Diet Wars

by Anne Bennett on May 15, 2011

Hold onto your 100-calorie packs: Consumer Reports came out with its diet ratings last week and the results were a big surprise to many calorie-counters.

CR, which reports on diets every two years, compares the nutritional soundness and short and long-term weight loss success of the nation’s most popular diet programs.

This year’s winner? Jenny Craig.

Let me repeat that: Jenny Craig came in first. ┬áI know, hard to believe, isn’t it? You want another shocker? Slim Fast came in second.

Where’s Weight Watchers, you ask? ┬áRelegated to a rather distant third place.

At first I was flummoxed. How could plans that rely on pre-packaged diet meals and canned drinks topple Weight Watchers, the world’s largest weight loss program?

After a bit of internet detective work, I learned that CR based their findings on a recent study published by JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. The title of the JAMA study reads thusly:

“Effect of a Free Prepared Meal and Incentivized Weight Loss Program on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance in Obese and Overweight Women.”

Four hundred overweight women were given two-years of Jenny Craig meals, plus counseling, at no cost. You read that right. The program, which has a retail value of $6,000, was given to them free of charge.

The study was funded by none other than Jenny Craig.

Now, I’m not exactly calling foul here; I admit that following a very restricted diet plan in which you eat only pre-prepared meals can facilitate weight loss in the short run. But I don’t know a soul who’s been able to keep the pounds off afterwards when they’ve returned to the real world of pizza and beer.

I’m actually disappointed in Consumer Reports. Like most American consumers, I’ve always relied on them to tell me which washer/dryer to buy.

After reading this botched study, I’m convinced that they should stick to rating appliances.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: