If you want to shed some pounds, consider going on the Jenny Craig weight loss program. In its third round of rating diet plans, Consumer Reports has named Jenny Craig the most effective of six popular plans.
Consumer Reports based its ratings on how well each diet plan adhered to the 2010 U.S. dietary guidelines, as well as the results of previously published clinical trials on the diets' weight-loss effectiveness.
While the magazine did not conduct the research trials itself, it did use its in-house data scientists to scour the scientific literature and crunch the numbers for the short-term and long-term results and drop-out rates for each of the six popular diet plans. In addition, food experts analyzed each plan's menus for nutritional quality.
Jenny Craig, which came in with 85 points (out of a possible 100), combines personalized telephone and in-person counseling with portion-controlled, prepackaged meals. Consumer Reports said it came in first due to research published in October 2010 in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found that 92 percent of the 442 women in the study stuck with Jenny Craig for two years and lost, on average, 8 percent of their original body weight.
Following behind Jenny Craig were:
- Slim Fast 3-2-1 (63 points)
- Weight Watchers (57 points)
- The Zone (54 points)
- Ornish (48 points)
- Atkins (48 points)
Losing weight isn't cheap. While Atkins and Ornish cost nothing more than the price of the books, Jenny Craig's annual membership starts at $399 plus the cost of the prepackaged food. Weight Watchers' in-person group meetings and Web site access cost $39.95 a month.
The takeaway: Figure out which plan works best for you and your lifestyle.
Kathleen Melanson, associate professor of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Rhode Island, told Consumer Reports, "If you're forcing yourself on a diet you hate, it's going to be really hard to stick with long-term."
--From the Editors at Netscape