15 Top Medical Weight Loss Centers

Losing weight is never easy, but you can get safe, healthy treatments from these top-rated programs.

In a weight loss market crowded with gimmicky diet plans and supplements, medical weight loss centers provide a safe, reliable option for adults looking to get serious about shedding pounds. While they vary in length, intensity, and structure, these types of programs meet two important criteria: They offer an evidence-based treatment plan (meaning the methods are backed by solid clinical research), and they are closely supervised by MDs and other medical professionals. Here are 15 expert-recommended programs that are considered tops in the field.

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Duke Diet Fitness Center at Duke University

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Getty Images

Location: Durham, N.C.
A leader in the field of medical weight loss, the Duke Diet & Fitness Center offers an immersive experience: Patients attend day-long activities five days a week. Programs range from just five days to over four weeks in length; those lasting more than two weeks include a medical consultation, lab tests, fitness instruction, cooking classes, daily meals and behavioral therapy.
Cost: $4,925 for a two-week program, $6,600 for a three-week program and $7,585 for a four-week program. Patients who complete the four-week program may add additional weeks for $865 per week.

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Weight Management Center at the Medical University of South Carolina

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Location: Charleston, S.C.
MUSC's most popular program, Focus, can be completed in 15, 23, or 27 weeks. The plan includes two sets of lab tests, individualized diet and exercise planning, eight weeks of meal replacements, fitness instruction, a pedometer, and weekly one-on-one meetings with registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, and psychologists.

For patients with more than 100 lbs. to lose, the center also offers HealthFast, a more intensive program lasting 30 weeks.
Cost: The Focus program starts at $1,170 (including meals and meal replacements). HealthFast costs $2,400 (not including meal replacements).

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The Cooper Clinic

The Cooper Clinic

Location: Dallas, Texas
The Cooper Clinic in Dallas offers a wide range of MD-designed weight management programs. Medical weight-loss services at the clinic include metabolic testing, diabetes management programs, and nutritional counseling. These services are often combined with fitness and wellness programs at the nearby Cooper Aerobics Center.
Cost: Prices vary according to length of treatment and services rendered

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The Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital

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Location: Chicago, Ill.
The Healthy Weight program at the Center for Lifestyle Medicine does not offer a standard treatment plan. Instead, the center's medical professionals develop a customized weight-loss program for each patient following an initial medical evaluation. Treatment can include diet, physical activity, behavior change, psychological counseling, and medication.
Cost: Prices vary according to length of treatment and services rendered

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The Ohio State University Center for Wellness Prevention

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Location: Columbus, Ohio
The Living Well program at Ohio State is broken up into three phases. Living Well (Phase 1) begins with a medical review, a fitness evaluation, and personal exercise and diet consultations. This assessment is followed by six months of fitness, nutrition, and behavior modification classes; individual appointments with exercise physiologists, dietitians, and behavioral therapists and follow-up assessments to measure progress. Upon completion of the program, Phase 1 patients are encouraged to continue on to the Living Well (Phase 2) and Step It Up (Phase 3) programs. These programs place more emphasis on exercise and long-term weight maintenance strategies.
Cost: Phase 1 of the program costs $855.

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The Weight Management Program at the University of Michigan Health System

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Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Because it is both a clinical and research program, admittance to the Weight Management Program is restricted. To qualify, patients must have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 and above, or a BMI of 32 plus a weight-related health condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Once enrolled, each patient is assigned to a 'Care Team' made up of a physician and a dietitian. Throughout the program, patients consume a low-calorie diet and receive guidance on nutrition and physical activity. For research purposes, patients will also undergo body composition assessments and VO2 tests.
Cost: Prices vary according to length of treatment and services rendered.

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The Nutrition and Wellness Weight Management Clinic at the University Of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System

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Location: Chicago, Ill.
The University of Illinois offers two medically supervised group weight loss programs and an individual program. Of the group programs, the Nutrition and Wellness Boot Camp is more intensive, with twice-weekly meetings, a structured diet and group fitness training. Those who prefer less structure can meet one-on-one with the center's dietitian and physical trainer under the EZ Weight Loss program.
Cost: Prices vary according to length of treatment and services rendered.

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The Albert J. Stunkard Weight Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

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Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
The Stunkard Weight Management Program develops a custom plan for physical, nutritional, and behavioral therapy for each patient following an initial evaluation. Treatment can include individual and group counseling, the use of structured meal-replacement programs and medication, if appropriate.
Cost: Prices vary according to length of treatment and services rendered.

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The Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center

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Location: Baltimore, Md.
After an initial assessment, patients at the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center are enrolled in one of two programs, which typically last between a year and 18 months. The Light Living Plan, for patients with a BMI over 30, incorporates a strict meal plan (5 meal replacements and one food-based meal daily), weekly group meetings, and close medical monitoring. Patients with a BMI of 25 to 30 are placed in the Essentials program, which features a more flexible meal plan and does not require patients to be medically monitored.
Cost: Prices range from $200 to $400 for the initial assessment, and $50 to $120 per week for meal replacements and follow-up visits.

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The Weight Control Center at Columbia University Medical Center

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Location: New York, N.Y.
In addition to regular dietitian and physician appointments, patients at Columbia's Weight Control Center can select additional services based on their individual needs and preferences. Offerings include the Optifast meal replacement plan and participation in the center's "Weight Control in 12 Weeks" program, a group seminar led by the resident dietitian.
Cost: Physician and dietitian appointments vary according to length of treatment and services rendered. The Weight Control in 12 Weeks program is priced at $480.

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The Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center

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Location: Boston, Mass.
The treatment at the Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center is individualized. Services at the clinic include meal planning, physical training, behavioral therapy, and group meetings. In addition to weight management, the center specializes in nutrition therapy for managing chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
Cost: Prices vary according to length of treatment and services rendered.

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Center for Nutrition and Weight Management at Geisinger Medical Center

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Location: Danville, Pa.
At Geisinger, a physician, physician assistant, and registered dietician specializing in obesity treatment provide an initial consultation for each new patient. Using personalized meal plans for various lifestyles and fitness goals, the team works on diet, exercise, and behavior modification, and if appropriate, prescribes weight loss medication.
Cost: Prices vary according to length of treatment and services rendered.

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The Center for Human Nutrition at UCLA Medical Center

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Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
The UCLA RFO (Risk Factor Obesity) program is built around three low-calorie dietary regimens, ranging from 400 to 1500 calories per day. In addition to following one of these meal plans, patients meet weekly with the clinic's medical staff, which monitors progress, provides counseling, and helps with medication adjustments. After completing the initial program, patients are encouraged to enroll in the center's six-month maintenance program, which is designed to facilitate sustainable lifestyle changes.
Cost: $225 to $295 for the first month, and $400 for the six-month maintenance program (not including meals).

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The Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado

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Location: Boulder, Colo.
The Anschutz Center's My New Weigh program kicks off with a 20-week Foundation phase, during which patients are medically monitored as they follow a structured meal plan and attend weekly fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle seminars. This is followed by an 8-week Transition phase. To qualify for the program, patients must have at least 30 lbs to lose, or have experienced weight-related health problems.
Cost: $1470 for individual treatment and $975 for the group-based version of My New Weigh (not including meals).

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The Center for Weight Management at the Scripps Clinic

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Location: Del Mar, Calif.
During an initial assessment at the Scripps Clinic, new patients undergo metabolic testing, a dietary consultation, and a review of current medications to discern whether they may impact weight-loss. Staff dietitians and physicians then develop a program for each patient, incorporating a meal plan, activity goals, and behavioral therapy. Additionally, patients are encouraged to join the center's Living Lite program, which offers group support and continued weight-management coaching.
Cost: Prices vary according to length of treatment and services rendered.

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