A diet product’s worth depends on whether or not it helps you lose weight. Let’s see if SparkPeople is one of the good ones. We read through all the details, customer service, and clinical research. Hundreds of experiences and comments were also taken to heart. Then, we summarized it all to give you the bottom line.
SparkPeople can be purchased through their Official Site.
What is SparkPeople?
First off, SparkPeople is a website that offers tools to help a dieter set and achieve goals. Some users talk about a paid membership, but we found no indication of that on the official website. We did check the terms and conditions, and there is mention of “for pay” items. You can register free and enter some personal information to find out your BMI. From there, you can find diet plans, exercise options, and expert advice. There is also a SparkPeople app to help keep users connected and tracking. GoogleFit is compatible with SparkPeople tracking.
If there is a company other than SparkPeople behind the business, we found nothing. The official website was purchased in 1999 – that’s a long while. We like the free diet plans, community support, and amazing forum communication, but read on…
Does SparkPeople work?
- BMC Public Health — “We anticipate that the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits and weight loss will be more important in participants randomized to the online platform group.”
- Telemedicine Journal and E-Health — “The findings of this review suggest that technology-assisted weight loss interventions may result in clinically significant weight loss among overweight and obese adults.”
- Journal of Medical Internet Research —”The web-based behavior change programs with computer- and human-delivered personalized feedback led to greater, albeit small-magnitude, weight loss within 24 weeks. Improvement in multiple dietary habits, but not physical activity, were also greater in the personalized programs compared with the nonpersonalized one.”
Complicated Website – “Confused?”
The first thing we found repeated in one review after another was a complaint about being confused. “It looks like the SparkPeople website may be a little too complicated for some people,” said our Research Editor.
“I looked at SparkPeople a few years ago and found it too confusing,” offered one previous user.
Another visitor tried and found the same, “I too tried SparkPeople…I also found it so very confusing.”
Some appreciated all that SparkPeople offered – much of which is free.
“This is the best I’ve found better than all the fee-paying diet classes & online classes,” one user shared.
Another claimed, “Spark people is nice because it encourages you with points and has great support.”
Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.
Prolonged Use Issues
Time-Consuming – “How Long?”
Though we only found it here and there, we also read that some people had issues with the time it takes to use SparkPeople. Believe it or not, this is common on websites that offer food tracking.
“I felt it was too time consuming,” one dieter said.
As another put it, “It has great resources but is a little time consuming to navigate.”
It’s with years of research under our belt that we’ve connected the small things, like a confusing interface, with a reduction in your chances of success. If SparkPeople is complicated or takes too long to use, the dieter may just switch it out for another website.
The Science – “Any Clinical Proof?”
We are happy to say there is clinical support for using a “buddy” system to lose weight, as published in Science Daily. This doesn’t say SparkPeople is better suited than other programs, just that there is a strong, active community. However, we give the website credit for offering a proven means of motivating the dieter.
What Users Are Saying
“Love it! – Love the easy way to look up foods. It really teaches you how to control what you eat and how to keep fit. Recommend it to everybody! This is a surprising and exciting website.”
“I was a member of Spark for some time. I finally got fed up with the arrogant individuals on this site. There are some really nice and humble individuals. But the down side is the arrogant self proclaimed experts. You will be better served to look else where for inspiration and advice.”
“Great application. Helpful; Because when you know the reason you can solve the problem. Honest site that will give you the tools to lose weight.”
The Bottom Line – Does SparkPeople Work?
Are we signing up for a free membership? Well, we love that the SparkPeople community is active and supportive and the free tools can help the dieter set and reach goals, but we have a few reservations. The website may not be for everyone because there are reports of confusion. It may also be quite time consuming making it difficult for busy people.
If you’re at the point where you want to lose that weight once and for all, we suggest trying a diet program that includes everything you need on your weight-loss journey – online support groups included.
Noom is one of the best diet programs we have ever seen. Interactive support groups, 1:1 coaching, personalized meal plans, and extensive food logging are only some of the things this clinically-proven weight-loss system provides.
Right now, Noom is offering all of our readers a free trial offer for a limited time, which is great!
Learn More About Noom »