News & Media

Jenny Craig, Inc. Applauds Surgeon General Satcher's "Call to Action" to Stem the Tide of Obesity

LA JOLLA, CALIF., December 18, 2001 - As a company dedicated to helping people lose weight and learn how to live healthier lives, Jenny Craig, Inc. supports Surgeon General David Satcher's recent call to action to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity.

Since the Company was founded in 1983, obesity-related statistics have increased at a staggering rate. With more than 60 percent of U.S. adults now considered overweight - as well as 13 percent of children and adolescents - the timing has never been more critical for a concerted community-based and industry-supported effort such as that proposed by Surgeon General Satcher.

"Poor eating habits and a lack of physical activity are certainly among the major factors that have contributed to this national health concern," said Patti Larchet, President and Chief Operating Officer for Jenny Craig. "Sadly, what used to be an issue that adults solely faced is now one that is affecting our children. In addition to the child-centric initiatives proposed by Surgeon General Satcher such as making healthy lunch options and physical education classes more accessible, we as parents can play an important role in shaping our children's futures. By successfully managing our own weight, planning nutritiously balanced meals, and encouraging fun family physical activities, we can promote healthy behaviors and serve as positive role models."

"We live in a 'toxic' world of vending machines, high-fat fast food options and oversized restaurant portions," commented Dr. Kelly Brownell, Ph.D, internationally recognized expert on obesity and Professor of Psychology at Yale University. "One way to exist within such a challenging environment is by practicing moderation. Opting for a smaller burger versus its super-size counterpart, for example, or sharing an entrée at a restaurant, are two simple, but effective, portion control techniques.

"Our busy, 24/7 world of 'too much to do within too little time' often also leaves few opportunities to exercise," added Brownell. "Making a conscious choice to incorporate physical activity several times a week - even routine activities, such as parking far from a mall entrance or taking an extra lap around the mall when shopping - does wonders for mind, body and spirit. Adopting a long-term approach to a healthy and active lifestyle is the best medicine of all to prevent obesity and the diseases it causes."

In addition to the activities being encouraged on a community level, there is much that can be accomplished on a personal level. Simply by implementing their own "call to action," individuals can take small steps such as these suggested by the Jenny Craig Program to improve their eating and exercise behaviors:

  • Strive to lose weight slowly and safely, taking the opportunity to learn healthy habits that you can maintain for the rest of your life. After all, you're not going on a diet - you're embarking upon a weight loss journey, where what you learn along the way is just as important as the destination itself.
  • Set smaller, realistic goals rather than one all-or-nothing objective. Perhaps it's replacing an item from the vending machine with a piece of fruit for your midday snack, or taking an after-dinner stroll with the family several nights a week. Every time you make a positive change, you'll feel a well-earned sense of accomplishment.
  • Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. Not only will they motivate and encourage you, they'll applaud your successes and help you deal with your challenges.
  • Think moderation - in both your food choices and your exercise routine. Don't deprive yourself of favorite foods - simply enjoy them occasionally in small portions. And if you haven't exercised in a while, start off by walking around the block a few times a week. Or get the equivalent of a half-hour workout in three 10-minute, or even six 5-minute, bouts throughout the day.
  • Make healthy menu planning a family event. Take the children with you when grocery shopping, and let them help choose fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Elicit their comments when browsing through cookbooks for lowfat recipes. Show them healthy cooking substitutions - such as using applesauce instead of butter when preparing boxed cake mixes, or fat-free cream cheese in dips in place of its higher fat counterpart.
  • Above all, keep focused on your vision of where you want to be and what you want to attain … and use mistakes as the learning opportunities they are.