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DietTelevision: The mother of all diet sites

This site has it all: Diet chooser, mail planner, exercise list, and a social network to boot.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
2 min read

A new diet site and social network is launching this week: DietTelevison. It looks like a good resource for people trying to lose weight. It has a ton of diet-related information, as well as a social network to give dieters a support group.

As an information source, it's very rich. You select your tolerance for various diet aspects (your affection for bread or for meat; your preference for affordable or restaurant-friendly plans, for example), and the site then gives you a list of diets that matches your wishes. While the site doesn't have arrangements with the people who run the big diet programs (like Atkins or Weight Watchers), it will display them as options, and give you meal plans that are supposed to match their guidelines.

The site lets you pick diets that best match your food preferences. CNET Networks

Users can track their intake by typing their meals into the site. There's also supposed to be a voice-recognition system you can call in to report on your meals, although for the life of me I couldn't find the call-in number on the site. (Personally, I would prefer Nutrax's cameraphone recording system.)

The site can advise you on exercise in much the same way: You tell it what you want to do (choices include variations on working out, running, and activities such as yoga), and it will come up with a list of weekly exercises for you. However, for selecting a diet plan, the system doesn't take your preferred physical activity level into account. That looks like an oversight to me.

And there's a big social angle: you can find people with similar goals and support each other (although when you first connect to the support system, the way it shows photos of other members makes it feel more like a dating service that a support network). You also get badges for various things, such as being a parent, losing 5 pounds, loving junk food, and so on. Users can also award badges to others.

The service has a lot of information on it and is cleanly organized. My only concern--and I only used the system for a few minutes so I may be wrong--is that there is so much information that DietTelevision tries to collect and manage that users might find it overwhelming.

But I think this could be a great research tool for finding diet plans. I really like how the system ranks plans based on what you like to eat.

See also: Traineo, Gimme20 (review), and The Daily Plate, among others.