effective, says Carmen Martinez, a registered dietician and the innutrition director for the University of Southern California's General Clinical Research Center. The difficulty with that, she says, is that numerous dieters say they do not have the time to visit support groups and do not wish to pay to see a nutritionist.
That is where these new sites try to fill the void. In general, the sites say that they work with physicians and nutritionists to make sure that the information provided is precise. Moreover, they say they monitor message boards to identify and remove spam. Habib Wicks, chief executive of PEER trainer, also says that the site takes away ads when users complain about them.
Lisa Langsdorf, a representative for Calorie-Count, says that if a user spots imprecise information on the site and brings it to the company's notice, officials will take it down. The company also says it does not encourage any particular diet.