(StatePoint) For many, weight loss is a constant struggle, full of frustration, fad diets and forgotten workout DVDs. But it doesn’t have to be that way. New research reveals a critical element that can make all the difference between an ongoing health struggle and successfully shedding excess weight -- and keeping it off long-term. The secret? Don’t fly solo when it comes to trying to lose weight.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, discovered that individuals following structured weight loss programs with support were more likely to lose weight and more likely to keep off the weight, than those who did not. The findings were drawn from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which used the results of the study to update their 2018 statement to officially recommend programs with ongoing support for adults with a body mass index of 30 or higher.
For the average American struggling with lasting weight loss, the study’s findings are clear. Based on a review of 100 weight loss and weight maintenance programs, the best results came from structured programs that included regular in-person meetings, meetings that provide education and personal connection; and a holistic approach. Weight loss experts also point to the benefits of comprehensive programs – such as Jenny Craig – in helping those seeking to lose weight learn how to keep it off for good.
“This peer-reviewed study, published in one of the most reputable medical journals, provides valuable direction for healthcare providers and consumers who are looking for scientifically-sound guidance as they strive for optimal health and weight management,” says Dr. Pamela Peeke, chair of the Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board. “This new recommendation highlights the importance of ongoing support in weight management.”
Today, more than 35 percent of men and 40 percent of women in the U.S. are obese. Obesity is associated with a wide range of health problems, including increased risk for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, various types of cancer, gallstones, physical disability and an increased risk for death, particularly among adults younger than 65. With more than 100 million U.S. adults living with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), finding effective and sustainable weight loss methods is critical for a large portion of Americans.
“Jenny Craig has understood the importance of offering support for more than 35 years; it is the cornerstone of our program,” says Jenny Craig CEO and president, Monty Sharma. “Personalized human guidance not only keeps people motivated, but also allows for a customized approach for each individual and their life situation.”
Members of the program meet weekly with their personal consultant one-on-one to discuss their progress, create customized meal plans, address challenges and plan the week ahead. Of note, the study found strongest success among those who met at least every two weeks, with those meeting more often seeing even better results.
If you are embarking on a weight loss effort, consider how ongoing support and science-driven structure can help you achieve lasting results.