CLINICAL TRIAL RESULTS: The Jenny Craig programme includes one-on-one weekly consultations, personalised nutrition and activity plans to help people adopt long-term healthier eating habits.
Researchers released the findings of a two-year clinical trial in the United States examining the efficacy of Jenny Craig in helping overweight and obese women achieve average weight loss of 10% after one year, and weight maintenance of more than 7.9% at the two-year mark.
Published this week by the Journal of the American Medical Association, the two-year FAB (Food, Attitudes, Body) study showed that those assigned to the Jenny Craig programme – which included one-on-one weekly consultations, personalised nutrition and activity plans – adopted long-term healthier eating habits and meaningful health benefits for overall improved quality of life.
Principal investigator, Cheryl L. Rock, Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine in the Cancer Prevention and Control Programme at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), led her team to follow 442 women across four sites including UCSD; University of Arizona, Tucson; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; and the Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Center Northwest, Portland, Oregon.
The researchers attributed the participants’ success to personalisation, motivation and constant support through one-on-one consultation.
Lisa Talamini, Vice President of Research and Program Innovation at Jenny Craig, said: “We now have recent clinical data that proves that Jenny Craig – a customised, individualised, structured and comprehensive programme – can lead to significantly positive weight loss and health outcomes, especially concerning improved cardiopulmonary fitness and behaviours toward food. These improvements reassure individuals that their overall health and well-being is a priority.”
The study consisted of women aged 18-69, of an average age of 44 years, with a Body Mass Index of 33.8 (3.4) kg/m2, weight of 92.1 (10.7) kg and waist circumference of 108.6 (9.6) cm, who were randomly recruited and assigned to the trial Programme.
In comparison to a self appointed diet, the Jenny Craig programme showed that it reduced biochemical risk factors that can lead to chronic disease including depression, diabetes, cancer and even stroke.
The study also revealed that the Jenny Craig programme promoted favourable changes in lipid, leptin and carotenoid levels, as well as improved cardiopulmonary fitness.
In addition, participation indicated improvements in the physical health scale of Quality of Life (QOL) and lower depression scores.
Patti Larchet, CEO of Jenny Craig, commented on the results of the study and said: “Obesity is a costly condition that can increase the risk for serious chronic diseases and premature death. The positive findings of this research have immediate implications for the millions affected by obesity and potentially far-reaching effects on public health and policy. The results of this study highlight how the Jenny Craig programme can significantly affect the obesity epidemic.”
Although participants were given complimentary Jenny Craig programmes, researchers maintain this did not impact the research outcomes.
This study was conducted under the same rigors as any clinical trial which provides participants with complimentary products or services. Prior research shows, and the researchers’ observations confirm, that individuals who voluntarily enrol and pay for a commercial weight loss programme are more motivated and compliant than those who attempt weight loss on their own.
The promising outcome of the two-year study serves as a call-to-action for continued research on commercial weight-loss programmes as a clinically viable treatment for obesity and to provide scientific research for health care professionals to recommend to their overweight and obese patients.
About Jenny Craig
The Nestlé-owned US domiciled company Jenny Craig offers a personalised programme for weight loss and long-term weight management, while combining its ready-made meals with individual consultation.
With more than 5 million clients over the past 10 years, Jenny Craig operates in more than 725 weight loss centres in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico. Jenny Craig also recently expanded its business in France and the United Kingdom.
Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, Jenny Craig was founded in 1983 in Melbourne, Australia, and started operating in the United States in 1985. Jenny Craig was acquired by Nestlé in 2006.
Jenny Craig website
Jenny Craig press release:
New Findings Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Confirm Value of Individualized Meal Plan, Fitness and One-on-One Consultation (pdf, 35 Kb)