Nutrisystem Weight Management Program Reviewed

Nutrisystem Weight Management Program

Balanced Approach to Lose Weight 

NutriSystem,  began over 25 years ago  as one of the many franchisers of weight-loss centers around the country, NutriSystem has become primarily an online weight-management program. It is now available to anyone with a computer who wants to log on and register for free., the online business, is now the primary focus of the company.

**Warning CautionBe sure and see news story from Canada at bottom of page.Gall Bladder Problems from Losing too Much Weight to Fast.

 "We (NutriSystem) offer the ability to lose weight using specific tools, such as food diaries, support groups, a personalized exercise program and individual counseling. Our goal is to make people healthier." -Deborah Gallen, a registered nurse, certified diabetes educator and Vice President of Operations for

The NutriSystem program has preplanned menus which incorporate NutriSystem products into the plan. However, using them is not mandatory.  Online counseling and chat rooms are available to everyone from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Though counselors are not registered dietitians, a registered dietitian is  available to address questions online that the counselors can’t handle.



Clinical Study Finds Nutri/System Meal Plan Effective For Weight and Fat Loss Two-year clinical trial finds success using the Nutri/System Portion-Controlled Meal Plan for obese postmenopausal women.

Obese postmenopausal women who used the Nutri/System Meal Plan for 16 weeks lost approximately 21 pounds or 10.7 percent of their body weight according to a recently published clinical study. 

Approximately 78 percent of the weight lost while on the Nutri/System Meal Plan was from body fat stores. 

During a two-year follow-upperiod, the women maintained 35 percent of their initial weight loss, despite not receiving any weight loss intervention during that time.

This study, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and Nutri/System (Nasdaq:THIN) was published in the July 2000 issue of the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism. 

A group of 14 obese postmenopausal women followed the 1200-calorie, portion-controlled Nutri/System Meal Plan for 16 weeks without any negative effects on bone mass, lean body mass or general health.

“The risk of developing chronic diseases with aging is a major concern for postmenopausal women, however this study shows that the elderly can achieve a healthy weight loss using portion control with a nutritionally sound diet,” said Steven B. Heymsfield, M.D. a deputy director of the Obesity Research Center at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital and a co-author of the study.

According to one study participant and New York area resident Elsie Hayrabedian, "I was worried about losing weight safely at my age, however I learned that proper

portion control was key to my safe weight loss. It has been four years now and I am still 15 pounds lighter and a lot healthier."

“As one of the most recognized names in weight loss for the past 30 years, Nutri/System will continue to provide support for clinical research that helps educate consumers on healthy ways to lose weight,” said Joseph J. DiBartolomeo, Ph.D., vice president of scientific affairs for Nutri/System.

Nutrisystem Weight Management Program Summary

  • Free membership

  •  Simple to Follow

  • Formulated to help you lose 1 to 2 pounds per week

  •   Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with 2 snacks and dessert

  •  Delicious Foods, Easy to Prepare

  •  Safe, easy to follow plan – no weighing or measuring food

  •  Over 100 different entrees & snacks

  •  Personal counseling/online support

  •  Private diet discussions

  • Personal exercise program

  •  Personal one-on-one diet support

  •  Individual attention

 Favorites include muffins, hot dogs, fettuccini alfredo and brownies.

News Story From Canada CBC Gall Bladder Problem & Losing to Much Weight

Producer: Lynn Burgess

Researcher: Nancy Hawkins

Nutri/System was one of the most successful weight-loss clinics in Canada. At one time, the company had 270 outlets in this country.

The company sold pre-packaged food to its clients, which limited their daily caloric intake. Many clients found they were losing weight too quickly.

Experts say losing up to about 2 pounds per week is safe. Some of Nutri/Sytem’s customers were losing more than that. Some of these clients developed gall bladder disease. Several underwent surgery to remove their gall bladders.

In the United States, more than 200 people sued, blaming their health problems on Nutri/Sytem. At the time of our story, there were several Canadian clients who developed gall bladder disease. There were two lawsuits in Canada, but both were eventually dropped.

Nutri/System claimed their diet plan was nutritionally sound and obesity itself is a risk factor for gall bladder disease.

In 1993, a Chicago company bought Nutri/System, saving it from bankruptcy. A year later, the Canadian offices folded.

Nutri/System now markets directly to the consumer

Dr. Joe Di Bartolomeo of Nutri/System says the company now operates directly to the customer. Clients, including those in Canada, can register and order food on-line or by phone.

The company said the plan is designed to help people lose 2 to 2.5 pounds per week, although people will lose more than that in the first couple of weeks. The company said that if someone continues to lose too much weight, it will raise the client’s caloric intake. The company has also added more fat to its liquid diet.

Nutri/System says all weight-loss companies should advise customers that obesity and losing weight contribute to gallstone formation.

Dr. Eldon Shaffer, who was in the original Marketplace story, is currently on sabbatical studying obesity and weight loss relative to cholesterol gallstone formation in people who have had gastric surgery designed to help obese people lose weight. He says his research shows that sudden weight loss over a short period of time, either through diet or surgery to restrict food intake, definitely increases the risk of gall bladder disease.

Shaffer says a very obese person who dramatically loses weight on such a regime can develop a gallstone in a few months — in about 25 per cent of cases. However, he says, women are already at a higher risk for gallstones and the risk increases with age. Grossly obese people are at an even higher risk.

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