Consumer News

Consumer Reports Puts Diet Food To The Test

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

CBS Pittsburgh (con't)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Some people may make jokes, but for many, weight loss is no laughing matter.

The industry was shaken up last month when Weight Watchers announced changes to its points system.

But, what about the other big-name diet plans such as Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem?

Consumer Reports just did a taste-off of their heavily advertised diet foods.

Jason Alexander’s so happy with his weight loss on the Jenny Craig diet plan that he’s taking his clothes off and singer Marie Osmond is promoting diet meals for Nutrisystem.

But, how good do the meals from these two diet plans actually taste?

Consumer Reports asked its experienced taste testers to sample 65 products from breakfasts and dinners to snacks.

“Our testers didn’t know which products they were testing. They didn’t even know they were eating diet-plan foods,” Amy Keating from Consumer Reports said.

The results were that most of the foods weren’t all that tasty. Testers found the Nutrisystem meatloaf and tomato sauce had an “old flavor.”

A Jenny Craig Salisbury steak was better and had flavorful potatoes and vegetables, but the mushrooms were slightly rubbery.

Neither company’s snacks and desserts were much of a treat.

“Jenny Craig’s Soft Chocolate Cookie was dry and crumbly, without much flavor and Nutrisystem’s nacho crisps didn’t have much flavor either, and were hard and dry,” Keating said.

In the end, only five of the products Consumer Reports tested received a very good score. All were from Jenny Craig.

“Overall Jenny Craig edged out Nutrisystem with respect to taste, but not by much,” Keating said.

Still, for some people like Amy Knox, these plans can work. She lost 51 pounds in just over seven months using Jenny Craig meals.

“Coming to a place that everything is measured out for you really made the difference for me,” Knox said.

Consumer Reports said on the downside, you spend weeks eating food that doesn’t always taste so terrific.

One of the big advantages of diet-plan food is that it’s portion-controlled, and portion control is key to losing weight. However, frozen diet meals offer that, too and previous Consumer Reports tests have found many are quite tasty.

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