Does the weight loss program from Jenny Craig Inc. work in helping people lose weight and keep it off?

Borrowing the same criteria as in Does the Atkins diet work?:

My question is, does this diet lead to substantial weight loss, say a 25% reduction for an obese male, without any serious adverse side affects. By serious, I mean things that would kill you. For instance a statistically significant increased risk of heart attack or cancer is a serious side affect. Also, for the purposes of this question, for a diet to "work" the weight has to stay down and not come back in 12-36 months.

  • 9
    Yes. I think she works at a diet company or something :) Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 23:16
  • Cheeky monkey. ;) Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 23:51
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    But does she do honest work? :-P
    – Lagerbaer
    Commented Apr 23, 2011 at 0:07
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    From a first glance at their homepage, what they claim is not outrageous, to say the least. Transition to a healthy diet with the long-term goal of changing your nutrition habits. That sounds reasonable to me, and they don't make outlandish claims (you know, 100 pounds in 6 days without sacrificing dessert). Let's see if there's more scholarly work behind it.
    – Lagerbaer
    Commented Apr 23, 2011 at 0:10
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    Very good edit, it makes the question much clearer, but man, it takes all the zing out of my joke :) Commented Apr 23, 2011 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


Jenny Craig's program does not provide you with a special diet, a-la Atkins. It's a simple calorie restriction diet, joined with a support group, physical exercise, etc.. All of these tools are very effective when used appropriately.


What are the goals of the Jenny Craig Program?

Weight is often related to lifestyle. That's why the goal of the Jenny Craig Program is to help clients acquire:

  • A Healthy Relationship with Food
    Along with balanced, low-calorie density food choices and portion control, the program emphasizes the importance of tuning into physical/emotional eating cues and the pleasure of eating via our menus and online journal. Teaching clients to be mindful about what they eat, is the first step in making healthier, more satisfying choices.
  • An Active Lifestyle
    The activity component of the program was developed in consultation with the world-renowned Cooper Institute and encourages clients to gradually increase activity through a combination of natural, planned and "playful" physical activities. Jenny Craig offers a walking audiocassettes, and fitness video series, and other tools that encourage clients to engage in a variety of cardiorespiratory, resistance and stretching activities. Maintenance materials also address important variables such as lack of time, ongoing motivation and changing body image.
  • A Balanced Approach to Living
    As weight issues are, in part, a reflection of thoughts and emotions clients bring to their weight loss efforts, the program emphasizes cognitive strategies to help clients develop a more balanced, positive mindset.
  • Wikipedia and the programs own page are poor references, and you haven't established that the calorie restriction diet, support group or exercise are effective.
    – Kit Sunde
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 7:52
  • I thought that it was obvious enough that eating less makes you slimmer, and that Wikipedia would suffice, but fair enough I'll look it up. The program's own page is clearly reputable as to what the program consists of.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 9:33

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