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Jenny Craig closed nationwide: A local nutritionist’s take

Appleton Jenny Craig
Posted at 5:11 PM, May 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-18 10:03:32-04

APPLETON (NBC 26) — Jenny Craig, the well-known weight loss company, has closed its doors nationwide after running for over four decades. This closure includes its Appleton location.

The demise of Jenny Craig has gotten a lot of attention, and experts believe that the increasing preference for online services played a significant role in the downfall of the company.

“It’s not only acceptable but also the comfort level of people doing more online and rather than in person and I think because of that acceptance there are more companies that it hit harder,” said Vicki Pare, a local nutritionist and owner of Better With Nutrition.

She emphasized that people's comfort level with online activities has increased, leading them to go for virtual options rather than in-person programs.

"It's harder to get people in person when people are much more preferring to do things online and finding that they can be successful in that too," said Pare.

The closure of Jenny Craig coincides with the rising popularity of weight loss drugs. However, Pare advises against immediately turning to drugs.

"I teach my clients that food is medicine and just about anything is possible with food," said Pare.

Instead of relying on drugs, she recommends exploring food as the first approach to weight loss.

"I would highly encourage people to try food as medicine first," said Pare.

A Fox Valley resident shared her memories of her mother using Jenny Craig's services growing up, particularly the pre-packaged meals. Jennifer Erb recalls the taste of the meals but points out the challenge of sustainability.

"The problem, like most diets, is that it's not sustainable. Who is going to eat essentially frozen dinners, [for] the rest of their lives?" said Erb. “I think it worked because of portion size. Even though they were tasty, an average person could eat two or three of their meals.”

Pare gave some advice for people trying to lose weight.

“There is no one-size-fits-all in anything when it comes to health,” said Pare. "Wherever you are in your journey if you're looking for assistance in weight loss… just taking one step forward is the right step"

NBC News reported a possibility of Jenny Craig transitioning to an e-commerce-driven model; however, no official plans have been released.