JAMA Logo Tired of sticking to a diet regimen that barely shows any improvements? Then this investigation may help tackle such a situation. A latest study suggests that women following the Jenny Craig weight-loss program lose more weight than women who diet on their own. It was affirmed that an incentivized, structured, weight-loss programme giving free prepackaged meals and snacks boosts physical activity and other lifestyle modifications through person-to-person behavioral counseling further triggering significant weight loss.

Experts commenced a randomized controlled trial of weight loss and weight maintenance in 442 overweight or obese women with a BMI between 25 and 40. In addition the participants belonged to an age group of 18 to 69 years, for over a two year period with follow-up between November 2007 and April 2010. Women were segregated in three intervention groups namely, center-based, telephone based weekly one-to-one weight loss counseling and usual care group. While the center-based group consisted of 167 women and the telephone based comprised 164, usual care group had 111 participants.

Scientists comment, “For clinical practitioners, the evidence suggests that the structured program as applied in this study provides another route for their overweight and obese patients to achieve and maintain weight loss through behavioral changes for at least a two-year period.”

The telephone based weekly one-to-one weight loss counseling encompassed free-of-charge prepackaged prepared foods from Jenny Craig, Inc. and physical activity for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Finally study subjects were transitioned to a meal plan that was not based on the commercial program. The usual care group was provided with two individualized weight loss counseling sessions by a dietetics professional and monthly contact. Small monetary compensation of $25 each was given to all the volunteers on completion of every clinic visit. After 24 months, weight data for 407 of the 442 women forming 92.1 percent was accumulated.

Cheryl L. Rock, Ph.D., R.D., from Moores UCSD Cancer Center, La Jolla, Calif., and colleagues, observed that the average weight loss for women in the center-based group was approximately 16 pounds or 7.9 percent of their initial weight. On the other hand, the telephone-based group reported weight loss of about 14 pounds or 6.8 percent. The usual care control group registered weight loss of around 4.5 pounds. It appeared that 103 women representing 62 percent of the center-based group and 91 forming 56 percent of telephone-based participants had a weight loss of at least 5 percent, than 32 participants comprising 29 percent of usual care group.

Scientists conclude that incentivized structured weight loss program with free prepared meals may be extremely beneficial in improving weight loss as compared to usual care group. It was mentioned that small percentage weight changes apparently decrease chances of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.