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The Grinch Who Stole ... Your Waistline?

Lighter dining options at Jack in the Box® restaurants can help consumers avoid holiday diet pitfalls

SAN DIEGO, December 3, 2004 -- The new year is just 29 days away, but it’s 29 days fraught with potential diet disasters. Experts say the average American will gain up to 5 pounds during the holiday season and will likely keep the extra weight throughout the year.

So how can you eat lighter in a month packed with marathon shopping excursions and long road trips to grandma’s house? Don’t worry, Jack in the Box® – yes, Jack in the Box – can help you stay on track and get a leg up on your New Year’s resolutions.

“Jack in the Box offers a variety of choices for customers seeking a lighter meal on the go,” said Dave Allen, a nutritionist with Jack in the Box. “For example, our Southwest Chicken Pita, stuffed with fajita-style chicken, black beans and roasted corn, is 260 calories and 4.5 grams of fat, making it a great option for diet-conscious diners.”

Allen also cited Jack in the Box’s line of entree salads as an ideal choice for a nutritious and filling meal. The line includes Asian Chicken, Southwest Chicken and Chicken Club, all featuring a mix of greens topped with chicken and vegetables. Additional toppings – nuts, croutons and dressings, such as low-fat balsamic and lite ranch – are served on the side, so diners can add as much or as little as they like.

“Customization is the key to lighter dining,” said Allen. “Choices enable customers to create a meal that’s right for them. Concerned about calories? Then use the dressing sparingly or request a low-fat version. Counting carbs? Then omit the croutons or wonton strips. ”

At Jack in the Box, guests can also customize their favorite burgers and chicken sandwiches by choosing a reduced-fat herb mayo over regular sauce or by going “bunless,” a low-carb option featuring a burger or chicken patty served in a container with a knife and fork.

In addition to lighter menu options, Jack in the Box has developed “Build Your Meal” – an interactive nutrition calculator on the company’s web site – to help customers select meals that fit their diets.

“Build Your Meal is a great resource for customers who want more detailed nutritional information,” said Allen. “Customers can find out how many calories they can save by substituting or eliminating sauce or cheese on a sandwich or how many carbs they can cut by ordering without the bun. Plus it’s easy and quick to use, which is important during the hectic holiday season.”

Jack in the Box Inc. (NYSE: JBX) operates and franchises two restaurant chains, Jack in the Box® and Qdoba Mexican Grill®, in 33 states combined. Jack in the Box is one of the nation’s largest hamburger chains, with more than 2,000 restaurants, and Qdoba Mexican Grill is an emerging leader in fast-casual dining, with approximately 180 restaurants. Based in San Diego, Jack in the Box Inc. has about 46,000 employees.