Lawsuit Claims Jenny Craig's Diet Isn't Backed by "Serious Lab Geeks"

By Smriti Rao | January 22, 2010 9:31 am

You’ve seen this ad before.

Weight loss program Jenny Craig’s spokeswoman, actress Valerie Bertinelli, is hanging out in a gleaming white “lab,” surrounded by guys in thick-framed glasses and lab coats. She gleefully announces that people on the Jenny diet lost two times as much weight as those who were on the other big diet program (read: Weight Watchers). She also claims that the results were an outcome of a “major clinical trial run by serious lab geeks.”

Now, Weight Watchers has lashed back, dragging Jenny to court–alleging that the ad campaign makes “deceptive claims” about its success rate.

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, according to AdWeek, and it said in part:

“The trials cited by Jenny Craig (available on its Web site) are, in fact, two separate studies, conducted 10 years apart for entirely different purposes than comparing the efficacy of the Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers weight-loss programs … The Jenny Craig ‘trials’ do not relate to WW’s current offerings.”

So a New York court has now granted Weight Watchers International a temporary restraining order and has prohibited Jenny Craig from using these comparative claims of superiority in its current ads.

In the ad, Bertinelli cheerfully declares, “I love science.” We might suggest she say instead, “I love putting a patina of scientific authority on whatever flimsy claim our marketing people are peddling today.”

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Video: Jenny Craig

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Food, Nutrition, & More Food
MORE ABOUT: diets, health, nutrition, obesity
  • Cathy A

    Weight Watchers is actually firmly grounded in science, and that’s why they keep adjusting and updating their program as new research is available. When I was reviewing different diet programs because I needed to shed a few pounds, I dismissed JC and quite a few others outright because they use junk science and pseudo-voodoo for their hokery.

  • Seal

    Seriously? If these diet programs actually worked, they’d be out of business.

  • An anonymous son

    My mom has lost 1,000 lbs. over the years. Every time she’d lose 5 lbs., she’d gain at least as much back.. There was nothing worse than the dreaded loaded question before the trip to the buffet, “Tell me when I’ve had enough?” I’d wish she’d just cut to the chase and smack me so I wouldn’t have to sulk on the car ride home.

    Anyway, mom had a book whose title said it all, “It’s Not What You’re Eating, It’s What’s Eating You.” After you figure that out, you’ll be happier inside and won’t have to make such a friend of food. As for JC, WW, Tops, diuretics, speed, laxatives and surgery, nothing will work until you adress your internal discord. If you are seriously overweight, save the $200 that you will spend on diet food, and spend it on psychiatric therapy to adress your emotional clutter.Then you can have a guilt free meal, and be a better parent! (Sorry mom).


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