Jamaluddin Moloo, MD, MPH reviewing Gudzune KA et al. Ann Intern Med 2015 Apr 7.
Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig appear to be the best options.
Last year, the market for commercial weight-loss programs was dominated by Weight Watchers (45%), Nutrisystem (14%), and Jenny Craig (13%). In this systematic review, researchers evaluated 45 studies (including 39 randomized trials of ≥12 weeks’ duration) in which commercial weight-loss programs were compared with control interventions (e.g., printed materials only, sessions with a health professional, behavioral counseling) or no intervention.
Weight loss for commercial programs (relative to controls) was as follows:
· Weight Watchers, ≥2.6% greater at 12 months
· Jenny Craig, ≥4.9% greater at 12 months
· Nutrisystem, ≥3.8% greater at 3 months (no trials continued to 12 months)
· Atkins, 1% to 2.9% greater at 12 months
· Very-low-calorie programs (i.e., Health Management Resources, Medifast, OPTIFAST), ≥4.0% greater at 3 months
· SlimFast results were mixed. Many trials were short (<12 months), and attrition rates were high