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Retention rates and weight loss in a commercial weight loss program

A Corrigendum to this article was published on 29 January 2007



To evaluate and describe retention rates and weight loss in clients participating in a commercial weight loss program.


A total of 60 164 men and women ages 18–79 years who enrolled in the Jenny Craig Platinum program between May 2001 and May 2002.


Retention rates, mean weight loss and percent weight loss were calculated on a weekly basis for the 52-week period following initial enrollment in the weight loss program. Clients were categorized based on final week of participation in the program (weeks 1–4, weeks 5–13, weeks 14–26, weeks 27–39 and weeks 40–52) and weight loss was calculated at final week. A subgroup of clients was identified based on attendance through 13, 26 and 52 weeks. Mean and percent weight loss was calculated for these subgroups of clients.


Of the 60 164 men and women who enrolled in the weight loss program, 73% were retained in the program after 4 weeks, 42% at 13 weeks, 22% at 26 weeks and 6.6% at 52 weeks. Clients who dropped out of the program during the first 4 weeks lost 1.1±1.6% (mean±s.d.) of their initial body weight, whereas clients who dropped out between 40 and 52 weeks lost 12.0±7.2%. Clients in the 13-week, 26-week and 52-week cohorts lost 8.3±3.3, 12.6±5.1 and 15.6±7.5% of their initial body weight, respectively.


Weight loss was greater among clients who were retained in the program longer. The findings from this study suggest that a commercial weight loss program can be an effective weight loss tool for individuals who remain active in the program.

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We thank Andy Belden of Fulcrum Analytics for providing the data for the study. We also thank Melba Morrow for her editorial assistance in preparing the manuscript. This study was supported by an unrestricted research grant from Jenny Craig, Incorporated to The Cooper Institute.

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Correspondence to C E Finley.

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Finley, C., Barlow, C., Greenway, F. et al. Retention rates and weight loss in a commercial weight loss program. Int J Obes 31, 292–298 (2007).

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  • commercial weight loss program
  • retention rates
  • weight management

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