Research into the Jenny Craig Program

Is the Jenny Craig Program any good and does it really work? Let's look at the genuine research and credible reviews...

More Weight-Coach pages on Jenny Craig:
What is the Jenny Craig Diet? How does it work?
My take on the Jenny Craig Program...

Five times more weight lost by Jenny Craig dieters...
but almost none after 6 months...

According to a study published in the official journal of The Obesity Society, dieters who used Jenny Craig for 12 months had weight losses of approximately 5 times the amount of weight lost by a control group who were trying to lose weight on their own. The average amount of weight lost in the study by the group following Jenny Craig was 16lbs (7.3kgs).

This was considerably higher than the results of other diets researched in the Journal of the American Medical Association which investigated Weight Watchers, Atkins, The Zone and The Ornish diet plans.

You should note that the study published in "Obesity" was funded by Jenny Craig itself. It is not stated in the report whether the dieters were provided their food free, discounted or at full price.

Interestingly, participants lost almost no weight whatsoever in the second half of the 12 month test period. This perhaps suggests boredom or a lack of adherence in the 2nd half of the year.

These findings are not enormously dissimilar from other research conducted into Weight Watchers. Commercial programs with structured follow ups definitely improves weight loss over self-help methods. The amount of weight lost by participants on the Jenny Craig program is greater than Weight Watchers. I would suggest that this is due to Jenny Craig's consultations being one-to-one and focusing on activity as well as diet.

Click here to read a summary of the study in "Obesity".

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine slams Jenny Craig foods

The title of their 1998 Magazine article on Diet programs says it all: "The Good, the Bad and Jenny Craig". Yep, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) don't like Jenny's Cuisine pre-packaged foods. Amongst 10 diet programs they ranked Jenny Craig rock bottom.

Their objections centre on Jenny Cuisine's reliance on portion control of "otherwise normal foods" like cheesecake and steak. Giving less of the same isn't going to change habits, they claim, and also doesn't give great nutrition. According to their research Jenny's Cuisine meals average approximately 20 percent of calories from fat, with several weighing in much higher. For example, the Salisbury steak contributes 34.6% of calories from fat with the cheese souffle at 30%.

The PCRM actively promotes low-fat plant based foods, pointing to research suggesting that low fiber, animal-product based diets contribute to health problems including obesity. They favor vegetarianism and as such offer a highly credible, if extreme view of health and weight loss.

Click here to read their article in full.

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