ad info

Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  





Bush signs order opening 'faith-based' charity office for business

Rescues continue 4 days after devastating India earthquake

DaimlerChrysler employees join rapidly swelling ranks of laid-off U.S. workers

Disney's is a goner


4:30pm ET, 4/16









CNN Websites
Networks image

Larry King Live

What Does Jenny Craig Have to Say Now That She Can Speak?

Aired March 21, 2001 - 9:00 p.m. ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: She taught weight loss, and tens of millions of people took off hundreds of millions of pounds. But a bizarre accident silenced her for more than five years.

Jenny Craig joins me for the hour, and we'll take your calls. Next, on LARRY KING LIVE.

Jenny Craig joins us tonight. It's good to see her again. She's been out of the spotlight, it seems, since the mid-'90s. She is the famed founder of the weight loss and weight management centers that bear her name. Started in Australia, and they're all over the world. She and her husband are famed in the world of horse ownership and the like.

But Jenny Craig, first things first. What happened to you?


KING: You used to be everywhere. You did your own commercials. You were visible.

CRAIG: That's true. That's true.

KING: What happened?

CRAIG: Well, about five years ago, I was sitting on the couch in my living room, and I fell asleep, .

KING: As many do.

CRAIG: As many do. My jaw must have dropped open, and something on the TV must have startled me. I woke up with a start, my lower jaw snapped shut over upper teeth, I had to pry it down. It felt like two rubber bands had snapped on the side of my face. And after about a week, my teeth were knocking together when I'd talk, and it would send shocks up my face. So I went to my dentist. And he said he couldn't tell, but he said, "I'll send you to a TMJ specialist.

KING: A TM...?

CRAIG: TMJ. That's temporal mandibular joint. And he told me that my jaw was chronically dislocating. He sent me to another specialist who sent me to another specialist...

KING: Could you talk at this time?

CRAIG: Yes, I could talk then.

KING: Things were OK except for the...

CRAIG: What happened, because I had stripped all the muscles in my face, I was using my tongue to hold my jaw up, so I was trying to talk and do that at the same time, and my speech became very garbled. So I kept going from doctor to doctor. I went to 18 doctors all over the country.

KING: And it's constantly getting worse.

CRAIG: Continually getting worse, and...

KING: Was there pain?

CRAIG: Yes, there was pain in the beginning. And they all kept telling me the same thing. "I don't know what it is. I've never seen it before."

So I continued to search for an answer, and finally, I heard about this doctor who was performing surgery on children who had disabilities, you know, that had cleft palate, cleft lip, and...

KING: And there was a term -- I don't mean to interrupt. There was a term when we were kids, we used to hear a lot of -- lockjaw.


KING: Is that what you had? There is a "lockjaw," isn't there?

CRAIG: Yes, there is a "lockjaw."

KING: That was not what you had.

CRAIG: That was not what I had.

KING: So what did this doctor do?

CRAIG: Because my jaw was not locked shut.

KING: You could open your mouth.

CRAIG: I could open it and close it, but I didn't have control.

KING: So you couldn't control the words coming out of your mouth.

CRAIG: Exactly.

KING: What did this doctor do?

CRAIG: So he -- just in examination, he said, "I can tell you what's wrong." He said, "You've stripped the muscles in your face," and he said, "Until you repair them, nothing is going to help you." KING: So, again, you repaired muscle. You had to rebuild the muscle?

CRAIG: He had to use dissolvable screws to attach them to my cheekbones, and it was a lot of surgery.

KING: You had screws in your face? Like Frankenstein...

CRAIG: No, inside. He did it from the inside.

KING: Could you eat?

CRAIG: Yes, but it took a few days before I could eat.

KING: Did you have to learn to talk all over again?

CRAIG: Oh, absolutely. In the beginning, right after surgery, he suggested I start having speech therapy, which I did. And in those days, I was practicing speech exercises like four and five hours a day.

KING: Like talking all over again.

CRAIG: Exactly.

KING: Now, your brain knew what to say, right?

CRAIG: Exactly. And I had all kinds of tests and X-rays and MRIs, and they kept saying: "You're perfect, we don't know what's wrong." So...

KING: How did this doctor know?

CRAIG: He just did some facial manipulations and he could tell. He said, "You have no muscle tone whatsoever in your face."

KING: Now, it wasn't money. You could have afforded anyone. Did you travel outside the United States?

CRAIG: I went to Boston, New York, Florida, Texas. Every time I heard of a doctor that could possibly supply a solution, I said I'm on the plane.

KING: How -- cured are you?

CRAIG: Well, I'm still in recovery. I mean, I still have to practice...

KING: Still doing the therapy?

CRAIG: Oh, every day.

KING: How long?

CRAIG: An hour a day now. And I -- I see my therapist once a week. In the beginning, she was coming seven days a week. She did that for a year.

KING: We sent a camera down to Rancho Santa Fe, in California, where Jenny and Sid Craig live. And let's show you part of what they do down there each morning.


CRAIG: I watch what I eat. I watch what I eat. Challenge yourself. You'll like the change.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good. Did you hear what you did there?

CRAIG: Mm-hmm.


CRAIG: Challenge yourself. You'll like the change.

A change in bad habits leads to a change in life.

KING: Who was the woman?

CRAIG: Her name is Marlowe Fischer, and she is very good. She's -- she is -- she teaches, in fact.

KING: Do you know anyone else who has had this?

CRAIG: No, but, not specifically. But I did get letters after the "People" article...

KING: Was in the press.

CRAIG: People saying, you know, I had the same thing -- not the same accident, but I experienced a similar thing.

KING: Is there a name for it?

CRAIG: No. I think that what happens, as a result, is a type of Dystonia.

KING: Dystonia?

CRAIG: Dystonia. It's called focal dystonia, which sort of concentrates on a particular area.

KING: What, then, do you think happened while you were sleeping? What happened in that second?

CRAIG: I think, because my jaw was probably...

KING: Loose and down.

CRAIG: ... extended to such a degree, that when I jerked up, it just kind of -- locked in.

KING: Strained the muscle. CRAIG: And that just stripped them.

KING: And this was over five years ago?

CRAIG: Yes, mm-hmm. And my surgery was a little over two years ago.

KING: We'll be right back with more of Jenny Craig. We'll talk about her business and diet, and lots of other things -- some controversy she's been embroiled in, and this amazing recovery. We'll be taking your calls as well. Don't go away.


CRAIG: Should we get started?

MARLOWE FISCHER, SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST: Sure. We're going to start with the exercises, I think you know them. We've had a lot of ups and downs on things. Sometimes it seems that things go along very well, and then she plateaus for a little bit, not much. She doesn't plateau often. Jenny's a tenacious worker. She is very diligent. She always guarantees me, no matter where she is, what she's doing. And if I'm not there, she practices every day.

CRAIG: Cherry bomb, cherry bomb, cherry bomb.




CRAIG: Alice Scott called Jenny Craig to lose weight for a job interview. Now, she's doing it to look great every day. Georgia Matera (ph) called Jenny Craig to lose weight for her 10-year reunion. Now, she is doing it for her daily reunions. Losing weight for a big event is a great reason for you to call Jenny Craig, but don't forget the biggest of event all, your life.


KING: That was Jenny before the accident. Are you going to come back and do commercials?

CRAIG: And before the red hair.

KING: Yes, everything's changed. Are you going to come back and do commercials again?

CRAIG: You know, I won't say never.

KING: Why? You look fine now. You don't think you could do them now?

CRAIG: I don't know. I don't feel comfortable doing it, but...

KING: On a the rat of -- on a scale of 10, are you a nine now on the road to recovery?

CRAIG: I would say, yes, 8 1/2.

KING: Danger of it happening again?


KING: No, not at all.


KING: Because.

CRAIG: The doctor said he has anchored those muscles so well that he said it wouldn't happen again.

KING: What -- are there certain words you have difficulty with?


KING: Like.

CRAIG: At different times. Sometimes, like this morning, we were doing the ch's. When my therapist comes, she usually talks to me and she'll say, uh-oh, we have to work on the ch's.

KING: Like change.

CRAIG: Church.

KING: They're hard to get.

CRAIG: Chancellor and things.

KING: Do -- is there still any pain?

CRAIG: No, no pain.

KING: What did you learn from all this?

CRAIG: Well, you know, it's interesting, Larry. One of the things I learned, I think it gave me a deeper insight and appreciation as to what our clients go through. You know, they try a diet. It doesn't work. They go to another diet, it doesn't work.

They keep trying things, and it's very frustrating. I experienced the same kind of thing. And, so I really empathize with them. I understand the challenges they're facing. And, you know, there is nothing I can do to change what happened.

KING: Were there days you, as happens with dieters, gave up?


KING: You never gave up.

CRAIG: I am very tenacious.

KING: Even when doctors would say, I don't know what this is.

CRAIG: Never. Sid kept saying to me...

KING: How about your husband?

CRAIG: ... Jenny, why don't you just accept it. I said, I will never accept it. I'm going to keep trying until I find an answer. I know somewhere out there there is a solution.

KING: Who is the doctor?

CRAIG: Dr. Dennis Nigro.

KING: N-i-g-r-o.


KING: Where is he?

CRAIG: He is in Encinitas, California.

KING: Oh, you found him at home?

CRAIG: Yes, it was in my backyard, so to speak.

KING: Encinitas is right down there where you live, right?

CRAIG: Yes, he was on a local TV station talking about this wonderful program, Fresh Start. He donates all of his time to children with these deformities.

KING: What is his specialty?

CRAIG: He's a plastic surgeon.

KING: So it is in the field of plastic surgery.


KING: The dentist didn't know what to do either?

CRAIG: Dentists, orthodontists, neurologists, you name it. None of them. I went to physical therapists.

KING: This could mean that other muscles could lock in the body. Can people have a knee that locks?

CRAIG: Probably, I think people do. For instance, Sid had surgery on his knee. He had a torn meniscus, which is the same thing, it's a torn muscle. So, you know, it does happen to other people.

KING: So really, what you have to learn do is you learned a muscle again, like learning to walk?

CRAIG: Exactly, I had to train -- I mean, there was absolutely no tone at all in my muscles. Just nothing. You couldn't feel them.

KING: And the surgery reattached?

CRAIG: Yes, reattached, and, of course, then I had to do exercises to build it up.

KING: Let's touch some other bases. You weren't born in this country, were you?

CRAIG: Yes, I was. I was born in New Orleans, and the interesting thing is that it's probably a lesson in...

KING: Why did I think you were born somewhere else?

CRAIG: Because I lived in Australia for two years. That's where we started the program.

KING: The company started in Australia.

CRAIG: But having been brought up in the South, because I don't talk as fast as I used to, people attribute that to my southern upbringing. So, that's good.

KING: Were you fat?

CRAIG: Yes, after my second daughter was born, I had gained close to 50 pounds and...

KING: Now your husband was in another business; right? He was in the fitness business when you met.

CRAIG: Well, yes, it was a type of fitness, yes.

KING: And you went out of that business, went to Australia, to live?


Why Australia?

CRAIG: Well, because when we sold the company, Sid signed a two- year non-compete. And so we decided we were we were too young to retire, so we went to Australia and we started the Jenny Craig program. And...

KING: Why a diet program?

CRAIG: Well, there was no comprehensive weight loss program there, and they have the same obesity problem that America does. Their lifestyle is pretty much similar to ours.

KING: But what did you know that other people didn't know in the field? What made Jenny Craig catch on?

CRAIG: Well, I have been in the industry since 1959. I have learned the things that work and the things that don't work, and we have a very good medical staff that advises us along with our dietitians, the staff dietitians, who put together the program based on the latest research on nutrition, on weight management, and disease control.

KING: How many centers are there?

CRAIG: There are 568.

KING: How many members?

CRAIG: Or 658. I reversed that.

KING: How many members?

CRAIG: Oh, millions. We have...

KING: Are you franchised or do you own them?

CRAIG: We own 80 percent, and the rest are franchised.

KING: But they all follow the rules...

CRAIG: Oh, yes.

KING: ... the Jenny Craig rules?

CRAIG: They all follow the rules and happily.

KING: More with an extraordinary lady, Jenny Craig. This is LARRY KING LIVE. We will be taking your calls. Don't go away.



NARRATOR: Recently, the respected "San Francisco Chronicle" published an independent evaluation comparing five weight loss programs. Of the national programs, one had food rated highest in taste, texture and appearance. It also had a knowledgeable and supportive staff, and the cost was reasonable. Now which program was it?

CRAIG: Jenny Craig.


KING: How did you get the idea that you'd participate in your own, that you'd do a lot of television commercials, that you would sell this through media?

CRAIG: Well, in the beginning, when we started in Australia, we didn't have clients. You know, we've often used clients to show the before and after, to just to show people that, hey, if they can do it, then you can do it.

But of course, we didn't have success stories the first day we opened. So, I said, well, I'll go out there and do it. And I did, and it seemed to be working so I just continued to do it.

KING: Are you and Weight Watchers the two most famous in the world?

CRAIG: Probably, yes.

KING: You have to -- is exercise part of your program?

CRAIG: Yes, it is. Our program is based on nutritional eating, on an active lifestyle, and on having a balanced approach to living.

KING: Have your own products?

CRAIG: Yes, we do.

KING: Made in special...

CRAIG: We have like 70, over 70 selections, and...

KING: Of course, now though...

CRAIG: .. we have things like chicken fajitas. You know, we have Italian, Mexican.

KING: ... every store has special sections where they just serve low fat...

CRAIG: But it's not just about fat, Larry, it's about the support, the support system and learning how to make the necessary lifestyle changes that are conducive to a healthy body.

KING: One thing, maybe a rap against you, was didn't you not, for a time, endorse fen-phen?

CRAIG: Well, when we heard that, you know, that was a very good thing to do, it was -- it was effective, and our medical staff said, you know, as far as we know, there's no reason not to. We have always tried to give clients every benefit. You know, if we could supply something that would help them to do it easier and quicker, we would do it.

KING: And then you pulled it.

CRAIG: So we introduced and as soon as we found out that it wasn't as safe as they had originally thought, we immediately pulled it.

KING: Did it work, by the way?

CRAIG: Well, you know, any drug only works with a combination of active lifestyle and common sense eating. I mean, you know, to take a drug and think that you can eat anything you want and sit around and watch TV all day, it doesn't work.

KING: Do you work psychologically, too? Do you deal with why people overeat? CRAIG: Well, I think probably the main reason people overeat is stress. Now, stress comes in all different forms, but usually when people are stressed, they turn to comfort foods to sort of make them feel better. We have found that that is the most responsible for weight gain and overeating.

KING: Why is it so hard to lick? I mean, it's not a drug that, like a tobacco or a you know, a something like heroin or liquor that you're addicted to. You can't -- you're not addicted to food, are you?

CRAIG: It's because you have to eat.

KING: You have to eat but...

CRAIG: You don't have to smoke. You don't have to do those other things. They're options. You don't have an option with eating. You have to eat to live. And so to see it there in front of you all the time, to be exposed to it, it is a temptation, and that's why it's important to learn how to make the right choices so that you can eat all the food you want to be satiated and yet at the same time, not expose yourself to health risks.

KING: I would imagine you have had offers to buy Jenny Craig, and one would think that with the illness, you gave it some thought. Did you?

CRAIG: Well, no.

KING: Not really.

CRAIG: Really, you know, it's not who I am. I really love what I do. I -- it's extremely motivating to me. You know, I go out, I see people who have been successful on the program or they know someone who has been successful. I hear these wonderful stories, how their whole lives changed, not just the way they look.

KING: So, you're activist.


KING: Jenny Craig is the guest. At the bottom of the hour, we'll go to your calls. We'll be right back. Don't go away.



MONICA LEWINSKY, FRM. WHITE HOUSE INTERN: I've tried every diet in the world. I mean, if it was stand on your head, I tried it. If it was eat only grapefruits, I tried it. Magic diet pills, I tried it. I've lost 31 pounds on Jenny Craig.

I'm not there yet but I can still appreciate and be grateful and proud of my success so far. One of the most amazing things about Jenny Craig for me is that I haven't felt deprived on this program at all.

I think the concept of Jenny Craig having a low carb option is great, it gives clients just one more opportunity, to have a different choice. I think Jenny Craig is a great program for someone who not only wants to lose weight, but who is looking to change their life.

I feel fantastic.


KING: The Monica Lewinsky commercial, mistake?

CRAIG: Well, let's say that it didn't work for us. She certainly lost weight, but unfortunately, people tended to focus more on who she was rather than her success on the program.

KING: So, she was a poor role model then?

CRAIG: Well, for the program, yes.

KING: The ads were yanked; right?

CRAIG: Yes, we did. Well, you know, Larry, we...

KING: Sid thought it would work, though, right? I don't want to blame Sid.

CRAIG: No, of course not, but we've used celebrities for many years, and you know one thing that I really want to make clear, she was never intended to be a spokesperson. She was intended as a testimonial. You know, we've had Ed McMahon, Elliot Gould, Cindy Williams, Regis. They went on the program, lost weight and did commercials for us. So...

KING: She was not he going to be a spokesperson for the company, tour...

CRAIG: She was just going to be a testimonial to that the program works, and it did work for her. She lost 31 pounds. She didn't lose what she was supposed to lose, her goal, but she did lose 31 pounds and we're real proud about that.

KING: And clear up something for us so we can end you side. She told "New York" magazine she was paid $300,000, but it was a million dollar deal and she's owed money and is considering legal action.

CRAIG: Well, the only thing I can tell you about that is we lived up to every letter of our contract. So as far as I'm concerned, there is no basis for a suit. And...

KING: So, you owe her any money.

CRAIG: No, we don't owe her any money.

KING: Were you surprised at the reaction to it? CRAIG: Yes and no. You know, I have spent my whole life, Larry, trying to help women feel good about themselves, and I just assumed that women would be supportive of other women.

I mean, we're not there to judge people on what their private behavior is. People come to us, and they want to lose weight. And that's what we're all about, losing weight, helping them to take control of their life.

KING: But you knew how she'd gotten famous, so that was the negative side, obviously.

CRAIG: Well, like I said, I try not to be judgmental.

KING: But you're glad it's over.

CRAIG: Yes, I am. I am.

KING: A lot of things you're glad are over.

CRAIG: That's true I'm glad this situation is getting better, too.

KING: Jenny Craig is our guest. We'll go to your phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Tony Randall and Jack Klugman together on Friday night. We'll be right back.


KING: How do you react to those -- some in the press knocking the fact that you're doing this, knocking Jenny Craig, knocking you for doing a commercial, for endorsing a product?

LEWINSKY: Well, I guess it's a little disappointing to me, and I -- my first thought really is I wonder if they've ever had to deal with weight problems themselves because I think if they had, they would know that if you've got a program that works like this and you have an opportunity to share your success and the opportunity that it might help someone else find success, too, and alleviate some of the pain, you want to take that opportunity.



KING: A locked jaw muscle is not a major problem in the United States, but obesity is, and Jenny Craig is involved with that. Fifty- five percent of the American population is regarded as overweight or obese. Among United States kids, it increased 100 percent between 1980 and 1994. It's estimated 24 percent of American children are overweight -- that's defined as weighing 20 percent more than your ideal weight should be.

Jenny Craig is our guest. We're going to go to your phone calls.

Marshall, Texas, hello. CALLER: Hi, Larry, hi Jenny.


CALLER: I'm so glad to get to thank you personally. I'm doing really well on your program as a client. In my ninth week, I've lost 20 pounds.

KING: Can you hear?

CALLER: Hello?

CRAIG: I'm -- I'm sorry.

KING: We'll fix your earpiece. She said she's lost 20 pounds on your...

CRAIG: Congratulations.

KING: Do you have a question?

CALLER: Yes, I do.

My question is: How fast does Jenny recommend that people lose weight? Because I have heard that some people...

KING: Can you hear her now? Go ahead.

CALLER: I have heard that...

CRAIG: We recommend that you lose between 1 and 2 pounds a week. And that's what the National Institute for Health recommends.

KING: One or two pounds a week. What do you make of these fad diets? Eat all you want -- lose 8 pounds a week, take this pill, lose 22 pounds in a day and a half...

CRAIG: Well, that's the problem out there. There is so much misrepresentation. Companies making all kinds of claims and promises, and of course, everyone is looking for a quick fix. But you know, there are no quick fixes.

KING: Internet's a big source of it now, right?

CRAIG: Yes, exactly. We on the Internet. We're at, and we give lots of information. We have a monthly newsletter, we have a message board where clients support each other. And in January, we introduced a Jenny care line, which is really a 7/24 -- 24 hours a day for -- every day they can call and talk to someone about any challenges...

KING: A live person?

CRAIG: A live person they can talk to about challenges, questions they have...

KING: What percentage of your customers are male?

CRAIG: I'd say 10 to 15 percent. And, you know, Larry, that's increasing, because I think men, now, are realizing the health risks that are involved. So it's not just for cosmetic reasons. They are doing it for health reasons.

KING: Portland, Oregon. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. Hi, Jenny and Larry.

CRAIG: Hi, there.


CALLER: I was going to call and ask about Monica Lewinsky, but you already answered my question. Although I did want to say that even though you didn't use her as a spokesperson -- I know, myself, I have been part of your program for two years, and I lost 70 pounds.

CRAIG: Well, congratulations.

CALLER: Thank you, and I have maintained it for about six months or so. And I really do love the program. It's great.

KING: So what is the question?

CALLER: I wanted to say that when I first saw the commercial for Jenny Craig, and Monica representing it, it really did kind of make me feel a little bit negative about it, because of the fact that -- even though she is a person and she does need to be treated like one, it's just what -- you know, what was going on at the time. That kind of just made me feel that that isn't someone that I would want to look up to. And...

KING: A lot of other people obviously felt...

CRAIG: I can understand how you feel. And let me say this, I apologize for any hard feelings that any of our ads create. That is never our intention.

KING: Brentwood, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, hi Miss Craig.

CRAIG: Hello.

CALLER: I just wanted to ask, has Miss Craig gone to any other forms of treatment outside the western medical model? For example, acupuncture and Tao treatment.

CRAIG: Yes. I've had acupuncture, I've had cranial sacral treatments. I've done the whole gamut.

KING: Was -- did you run into a lot of people with -- calling you with ideas?

CRAIG: Yes. Calls, letters, and...

KING: Any health food concepts? Any wacko methods? I don't mean health foods -- I didn't mean to associate that.

CRAIG: I didn't try those.

KING: You know, mix 4 ounces of orange syrup with 14 gallons of lactose...

CRAIG: I didn't try those. I tried things that I felt had a chance of working.

KING: Marilyn -- I don't know what I'm talking about. Marilyn Heights, Missouri, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Jenny and Larry.

CRAIG: Hello.


CALLER: Jenny, I'm delighted to be able to talk to you.

CRAIG: Well, thank you. I'm delighted to be able to talk to you, believe me.

KING: Yeah, you're not kidding.

CALLER: Thank you. My question for Jenny tonight is, what would you recommend for those who can't afford a diet program?

CRAIG: Well, first of all, our program is not a diet program. You know, diet is about willpower, and lifestyle is about skill power. And diet is about deprivation, and lifestyle is about moderation. And so that's what we're all about. We're about moderation.

KING: What about poor people?

CRAIG: But people who have difficulty -- our program, you have to eat, and the food costs between $7 and $10 a day, so it really is within the reach of most people.

KING: What's the cost of the program if someone signs up at Jenny Craig?

CRAIG: Well, it depends on how long they come. If -- but...

KING: Average.

CRAIG: Actually, it -- well, the program itself costs about $200. Now, depending on how long you continue to come, but food...

KING: People come every day?

CRAIG: You're transferring the food dollars from the store to the Jenny Craig. KING: Do people come a lot?


KING: They can come every day?

CRAIG: No, they come once a week, but they get food for the total week.

KING: We'll be right back with more of Jenny Craig, and more of your phone calls. Don't go away.


KING: We're showing pictures of the Jenny Craig family. How many are you?

CRAIG: Well, we have five children, eight grandchildren, number nine on the way. And every year we try to take a trip together and...

KING: The whole family?

CRAIG: Well, not the children, because some of them are too young to travel, the grandchildren. But all of our children, yes, and their...

KING: That's nice.

CRAIG: ... significant others.

KING: They were concerned about mother, of course.

CRAIG: Oh, very much.

KING: San Francisco, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi, Larry.


CALLER: What does Jenny think of some of these celebrity diets, such as the Susan Somers, Mary Lou Henton -- Retton diets? Does she put much stock into these things?

CRAIG: I'm sorry, I didn't hear the question.

KING: Celebrity diets like, Suzanne Somers and others, you know, eat a lot of fats.

CRAIG: I don't believe in fad diets.

KING: You think that's a fad?

CRAIG: Yes. I think any, you know, it perpetuates the idea that you go on it, and off it. The only way to guarantee long term success is to change the eating behavior, the lifestyle, that has created the problem to begin with. And that's what we focus on, giving people tools to make the right choices.

KING: Are there foods you eliminate completely?

CRAIG: No foods.

KING: No food is eliminated.

CRAIG: No foods that...

KING: Suzanne would eliminate all sugar.


KING: You don't eliminate...

CRAIG: No. There's no food that is completely eliminated. Everything is in moderation.

KING: What kind of dishes...

CRAIG: The diet is based on...

KING: ... you have 70 different dishes, right? You have breakfast, lunch -- give me...

CRAIG: We have chicken fajitas, we have pasta fazole, we have stuffed potato with cheese, we have...

KING: And these are low fat?

CRAIG: Yes, we have pizza, we have...

KING: Pizza?

CRAIG: We even have desserts. We have a wonderful mocha java cheese cake, a raspberry-swirl cheese cake, we have peanut butter bars. I mean, this is really good food. Believe me, it's delicious.

KING: Whew! Paradise, California, hello.



CALLER: I have lost 70 pounds on Jenny Craig.

CRAIG: Well, congratulations.

CALLER: Thank you, from the Visalia center. And my question to you is, will the Jenny Craig foods ever be able to be purchased in the grocery store?

CRAIG: Not the foods that are part of the program. You know, at some point we may have foods in, you know, in the stores, with the Jenny Craig brand, but not the ones that are part of the program.

KING: Weight watchers went a lot through food packaging in stores, right?

CRAIG: That's true. One...

KING: Did you ever give that some thought?

CRAIG: One of the things we pride ourselves on, though, is the one-on-one support that people get, coming into the centers. And I think that is key. Having that person, one-on-one, to talk to, and to help you face some of the challenges.

KING: Do you weigh people in, too.

CRAIG: Yes, we do.

KING: Doylestown, Pennsylvania, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry, hi, Jenny.


CRAIG: Hi, there.

CALLER: I am glad to get this a chance to talk to you.

CRAIG: Well, thank you.

CALLER: I just had a question on the celebrity commercials that you have done in the past. Do you think you'll be doing that in the future again?

CRAIG: Possibly. You know, there's no reason not to. We've had a number of celebrities that have come on the program that we haven't used in commercials. So, the answer is yes, we will.

KING: What countries, outside of the United States, are you in? You're still in Australia, right?

CRAIG: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, America, and, of course, Puerto Rico.

KING: Thought about Europe?

CRAIG: Yes. As a matter of fact it's part of our plan. We're going to be expanding into other countries and we're really excited about that.

KING: Asia, too?

CRAIG: Asia, yes, that's on the drawing board, too. We, as a matter of fact, we're going to be making a trip to Singapore, and that is going to soon be a market for Jenny Craig, so we're excited about that.

KING: Some day, will you have to -- will you be able to stop doing these exercises every day?

CRAIG: I hope so, Larry, but I can't...

KING: Did they tell you you will?

CRAIG: When I ask her she is sort of evasive, and she says,"Well, you'll always have to monitor."

KING: Because you seem fine.

CRAIG: Well, thank you.

KING: As you speak, do you feel any difficulty?

CRAIG: Yes, I do.

KING: You do?

CRAIG: Yes, it's...

KING: It's hard to do what you're doing.

CRAIG: ... a strain to articulate.

KING: Like a muscle, like exercise.

CRAIG: Exactly. It...

KING: You're exercising a muscle now...

CRAIG: ... feels tight.

KING: ... and you feel it.

CRAIG: It feels tight.

KING: Back with more of Jenny Craig on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with the recovered, almost recovered, Jenny Craig. She's back on the scene, it's good to have her.

You were telling me, before we take our next call, that even Japan is facing an obesity problem.

CRAIG: Yes. For the first time in the history of their culture, because of the fast food chains that have gone in and, you know, they're eating a lot of junk food, and they're following in our footsteps.

KING: Spread the word, right?

CRAIG: We're trying.

KING: Sarasota, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Jenny. I feel so special just to talk to you. I'm one of those 10 or 15 percent males you talked about, and...

CRAIG: Well, welcome.

CALLER: I've actually lost 87 pounds over the last 52 weeks...

CRAIG: Oh, oh, congratulations.

CALLER: ... and I really attribute it to the -- to the counseling that I've received, especially Sue in the Sarasota office, and I just wondered, did you originally start out doing counseling? Do you have training methods that you, you know, you help people be so special?

KING: Before she answers that, sir, since it is Jenny Craig, and she does all the commercials and most of the clientele are women, what brought you there?

CALLER: I tell you, it's funny. It was a commercial. I was sitting there, and I have to be honest, I was contemplating suicide, and I saw the commercial come on, and I said, "I've got to change my life," and I'm sorry I'm getting emotional about it, but I said, "I've got to do something," and over the last year I've bettered myself.

And again, the counseling has been there for me, and I have a girlfriend now, and I'm going out on the weekends. I'm running, and it's really changed my life.

KING: Do you -- did you teach?


CRAIG: I am so proud of you. What is your name?

CALLER: My name's Jeff.

CRAIG: Jeff.

KING: OK, Jeff.

CRAIG: Congratulations, Jeff.

CALLER: Thank you very much, Jenny.

CRAIG: That's just a wonderful story.

KING: Now, his question was, did you teach and do you train your teachers?

CRAIG: Well, when I, when we first started in Australia, I was doing everything. I worked in the centers, I was writing manuals, I was writing behavior education classes, the whole works -- training our staff.

So, in answer to your question, yes, I did, in the beginning, and then of course, as we expanded, we hired very competent people and now that's, those are the ones who do most of the consultation. KING: And the teaching deals with lifestyle? What do they talk to you about?

CRAIG: Well, they talk to them about lifestyle changes, about nutrition, about motivation, just whatever challenges the clients are facing, our people are trained to handle, and when they don't have the answer, we have registered dietitians at the corporate office that they can call any time to find out if, you know, there are special needs or special requests.

KING: You can make use of the service all the time.

CRAIG: Oh, of course. All the time.

KING: This, by the way, is National Nutrition Month, something...

CRAIG: A good reason to start.

KING: We will take a break and come back with our remaining moments; try to get in a couple calls for Jenny Craig on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Tomorrow night, that fellow who paid money to go to outer space, he is going to be with us; don't go away.


KING: We are back with Jenny Craig. Any of your family members have this problem? Gain weight?

CRAIG: No. Actually, my children, you know, I brought them up to make the right kinds of choices, and it served them well. My daughter did gain weight during her pregnancy, and in fact, Michelle, the one that Wendy knows.

KING: Wendy, our producer, is her friend; right?

CRAIG: Yes, she gained like 50 pounds during her pregnancy. And after the baby, she was right back on track. So she is the one I had gained the weight with in the beginning, so I said, you see what goes around comes around.

KING: The last gentleman who called was certainly very dramatic with 85 pounds in a year. Have you had losses of like, big, super...

CRAIG: Larry, we have people that come in, from 10 pounds, to 200 pounds, so you know, we are there for any one who needs our help.

KING: You've seen people come down from 200 pounds overweight.

CRAIG: Oh, yes, yes; quite a few. In fact, the day that they filmed the "Today Show," there was a young girl who came in, and I commented, gee, that is an attractive girl, she really has a lovely figure. And she came over to the table and started talking to me as we were having lunch, and she told me she had lost 200 pounds. Her name is Sharon, a lovely, lovely girl.

KING: 200 pounds.

CRAIG: 200 pounds. Then, if you saw her, you would think she had never had a weight problem in her life.

KING: St. Catherine's, Ontario for Jenny Craig, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Jenny, I'm calling to ask you what piece of advice you would give to other individuals that are suffering from severe jaw problems.

CRAIG: Severe what?

CALLER: Jaw problems.

CRAIG: Jaw problems? I would recommend that you see as many doctors as you can, until you find the solution. Because, you know, I wouldn't...

KING: What's the name of your doctor, again, and maybe they could call your doctor and he might know someone in their area.

CRAIG: It's possible

His name is Dennis Nigro. He is in Encinitas, California.



KING: In Encinitas, California. A dentist. Because, I guess, if you specialize in something, would know others that do the same...

CRAIG: It's possible he would because of my situation. He may have read a lot about it and other people who are doing something...

KING: Did you ever say along the way, why me?

CRAIG: Oh, sure.

KING: Were you angry?

CRAIG: Kind of, kind of angry...

KING: Bitter?

CRAIG: the beginning. And then, I thought, you know, you have so many positives in your life, you have a wonderful family, you have good health, you have had wonderful success in business, why focus on the one negative thing? So I just kind of gave myself a talking to and said look, you know, get this thing done. You can do it.

KING: Same determination you used...

CRAIG: Determination -- exactly. The same kind of determination it takes clients.

KING: Jenny and Sid Craig also have acquired a lot of successful thoroughbred races horses. Do you get involved in that end?

CRAIG: I watch them run.

KING: Do you ever say, buy that horse.

CRAIG: I have bought Sid a horse once for his 60th birthday.

KING: He was?

CRAIG: It ended up winning the Epson Derby.

KING: Epson Derby. Doctor...

CRAIG: Dr. Devious.

KING: Devious, who was actually the name of a person, right?

CRAIG: Exactly. He was a veterinarian in Ireland, and the horse was bred in Ireland, so they named the horse Dr. Devious.

KING: And he is also a collector of cars; right?

CRAIG: Sid is. Yes, he has...

KING: How many cars does he have?

CRAIG: Antique cars; oh, about 13.

KING: Keep them all down there in Rancho...

CRAIG: Yes, we do, and he loves to just walk through and look at the cars. And like Jay Leno.

KING: On all balance, life is good.

CRAIG: Life is very good, Larry.

KING: You had some bad things.

CRAIG: Bad things happen to good people, but you know, we overcome. And I'm looking forward to what's in store in future years, I mean, we have exciting things going on in the company, .

KING: And obviously, you are expanding.

CRAIG: Yeah we are expanding, and, we just introduced in January, a new maintenance program, and we are getting rave reviews about that. And we're constantly introducing new foods so we try to stay on the cutting edge, and give the clients as many benefits as we can.

KING: Continued good health.

CRAIG: Thank you so much, Larry.

KING: Jenny Craig has been our guest. Wonderful seeing her, hope you enjoyed this hour.

Tomorrow night's show: should you be able to buy a trip to outer space? An outraged NASA says no. But Dennis Tito just did; what do you think? Got some questions for Dennis? Is he a little whacked? Or, hey, maybe a good idea.

Log on to our Web site and send in your opinion,

Stay tuned for "CNN TONIGHT" -- good night.



Back to the top