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The Cambridge Diet Review - Does This Weight-Loss Plan Really Work? Are high cost and calorie restriction deal breakers?

By Summer Banks on Sep 23, 2016
The Cambridge Diet Review

The Cambridge Diet is a weight-loss plan I will never forget. We decided to create an in-depth review, closely examining the ingredients, side effects, level of customer care and clinical evidence. Furthermore, we scrutinized countless user comments posted online. Lastly, we summarized and condensed all the data to give you the bottom line.


What You Need To Know

To start off with, The Cambridge Diet started in the UK, but has been in the United States since 1979. This weight-loss plan involves six different “flexible” programs to suit all women and men. Calorie restriction is a major aspect and intake ranges from 440-1,500 per day. Prepared foods such as nutrition bars, soups, shakes and super oats are also consumed. Furthermore, a consultant gives you one-on-one support to help you with your journey.

The Cambridge Diet dates back 30 years and is advertised as being flexible enough for any lifestyle. A “weight plan wheel” is provided to help you as a step-by-step guide and the healthy meal-replacement foods are certainly convenient, but read on…

High Price – “Yikes?”

The first concern we had is the steep cost of this plan. According to our Research Editor, “The Cambridge Diet will cost you $71.26 per week, which is $285.04 per month. This is simply not affordable for everyone.”

”Way too costly for me,” said one dieter.

Another customer stated, “Who can afford this?”

Another Issue – “Calorie Restrictions”

We noticed that plenty of dieters having difficulty with the calorie restrictions involved with The Cambridge Diet. In fact, one said, “Only 500 calories today, and I’m STARVING!”

Another user offers, “I am on day 5 and this is the worst day of all. I was hoping it would feel easier. I am feeling very hungry and have stuck to the 3 shakes a day with just water so can’t understand why? I thought by now I would be passed the hunger stage.”

According to our research, if there is one facet of a program or fat-loss pill that is seriously problematic (a painful/difficult exercise routine, high price, too few food options) the probability of success for the long term is very low. In other words, if The Cambridge Diet is too restrictive, and this bothers a lot of dieters, this could be an issue.

The Science – “Clinical Support?”

Even though The Cambridge Diet has been around for decades and claims to encourage serious weight-loss, we were unable to find actual scientific proof of this. We at DietSpotlight need to see published clinical research that supports the program. If that’s not available we wave a huge red flag.

The Bottom Line – Does The Cambridge Diet Work?

So, what are we shouting from the rooftops about this one? It’s great to see that The Cambridge Diet has been around for many years and there are several plans available to suit different individuals. However, we have reservations about recommending this because there are no scientific studies to support the weight-loss claims. Also, we are concerned about the high cost and calorie restrictions that apply.

Those who really want to slim down and keep weight off, we encourage you to go with a diet program or pill that is supported by clinical studies and is available at a reasonable cost with no restrictions.

Among the best products we’ve seen in 2016 is one called Leptigen. It contains a proprietary formula that includes four ingredients, which have been proven in published scientific studies to help boost metabolism and speed up fat loss. We were unable to find comments concerning harmful side effects and the feedback we see on the web reveals users are seeing awesome results.

Plus, the producers of Leptigen are so very confident in their formula they’re offering a Special Trial Offer, quite a nice touch.

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About the Author:

Summer Banks is an ISSA-Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist and has reviewed over 2000 diet products. She has years of nursing training, experience as a manager responsible for 15 supplement brands, and completed coursework on Food and Nutrition from Stanford University. full bio.

How Does The Cambridge Diet Compare?

Previous The Cambridge Diet Review (Updated June 26, 2014):

What You Should Know

The Cambridge Diet is a liquid-based diet popularized in the 1980's in the United Kingdom, originally intended for morbidly obese patients. Based on the VLCD diet, otherwise known as the "Very Low Calorie Diet", the Cambridge Diet combines low calorie shakes, soups, and meal replacement bars in their complete diet program. Most of the dieter's calories are obtained through liquid supplements, and the diet is continued until the person meets his or her weight loss goal. During the weight loss period patients eat between 400 to 800 calories per day. In the United Kingdom, you need to meet with a Cambridge Diet counselor before starting the program. The Cambridge Diet is begun with a counselor, who will determine if this is an appropriate diet for you. From there, you will need to purchase meal replacement shakes and bars, which usually range between $13.99 to around $40.00 per package. There are no free samples or money-back guarantees, but you can discontinue the program at any time. They do not say how much weight loss is expected, but patients typically report losing over 30 lbs. per month.


There is no ingredient information available about any products associated with The Cambridge Diet.

Product Features

The Cambridge Diet is based off the VLCD diet, which was popularized in the early 1980's. The VLCD diet uses extreme calorie restriction combined with nutritionally-dense liquid supplements to enhance weight loss, and this method has been proven to work. Most physicians do not back the VLCD or the Cambridge Diet however, since it allows for a very small, unrealistic amount of calories per day. Patients typically consume less than 800 calories per day, and most doctors recommend consuming 1200 calories minimum for any diet. The Cambridge Diet also claims to use the power of ketosis to speed up weight loss. It claims that by putting the body into ketosis through liquid replacements and calorie restriction, it will allow the body to burn more fat and lose weight. Ketosis occurs when the body does not receive enough calories or nutrition to function optimally. The body uses its fat stores to burn additional fat as a survival mechanism. Although ketosis does burn off additional fat, it also burns additional muscle during this process and it is generally considered unhealthy by the medical community.

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  • You do not have to exercise while on this diet.
  • All meals and drinks are supplied pre-prepared to you.
  • They offer allergy-free drinks and bars.


  • The Cambridge Diet is one of the most expensive diet programs available.
  • Its caloric intake is lower than the recommended standard -- doctors consider this a very dangerous diet that brings users close to starvation.
  • You must follow a strict diet plan without any substitutions.
  • This diet is not ideal for those with heart problems or a history of eating disorders.


The Cambridge Diet is very risky according to doctors and medical professionals. Extreme calorie restriction is a constant source of controversy, and diets based on calories restriction have been proven to work while also easily resulting in dangerous side effects. People who embark on this diet must be in good health mentally and physically, but still need to lose excess weight. Although the cost of this diet is extremely expensive, it might be an ideal diet to discuss with your doctor, especially if you feel that your clinical obesity could lead to other health complications - Cambridge Diet counselors strongly recommend discussing this with a doctor before trying it.

The Cambridge Diet Questions & Answers:

We summarized hundreds of user comments about the Cambridge Diet into this helpful FAQ.

What are the side effects of the Cambridge Diet?

Cambridge Diet side effects may include electrolyte imbalance, upset stomach, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, exhaustion and irregular bowel movements, as claimed by some users.

What are the ingredients in the Cambridge Diet?

The Cambridge Diet ingredients are prepackaged meals.

Does the Cambridge Diet work?

Although the official Cambridge Diet website offers customer testimonials, there’s no scientific research proving the plan will help users lose more.

Dieters may want to think about mixing it up a little and replacing the Cambridge Diet with a supplement like Leptigen, which contains ingredients that may help you lose more weight.

How much does the Cambridge Diet cost?

The Cambridge Diet costs £46.62 or $71.26 per week. Each meal runs about £2.22.

How should I take the Cambridge Diet?

You should follow the Cambridge Diet according to your meal plan.

Can I follow the Cambridge Diet if I have a health condition?

Women who are pregnant or nursing, those with health conditions, people taking prescription medications or under 18 years of age should contact a healthcare professional prior to starting a weight-loss program, including the Cambridge Diet.

Will thirst increase on the Cambridge Diet?

Yes, there’s a chance thirst will increase on the Cambridge Diet. The company recommends drinking more water during meals.

What do users like about the Cambridge Diet?

Some users liked that convenience of the Cambridge Diet and that the plan is available on the official website.

What do users NOT like about the Cambridge Diet?

We found that users didn’t like the cost of the diet plan and that some users didn’t notice weight-loss.

Do I need to exercise on the Cambridge Diet?

Although recommended, you don’t need to exercise on the Cambridge Diet. Adding fitness could possible improve weight-loss results.

How do I contact the Cambridge Diet customer service department?

You can contact the Cambridge Diet customer service department by emailing admin@cambridgeweighttplan.co.uk, calling a representative at+44 (0)16536 403344 or by mailing letters to Cambridge Weight Plan Ltd. Clare House Hunters Rd. Corby Northants, NN17 5JE.

Will I get bad breath from the Cambridge Diet?

You may experience bad breath from Cambridge Diet because of developing ketosis from the eating plan.

Why do I feel cold on the Cambridge Diet?

You feel cold on the Cambridge Diet due to the reduced caloric intake.

Does the Cambridge Diet come with a guarantee?

There’s no information about a guarantee with the Cambridge Diet.

Do you know of any special deals or discounts on the Cambridge Diet?

We didn’t see special deals or discounts on the Cambridge Diet. However, the last several months have been flying by, considering our readers have been taking advantage of Leptigen’s Special Trial Offer, which is just the cost of shipping and handling. Click here to try it out.

66 User Reviews About The Cambridge Diet

Leave comments below
  • 1

    i want to start this diet also.can anyone tell me it’s heloful or not


    Anna (Editor)

    Hello. All users are different and can experience different weight-loss results, but exercise in conjunction with a healthy diet and supplements have shown to help with weight-loss.


  • 2

    I have completed my 5th week on the plan. I have had fantastic support. I have been on many diet but have struggled to eat the full vitamin intake as a vegan. With this diet I have had complete control and have been re-assured that I am getting the full vitamin intake and calories to suit my body. I have done excellent. Lost 14Ibs so far. If I have hungry on my plan, I am allowed to eat an extra 200 calories which would consist of the appropriately listed proteins and veg. I am very happy with this plan and would highly recommend it having been on several other diets that did not work. I have read some other comments on this page about the taste of the products. I can understand, some of them are not to the standard you would normally have but this is what you call healthy…not loaded with sugar and other preservatives/additives.Plus you wouldn’t be on the plan forever. Only once you are happy with your weight and are able to recognise what foods are good/bad. Hope this helps.


  • 3

    hi I’m on day 2 of diet and so far so good, I find it hard to drink water and found the app to be useful as it bleeps on my fone to dink water lol so far I have lost 5lb which I’m chuffed with only another 51 to goooo


  • 4

    I lost 2 stone on the diet, first weeks were hard as I suffered badly with constipation, felt great when I reached my target weight, but as I gradually added more everyday foods I noticed the weight going back on. As soon as I came off the diet and started eating normally it has all come back on. Feel terrible !! But can’t afford to go back on as It was expensive, now trying to cut back on calories and eat healthy, with daily exercise. As a short fix it is a good diet, but not long term


  • 5

    I am really interested in joining the Cambridge weight loss program.. i have quite a lot of weight to loose!! Only problem is I’m going away the end of October and will gave lots of days nights out at fancy restaurants and burger places etc.. if I did the diet for the next 2 months and then ate normally whilst away would I gain extreme amounts? Or would I be able to have a week off then get back on it the week after? Thanks


    Adrian (Editor)

    Hello Lou. All users are different and can experience different weight-loss results.


  • 6

    I am in the 5 the week of camb diet and so far I have lost 31 pounds 14 .5 KGS. So I started celebrating I eat quarter chicken charcoal with humus garlic paste and bread for 3 days. Bcoz I can’t stay on sole source long time. I’m drink 4 LTS water daily.joined gym daily 1 hr.


  • 7

    I have been on the Cambridge Diet for 5 weeks now – 3 cambridge meals daily + 275g steamed chicken and 85g veg + 4 pints of water but have only lost 7lb – why haven’t I lost more weight – very frustrated


    Stephen (Editor)

    Are you including regular exercise?



    Its a good diet but no room for cheating. I generally drink 4 litres of water per day. I have lost 2 stones so far another 1 stone and 5lbs to go. Keep going it does work.


  • 8

    Can I just have 2 Cambridge shakes and a healthy meal can you still lose weight


    Your Name

    Yes, you are likely to lose weight, but it wouldn’t be a healthy way. You would need to add another meal to give your body enough nutrition. You would get full nutrition with three Cambridge shakes though. Your consultant is the best person to advise you on the safest and healthiest way to lose weight, which would be exactly right for you and your circumstances.


    lesley cafferky

    You should have three if you are only having one low cal meal as you need the all the goodness that the bars or shakes give you to keep your body healthy..You go on to just the two with another plan of meals though !


  • 9

    Hello every one.
    Day 8 on c diet. I lost 2 pounds find it hard to drink water as I have three children, Very busy mum. It’s given me head aces low moods. When I had my second daughter after nine years this helped me to slim down. I conceived. So it is frets for people who want to have a baby who are over weight. It’s not an easy diet. But which diet is. Once your past day four it dose seem easier. But hard when I am cooking
    amazing food for my family. What I do is when I have my samon or my chicken or eggs just spice them up. Then I am fine. Stick to it it is we’ll worth it. I have three stones to lose. Not giving up. Feel do fat but can see the difference all ready as my clothes are a lot loser on me. Even if you have a bad day like I did we went to black pool I eat fish and chips. I was gutted after wards. Carried on with the diet the next day. So you may have a bad day but keep at it. 🙂 good luck every body.


  • 10

    Lost 17 kg in 7 weeks…….mind over matter. Get busy…


  • 11

    I started Cambridge diet plan last week, and after the 5th day I suffered from sever abdominal pain which was there for 24 hours and didn’t get well till I stopped Cambridge’s meals completely for 2 days. I was tired & sleepy all the time as well. Why did that happened to me ?? It supposed to be good and no one have been through such a thing. So what was that !!


  • 12
    Breana Clyne

    Great beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog website? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept


  • 13

    I went on the Cambridge Diet in the 1980s. I lost the weight I wanted along with hair loss and messing up me electrolytes Once you go back to a normal diet the weight comes back. My Dr said I had put my body into starvation mode so once I started eating normally my body held onto every calorie. While on the diet and off I exercised 3 to4 hours a week



    I am from Zambia and just started Cambridge Diet, my 2nd week now. So far so good but I really need a diet buddy. Kindly help I need someone to push me up. Good luck to all those on this diet.



    Hi Lulu
    hi will be your diet buddy been on cambidge two weeks lost 10lb first week and 4 lb the following week keep going x



    Lulu dear. I started on the 19th of may and I lost 8kg. I only experienced constipation.


    Your Name

    Hello Lulu
    Iam amina from mizambique going to start diet tomorow… dnt give up!!! I am 80 need to lose 30


    Your Name

    Hai did this product help u becoz even I am 80 n I want to loose 30 so plz can u advise me


  • 14

    I forgot to take one of my products will it affect my weight loss. Have lost 12lbs in 4 weeks did expect to lose more. Thanks


  • 15

    I have been doing the Cambridge plan for the last 13 weeks and can successfully say it works I have lost 56 lb and Keept it off !!
    It certainly not for the faint hearted and you need to want to achieve your goals but I never feel hungry on the plan and I exercise a lot !!
    If like me you plateud from previous diets than this certainly gives you the push you need totally worth the money !!


  • 16

    Hi. I loved reading the reviews on the Cambridge Diet. Can one replace the shakes with soups?


    Your Name

    Hi just started the cambridge plan this evening tomorrow being my first day.
    Am worried how I will feel and what to expect?
    I would like support to get through the next four weeks.
    Please help, could do with a buddy for support!!
    Have 2.5 stones to loose x


    Your Name

    Yes you can. Replace a shake with a soup. 😉



    Yes you can have a cambridge soup instead !


    Your Name

    I have been on the diet for just over 4 weeks. I have lost 19 lbs so far. Have porridge or shake for breakfast. Soup for lunch and the meal for tea. I am supposed to have four products a day but full on 3 products. Must drink at least two ltr of fluid. I have another 59 lbs to lose fingers crossed.


  • 17

    I did Cambridge in the 80’s, lost a lot of weight and gained it all back.

    I would never do this diet again. For most of it, I did ok and the cravings were bearable, but by the third month I was sneaking in weird stuff like a single saltine cracker with a bit of mayonnaise. That’s when I knew it was just getting too weird.

    Besides the weight re-gain, another really bad thing was that the diet was so extreme that it messed up my hormones, and I ended up with a fair amount of hair on my chin and chest.

    Lastly, two years afterwards, my home got tons of little brown bugs. My exterminator friend told me they were a type of weevil, and advised me to throw all my grain products away since that was what they lived on. I did so but still had the bugs. I was so disgusted I decided to just throw all my food away. That is when I noticed pinholes on two leftover Cambridge shake cans, which, at least then, were made from cardboard. I opened them to find that they contained an entire ecosystem of weevils, and had been the source of the infestation.

    Between the regain, the bugs and the deprivation leading to food weirdness, I am very glad to be well past Cambridge. I have been eating low carb for almost 15 years now, after losing a ton of weight and find it very easy to keep off.

    I sincerely wish any dieter the very best, and hope you find your safe and reasonable path. Please don’t take chances with extreme diets like Cambrdge. Just not worth the drama. Best of luck.



    Well my Cambridge products do not have a two year shelf life. The use by date is this year so I would probably not have kept them for two years in my cupboard! Such things as flour and oats can all get weevil bug if left in the pantry long enough. I am 24 lbs lighter in 5 weeks and feel great. Yes, I have concerns about what will happen when I come off the products but thats why I have a consultant to guide me through the steps.


  • 18

    I am on day 2 of the diet and am feeling extremely exhausted though i am motivated to carry on wth the diet as i dont feel happy wth the way i look. I am looking forward to putting on ma size 10 summer dress in 3 months time. I am currently a size 14. Anyone who wants to be my doet buddy plz reply to this msg and will send you an email. Just need someone who we can help each other reach our ultimate goal in loosing weight




    i would love to be your diet buddy i start on friday with the diet, i am really looking for a buddy too. email me at ithequeen63 AT YAHOO



    I completed 1 month on 29th april i lost 7.5 kgs or roughly 15 lbs
    In my second months week 1 feeling low and tempted but keeping it strong
    If i cheat its with egg whites
    I ve 10 kgs more to loose


  • 19

    I’ve been on the cambridge diet for two weeks so far, the problem is I gained 3kgs instead of losing, they told me it is muscles weight, have anyone been through this before ??!


    Your Natalieme

    Sara, I simply do not believe you!!! Unless you have been hitting the gym and power lifting and doing excess exercise, then there is no way that following the Cambridge diet faithfully, drinking the 2 + litres of water as per instructions, and taking the advised added fibre, will end up with you putting on 3KGS!!!! Simply not possible!!!!


  • 20

    I would like info on diet products.Please email me on the products.I’m trying to loose 100lbs I’m excited hope to see if these items work.Mary Thank-you Mary


  • 21

    Hi there, I’m on day 20 of the SS, and lost 6 kilos so far and was doing fine with the every now and then crave for food of course, but not giving in. However, 2 days ago I went out and forgot to bring my 3rd meal pack and just had water, so 8 hours went by until my next shake, but since then I’ve been feeling weird and my stomach burns a bit when I have my shake or soup. Anyone would know why that is? Not really sure what the max of time in between meals is. Hope someone can help. Thanks!


  • 22

    iam on warffirn and really need to loose 3to 4 stone can anyone tell me if i can do this diet as iam so desprate to feel happy with myself



    Hi I’m on warfarin also and I’m on day 2 of my diet. I am being watched by my INR nurse and will adjust if necessary ?


  • 23

    I was morbidly obese and have lost 40 kg with this diet and have had no side effects. I so agree with “me” above!



    I agree with me. I’ve been on Cambridge diet for 4 months and lost 4 half stone. I’m 47 and have been super obese for 25 years!! Stick to the rules especially the drinking of water. I’ve done every diet invented but the Cambridge has been the easiest for me and I’ve suffered no side effects and feel GREAT!!! it’s not about if the diet is right it’s about is your head in the right place and are you motivated enough to succeed!


  • 24

    I started for 2 days before succumbing to food on the night of the 2nd day.. But after that i got backed on and on the third day of restarting i lost 3 kilos. It was really awesome.

    Previously, i had fasted and i did lost 7 kilos but i was very tired and my sugar level increased as i only consumed Milo and lots of breath mints. So this diet is much healthier and ensures that you are inputing calories at a very low rate.

    However i would like to ask when i reached to my ideal weight, can i consume food normally without gaining too much back?? I know it’s recommended to at least have a CWP for a meal and if consumed too oily food, go on SS for a day as a detox program. So, will i gain back??



  • 25

    I am on day 2. Side effects are headache and hunger. I will stick with this 100% otherwise it is not worth it. Will keep updating on progress.


  • 26

    Hello. Iam hopefully starting the plan this week. Iam just waiting on the consultant gettin back 2 me. I hop I can do this.


  • 27

    i have attempted the diet so many time but there is some thing different about it this time i have been having 2 porridge.I only like the original one and i find it holds me better.I have also been having a bar a day
    I have loads of water now and also black tea before bed.My wedding is in july and i want to lose 4 stone if i can for now.Nothing tastes as good as success xxx


  • 28

    im starting cambridge tomorro and need to lose roughly 4stone does any1 know how long this will take roughly?



    I lost 3 stone in 1 wk feel fantastic


  • 29

    im on day 10 n i was in ketsis last wk n lost weight this week i have eaten a few chips n put on a lb, does anyone no can u still loose weight if ur not in ketosis n could i get bk into ketosis if i dnt snack no more?.



    hi ema the weight you put on after eating is water due to you eating carbs get straight back to the diet and if you do choose to eat try eating protein rich food ie eggs meat etc



    Totally agree with the other member, if you eat carbs you will gain weight, but it is water. Go straight back on the diet drink at 4 litres of water per day and stick to the plan. It does work.


  • 30

    Hi ,I am on week two of this diet and it is going very well.I have lost 11 lbs in the first week .There is no point going on this diet if you do not stick to the rules 100%.When the weight has come off then you will need a maintenance plan to guide you back into normal food again .


  • 31

    i started the Cambridge diet but on the week ends i might eat something more and then start it again on monday is that ok or it doesnt help with the weight loss?



    Hi Marina. I started the diet 4 weeks ago and on the second week I went away for a weekend and although I did not over indulge i put all of the weight back on that i had lost 5 days prior to going away. I have since stuck rigidly to the diet even though at times I feel very weak. I have tried to allow my self a treat on a weekend such as a small wine but just that one treat seems to put 2lb back on. I don’t quite understand why and it may not be the same for everone but that’s what happens to me, frustratingly!


  • 32

    Thanks Kim, I am on third day now of ss im not finding it to difficult just when im making kids packed lunchs haha, You have done so well with your weight loss and 12lb wont be too long! well i hope im as successful as you. x


  • 33

    Hi could someone please please help i am starting the ss diet on monday i know i will be able to stick to it but my concern is im going away with my family in august all-inclusive and i want to eat and drink because thats what part of your hols are! so is it possible to have a break for a fortnight and not put 3months of weight loss back on, i wont suddenly bloat up in those two weeks or wouuld i?



    Hi Joanne, i’m 10 weeks into the cambridge diet i have done ss for 8 weeks and am now introducing food, ive had a weekend off the diet around week 6 and ate fairly normally, i still lost 2lb that week but found that i was full very quickly and got indegestion. I also found it quite hard to stick to ss afterwards. Iv’e lost 30lb now and 24 inches in total and still have 12lb to go, its slowed down alot now which is a bit frustrating but im still determined.


  • 34
    ann dorkin

    i am seventy eight yrars of age do you rcommend it


  • 35

    I am on day three of sole source and I feel a little sick, nausea, running stomach and tiredness. I did not experience such sympthoms the first time i tried the diet.



    hiya lily these are all side effects of the diet they will dissappear in a few days its carb withdrawel. your body is haveing one last chance to get you to eat cabs before it goes into keytosis. stick with it itll all be worth it in the end, i promise…



    i feel the same lily which is making it harder for me to do but its my wedding in two weeks and i want to look good which is making it a little easier for me to do just remember your going to look even better than what you do now afterwards just think of that dress etc what you want to fit in and summer is on its way good luck.



    i am on day two of the diet and i am really struggling. I am super hungry today and everyone at work is eating smelly food around me but i am just thinking of the end result…



    I am on day two of the diet and i am really struggling as i am so hungry…. but i am thinking of the end result. I find the soup and shakes fill me up the most but would also like to try the porridge.



    I am on day 12 do not try the porridge. Being a Scottish women I love my porridge the Cambridge porridge is nothing like porridge and made me gag and throw up. I am finding it really difficult but trying to stick with it. Terrible headaches though


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