An Evidence-based Approach to Weight Management
Jenny Craig has created this page specifically for health care professionals to provide evidence-based support on our comprehensive lifestyle programs. Designed to promote healthy weight loss with an emphasis on safety and weight maintenance, our approach incorporates structured, nutritionally-balanced menus, physical activity and behavioral counseling, delivered through weekly one-on-one consultations.
Proven efficacy as published in JAMA
The two-year randomized controlled trial demonstrated clinically significant weight loss.
In a 2010 trial published in JAMA, Jenny Craig program participants lost over three times more weight compared to Usual Care. Participants in our program, on average, lost 10% of their body weight at 12 months and 7% at 24 months, compared to an average of 2% for Usual Care, with a 92% retention rate.
The study also showed favorable effects on cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Weight loss of 5-10% has been shown to reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. In the Diabetes Prevention Program trial, a weight loss of 7.8% resulted in a reduction of 58% for type 2 diabetes.1
In the 2010 study of our program’s efficacy, along with a 7-10% weight loss reduction, Jenny Craig participants showed decreases in waist/hip circumference, serum insulin and CRP along with increases in HDL cholesterol and cardiopulmonary fitness. Participants in the Jenny Craig program also saw improvements in quality of life measures and dietary quality via increased serum carotenoids (a biomarker for fruit and vegetable intake).2
What experience and outcomes
might your patients expect from Jenny Craig?
When your patients join our program, they are counseled on basic nutrition, exercise, and behavioral strategies for weight management. Our members consume nutritionally balanced, reduced-calorie menus that include three prepared meals and one snack per day, along with added vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, unsaturated fats, and nonfat milk products. The menus are a model for balance, variety, and moderation that enables individuals to learn healthy eating for life.3
Over the course of their program, individuals transition from menus that include 7 full days of meal replacements, to 5-6 days with partial meal replacement, to 7 days of primarily their own foods. To accommodate varied lifestyles, the program is available through several convenient channels.
Join health professionals
who now view obesity as a disease
requiring prevention and treatment
The American Medical Association summed it up in a 2013 policy statement, recognizing “obesity as a disease state with multiple pathophysiological aspects requiring a range of interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention”.4
If you are ready to act, Treat Obesity Seriously – a campaign launched by The Obesity Society– offers professional education and resources that make it easier to diagnose and treat your patients, starting with tools and strategies to make BMI measurement a standard part of your patient visits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover Jenny Craig services?
Some health insurance companies and employers offer discounts for Jenny Craig services as part of a wellness benefit. In addition, some patients can benefit from FSA, HSA and HRA programs to pay for the services with pre-tax dollars.
Will my patients be seen by health professionals at Jenny Craig?
As a non-medically supervised program, Jenny Craig is focused on delivering lifestyle change strategies. The consultants who counsel our members are trained to implement the program as designed by our Registered Dietitians, utilizing a behavior modification approach. They will direct your patients to you for ongoing medical information or management.
Why should I trust my patients to Jenny Craig?
Our evidence-based programs are designed by Registered Dietitians with the guidance of an esteemed Medical Advisory Board, reflecting the guidelines of major health organizations and validated by peer-reviewed research.
Are there any contraindications for Jenny Craig enrollment?
At Jenny Craig, your patient’s health is our priority. For this reason, individuals may not enroll on the Program if they:
- Have serious allergies to any food ingredients
- Have or have been treated for celiac disease
- Have ESRD and are being treated with hemodialysis
- Are currently being treated for anorexia/bulimia
- Are pregnant/less than 6 weeks post-partum
- Are an adolescent (13–17 years old) with any health condition except asthma/seasonal allergies
- Require certain special diets (gluten-free, vegan, kosher, halal)
- Have been instructed to avoid gluten
In addition, breastfeeding women will be referred to you for supplementation to ensure an intake of 100% of the Daily Value for vitamins and minerals.
Are Jenny Craig’s low-calorie foods nutritionally sound?
Developed by Registered Dietitians, our menus are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans published in 2010 and the Dietary Reference Intakes issued by the Institute of Medicine in 2006. The average nutritional composition of the menus is 45-60% carbohydrate, 20-30% fat, and 20-30% protein calories. Weight loss menus range between 1200 and 2300 calories and are individualized and designed to result in an average weekly weight loss of 1-2 pounds or 1% of current weight.
Are the menus low in sodium?
Our menus provide a range of 2-4 grams sodium, 2-5 grams potassium, 100-200 mgs cholesterol and 20-40 grams fiber.
Is the program appropriate for people with diabetes?
The program is in conformance with the American Diabetes Association’s 2011 Clinical Practice Recommendations. It is appropriate for individuals with diabetes on insulin who are followed closely by their physician and have their permission for enrollment.
Are Jenny Craig members limited to eating Jenny Craig foods?
No. The menus combine the Jenny Craig meal replacements with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, unsaturated fats and low-fat dairy. As a complement to portion control, the nutrition component emphasizes low calorie density choices, utilizing the Volumetrics® Approach, a set of satiety-enhancing techniques that are based on the widely published research of Barbara Rolls, PhD, professor of nutritional sciences at The Pennsylvania State University.
How is physical activity integrated into the program?
As physical activity is one of the key success factors for maintenance of weight loss, it is a foundational element of the program. Jenny Craig takes a stage-based approach, utilizing individualized behavioral strategies to help our members build an active lifestyle. Members are encouraged to build up to 30 minutes of activity on five or more days per week, with a goal of reaching 60 minutes of activity per day for weight maintenance.
Individuals with health conditions such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease, or who are taking prescription medications, are advised to consult their physician regarding their ability to participate in moderate lifestyle-based activity.
Does Jenny Craig account for the fact that significant weight reduction may warrant adjustment of medication regimens?
Throughout their program, we encourage members to consult with their health care provider regarding their weight and activity goals, health conditions and the need for any adjustments in medications secondary to calorie restriction, weight loss, or a change in health status.
1 Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. N Eng J Med. 2002;346:393–403.
2 Rock CL, Flatt SW, Karanja N, et al. JAMA. 2010;304(16):1803-1811.
3 Based on a 1200-calorie Jenny Craig menu.
4 AMA Policy H–440.842 Recognition of Obesity as a Disease, June 2013, http://bit.ly/HvDGZF
VOLUMETRICS® is a federally registered trademark of Barbara Rolls, PhD, used under exclusive license by Jenny Craig Operations, Inc.