Individuals seeking long-term weight loss should think about trying Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, as a review of clinical trials ranks them top diet plans in a study (Ann. Intern. Med., 2015). Weight loss is a $2.5 billion growing industry with more than a third of adults obese in the United States. That is why commercial weight loss programs have become so popular but doctors still haven’t had much information to recommended specific programs.
In the trial that lasted one year, Weight Watcher participants had at least a 2.6 percent greater weight loss than those who received only education. People who used Jenny Craig lost 4.9 percent more weight at 1 year compared to those who underwent education and counseling. Other weight-loss programs such as Nutrisystem resulted in a 3.8 percent greater fat loss, while Atkins had a 0.1% to 2.9% fat loss at 12 months.
I believe that weight loss programs that help individuals restrict calories with a strategic approach to making healthier diet choices is key to long-term weight loss. Other fat loss programs that focus strictly on supplements or prepackaged meals are not successful as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. Gudzune and researchers highlighted that “structure and intensity of contact” are highly correlated with program success.
Although diet and exercise are the key factors to weight loss, it seems that frequent coaching and making smart diet choices is what effects long-term weight loss the most. Clinicians may now consider referring obese or overweight patients to Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers as they are reviewed as top diet plans. Programs such as Nutrisystem, demonstrate promising fat-loss results; however, further research analyzing long-term weight loss outcomes are required.
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Source: Gudzune KA, Doshi RS, Mehta AK, Chaudhry ZW, Jacobs DK, Vakil RM, et al. “Efficacy of Commercial Weight-Loss Programs: An Updated Systematic Review” Annals of Internal Medicine 2015