CARLSBAD, Calif., May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Jenny Craig Brand Ambassador Valerie Bertinelli is proud to kick off the American Heart Association's Wall Street Run & Heart Walk on behalf of "Team Jenny," in New York City on Thursday, May 31. The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association's premiere event that brings communities together to raise funds and celebrate progress in the fight against this country's No. 1 and No. 4 killers, heart diseases and stroke. Jenny Craig is a proud National Sponsor of the American Heart Association's Heart Walk and is supporting more than 350 walks across the United States in 2012.
"Hot in Cleveland" star Bertinelli, who lost 40 pounds* on Jenny Craig in December 2007 and slipped into that famous blue bikini, recognizes the importance of being in good heart health, and owes her mother's life to Jenny Craig. Back in October, 2008, Bertinelli's mother Nancy required emergency heart valve replacement surgery. Afterwards, the cardiologist pulled Valerie and her brother Patrick aside and told them that if their mom hadn't previously lost weight, she wouldn't have survived. Nancy lost 54 pounds* on Jenny Craig after seeing her daughter Valerie's success on the program, and got a whole new lease on life.
"I'm honored to be here today, and am thrilled to be kicking off the New York City Heart Walk with Jenny Craig," said Bertinelli. "Losing weight isn't just about getting into your favorite clothes, it's about being healthy and lowering your risk for weight-related diseases, so you can live a longer and happier life for yourself and for your family," said Bertinelli. There is evidence that shows losing 5-10% of your body weight reduces your risk for cardiovascular diseases through improvements in blood cholesterol levels.
In support of the American Heart Association's healthy-living initiative My Heart. My Life™, Jenny Craig launched My Heart. My Life.™ My Jenny, which focuses on educating the public regarding the significant health risks associated with weight-related diseases, including heart disease and stroke. Through marketing campaigns, PSAs, community programs, education and online activations, the brand is encouraging the public to eat better, move more and live a healthier life.
"Recent studies show that 42% of the country will be obese by 2030," said Dana Fiser, Global CEO of Jenny Craig. "This statistic is simply unacceptable, and that's why Jenny Craig is more committed than ever to helping people lose weight and get healthy so that we can turn those numbers around. As a proud National Sponsor of the American Heart Association's Heart Walk, we're leading the charge to show people that just 30 minutes of activity a day can make a huge difference."
Most people don't realize that weight impacts their heart health and maintaining a healthy weight can positively impact risk factors including blood pressure and cholesterol management, blood sugar levels and BMI. Current research surveys show that less than 1 percent of Americans are in "ideal heart health," as defined by the AHA and that's why Jenny is proud to be supporting the American Heart Association's mission to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent by 2020.
Through engagement with its centres, Jenny will bring its simple, clinically proven approach to weight loss to motivate the public to participate in the Heart Walks throughout the country with free training plans at www.jennycraig.com.
The season finale of Valerie Bertinelli's hit television show "Hot in Cleveland" on TV Land will air June 6, 2012.
*Jenny Craig clients, on average, lose 1-2 pounds per week.
About Jenny Craig
Jenny Craig's program is designed to help you manage your weight by creating a healthy relationship with food, building a fun, active lifestyle and developing a balanced approach to living. Our mantra is: Eat Well. Move More. Live Life.
With Jenny's one-on-one consultation paired with its clinically proven, healthy lifestyle plan, you can't go wrong. Jenny's nutritionists work with food scientists to create more than 80 delicious Jenny's Cuisine™ menu items. No counting calories, weighing food or measuring portions. Losing weight doesn't have to be a struggle. Jenny makes it fun. Jenny's program is also available in-centre and our at-home program, Jenny At Home for easy access, whenever, wherever!
Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, CA, is one of the world's largest weight management companies, with more than 700 company-owned and franchised centres in the United States, France, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico. Jenny Craig has more than 3,500 employees and will celebrate their 30th Anniversary in 2013!
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.
 Triglycerides and Cardiovascular Disease, A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Michael Miller, et al.
 American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2012. Obesity and Severe Obesity Forecasts Through 2030. Eric Finkelstein, PhD., Olga Khaviou, M.A., Hope Thompson, B.A., Justin Trogdon, Ph.D., Liping Pan, M.D., MPH, Bettylou Sherry, Ph.D., R.D., William Dietz, M.D., Ph.D.
 American Heart Association Cardiovascular Health Consumer Survey. American Heart Association. November 2009
SOURCE Jenny Craig