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Dieters move past calories, food makers follow

In response to a decline in sales of Special K in recent years, Kellogg has rolled out a new line of hot cereals.
In response to a decline in sales of Special K in recent years, Kellogg has rolled out a new line of hot cereals.Nati Harnik/ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Obsessing over calories alone has left dieters with an empty feeling.

The calorie counting that defined dieting for so long is giving way to other considerations, like the promise of more fiber or natural ingredients. That is chipping away at the popularity of products like Diet Coke, Lean Cuisine and Special K, which became weight-watching staples primarily by stripping calories from people’s favorite foods.

Part of the problem: ‘‘Low-calorie’’ foods make people feel deprived. Now, people want to lose weight while still feeling satisfied. And they want to do it without foods they consider processed.

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