Nutrisystem (NASDAQ: NTRI), a leading provider of weight management products and services, today announced the debut of its enhanced weight management plan for people with diabetes, Nutrisystem D. Nutrisystem D is a home-delivered, portion-controlled, nutritionally balanced weight loss program that is based on the science of the low glycemic index and meets the nutritional guidelines of the American Diabetes Association. The program is specifically designed to help people with type 2 diabetes effectively lose weight and better manage their blood glucose levels. The basis for the enhanced program includes new clinical findings, a new means of customer access to Certified Diabetes Educators, and a previously announced, expanded relationship as a National Strategic Partner with the American Diabetes Association.
The Importance of Addressing Diabetes
- Today about 26 million people – roughly 10% of the U.S. adult population – have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association; on average, there is a new case of diabetes diagnosed in the U.S. every 17 seconds.
- Another 79 million adults over the age of 30 have pre-diabetes, meaning they are at high risk for developing the disease. The disease kills more Americans than breast cancer and HIV combined, and is a major driver of preventable healthcare costs.
- Several independent studies, including the NIH multicenter study known as Look AHEAD (Action for HEAlth in Diabetes), have shown that losing as little as 5%-10% of body weight can slow the progression of type 2 diabetes, help people improve their glucose, blood pressure and more, and take fewer related costly medications. Being overweight also adds to the risk of medical complications and premature death for those with the disease.
Three separate clinical trials have examined the effects of Nutrisystem D among overweight people with type 2 diabetes. The first two studies showed that those using Nutrisystem D, in combination with counseling sessions, achieved significantly greater reductions in body weight and A1C (a 90-day measure of blood glucose control), than participants who were assigned to control interventions. Aggregating data from both studies, participants who received the Nutrisystem D intervention lost an average of 18 pounds and reduced A1C by an average of 0.7% at 6 months. Certain improvements in accompanying metabolic risk factors, such as waist circumference, cholesterol, triglycerides, and systolic blood pressure, also were noted.
"Weight loss brings impressive improvement in the control of diabetes," says Dr. Gary Foster, Director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University School of Medicine, Chair of Nutrisystem's Scientific Advisory Board and head of the research team for Nutrisystem's first clinical trial. "A structured plan empowers overweight people with type 2 diabetes to transition from feeling overwhelmed by meal planning to instead making appropriate food choices that can have a positive impact on weight loss and blood glucose."
A third study, which used continuous glucose monitoring, compared glycemic control and variability during consumption of Nutrisystem D and participants' usual diets. While consuming Nutrisystem D, participants had lower average blood glucose and less variability. Glycemic variability – or fluctuations in blood sugar levels – is an independent risk factor that can contribute to complications of diabetes.
Anthony Fabricatore, Ph.D., Senior Director of Research and Development at Nutrisystem and the lead author of the study, said, "These findings are very encouraging, because the reduction in variability was noticeable even before significant weight loss. Also participants had fewer occurrences of high blood glucose without a significant increase in low blood glucose values."