Jenny Craig bids new dieters 'Bonjour'

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: America was able to export fast food to Europe. Now for those Europeans who scarf down too many "Le Big Macs," there's a popular American diet program launching today there. Marketplace's Caitlan Carroll reports.


Jenny Craig Ad: Thinking about losing weight? Well, Jenny Craig has big news.

Caitlan Carroll: The big news is that Jenny Craig's opening more than a dozen weight-loss centers in France. Over the last few years, France, like many European countries, has seen an increase in obesity.

Will Clower wrote the book "The French Don't Diet." He says France's younger generation is heading to fast food restaurants instead of eating small meals at home.

Will Closer: The young people are the ones who are more likely to go to MacDo -- MacDonalds. They're the ones who are more likely to embrace others' behaviors rather than their traditional behaviors.

Tom Wadden is Director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania. He says even though France's weight problem is small compared to other European countries, he agrees with Jenny Craig's strategy to start there first.

Tom Wadden: Where can you find people who are more self conscious about their appearance and their image than the French? So I think it's a very well-reasoned move on Jenny Craig's part to be going to France.

Wadden says Jenny Craig's small portion sizes will likely make sense to French consumers, but the costs may put them off. Meals can run $100 a week.

And when I get to the tough question: What about the wine?

Wadden: Hahaha. That could be a deal breaker for the French.

Brits hold on to your lagers: Jenny Craig is coming to the U.K. later this year.

I'm Caitlan Carroll for Marketplace.

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