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Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig Most Reliable for Weight Loss, Study Says

( [email protected] ) Apr 07, 2015 03:31 PM EDT
According to a new review of clinical trials, dieters looking to take full advantage of their chances for long-term weight loss should reflect trying Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig.

People who used the Jenny Craig program lost 4.9% more weight after one year than their counterparts, who only got behavioral counseling or dieting education, the review found. Jenny Craig clients work with a professional to pick three arranged meals a day, plus a dessert or snack. In the clinical trials, clients lost weight notwithstanding of whether they chose items from the regular menu  or low-carb meals. They also became successful whether they met with their consultant over the phone or in person.

Lead author Dr. Kimberly Gudzune, assistant professor of medicine and weight loss specialist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, Maryland, believed that with so many people attempting to diet and lose weight, someone needed to inspect on the usefulness of these weight loss programs.

Some of the diet and weight-loss programs have been formerly evaluated by other health experts because of the uncertain reasoning behind their schemes. Definitely, various sources specify that there is not a lot of scientific indication to support their usefulness.

Gudzune stated: "We still don't know whether a lot of these programs work. I had hoped that more rigorous scientific studies of these programs had been done."

The research review encompassed 39 rigorous studies involving 11 popular diet programs that include counseling services or support and involve fees for services or products. Most studies associated the programs with behavioral counseling or standard diet information patients get from health care providers; long-term results for Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers were mostly better than the comparisons.

Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers contain social support, behavioral counseling, or coaching - important for long-term weight-loss success, based on an Annals editorial.

Weight Watchers costs about $43 monthly, which comprises costs for attending online or coaching sessions or in-person support groups. Participants can purchase the company's low-calorie products or have their own food, but each item is allocated points and dieters target not to surpass a daily point limit.

Jenny Craig offers pre-made meals and costs about nearly $600 monthly.

"While obesity continues to be a significant health risk in the U.S., our program provides the personal support and behavioral strategies that lead to healthy lifestyle change and can provide an effective solution for clinicians," Monty Sharma, CEO and president of Jenny Craig, told Reuters Health in a statement. "We are gratified that this independent study in a reputable journal has prioritized us as a weight loss solution for patient referrals and that the review showed that Jenny Craig is one of the most effective long-term weight loss solutions."

"What the study does show is that any clinician recommending a weight loss program with a cost is going to help people lose weight but at a premium price," Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition and education at Atkins Nutritionals, told Reuters Health in a statement. "Atkins is 100 percent free and its efficacy is proven with more than 80 independent clinical studies."

SlimFast trial results were varied, and there was slight evidence for weight results for other programs.

According to Dr. Christina C. Wee of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers may be among the most effective programs because they are highly structured and often include in-person social support.