It’s difficult to imagine that documenting every bite you take is a sustainable weight loss solution (“Keep a diary of what you eat – and you’ll take off pounds,” July 8). In fact, evidence shows that it’s not.

The study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that praised the dieting success of individuals who documented everything they ate only tracked dieters for six months. And though most people can lose weight (with or without food diaries), keeping it off is much harder to do. Even conservative estimates indicate that 90 percent of dieters regain their lost pounds within two years. After five years, that figure reaches nearly 100 percent.

Exercise’s track record beats dieting hands down. The National Weight Control Registry – the group that tracks Americans who have effectively lost weight – reports that the one common formula for success among its members is not how little they eat or how often they record their food, but how much they move.

“Healthy” doesn’t mean cataloging every snack. It’s about all of our small, daily choices: turning off the TV, climbing the stairs and taking that extra step.

TRICE WHITEFIELD, Center for Consumer Freedom, Washington, D.C.