Newly Published Clinical Study Finds New Commercial Diet Program Superior to Standard Protocol for Diabetes Weight Loss and Blood Sugar Control

Thursday, September 17, 2009 General News
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HORSHAM, Pa., Sept. 8 -- Results from a clinical study conducted at the Temple University School of Medicine and published today in the journal Postgraduate Medicine(1), show that a pre-packaged, portion controlled meal plan helped overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes lose significantly more weight and reduce their A1C test scores (a 90-day measure of blood sugar control) by almost a full point greater than those following a standard hospital-based diabetes support and education program, according to the findings. This weight loss was also associated with significant reductions in blood pressure, cholesterol and waist circumference.

The research team, led by Dr. Gary Foster, Director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University School of Medicine, followed 69 (49 F, 20 M) overweight people with type 2 diabetes, a body-mass index of 39.0 +/- 6.2 kg/m2 and a hemoglobin A1C of 7.5 +/- 1.6%. Participants were randomly assigned to either a portion-controlled diet (Nutrisystem D) or a diabetes support and education program (DSE).

In the study, the Nutrisystem D group lost significantly more weight (8.2 +/- 5.2 kg compared to 0.6 +/- 2.6 kg) (p < .0001) and experienced greater reductions in A1C levels (-0.88 +/- 1.10 versus 0.03 +/- 1.09; p < .001) compared to the DSE group after three months.

"Weight loss brings impressive improvement in the control of diabetes," explains Dr. Foster, the principal investigator of the study. "People with diabetes have to perform mental gymnastics when they attempt to lose weight- balancing carbohydrates, fats and proteins with overall calories, all while keeping their blood sugar in check. The complexity can cause many people to become frustrated and give up."

"The pre-packaged and portion controlled Nutrisystem D meal program seems to alleviate some of those potential diet pitfalls for people with diabetes by providing nutritionally-balanced and convenient meals," continues Dr. Foster. "A structured plan empowers overweight people with type 2 diabetes to transition from feeling overwhelmed by meal planning to instead making healthy food choices that can have a positive impact on both weight loss and blood sugar control."

The Diabetes - Diet Connection

More than 23 million Americans suffer from diabetes. Nearly all adults with diabetes are overweight, and more than half are obese.(2) In research studies, even modest weight loss (5-7% of total body weight) has been shown to improve blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease in overweight people with type 2 diabetes.(3) Other clinical studies have shown that weight loss within the first three years of being diagnosed with diabetes, can lead to long-lasting health benefits, even if the lost weight is eventually regained.(4)( )Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in general, every percentage point drop in A1C blood test results (e.g., 8.0% to 7.0%) can reduce the risk of microvascular complications (eye, kidney and nerve damage) by 40%.(5)

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has emphasized the need for structured programs that emphasize lifestyle changes, including education, reduced fat and energy intake, regular physical activity, and regular participant contact. Programs like these can produce long-term weight loss of 5-7% of starting weight and reduce the risk for developing diabetes, according to the ADA.(6)

Participants in the Temple University study were all provided nutrition education, counseling and ongoing support in group sessions led by a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator. Topics covered in these education sessions included self-monitoring, stimulus control and relapse management. All participants were prescribed physical activity, such as walking.

"Our goal was to provide the same basic counseling that any person with diabetes would typically receive, whether newly diagnosed or living with the disease for many years," explains Dr. Foster. "In each case, the addition of the structured diet program seemed to be the catalyst for weight loss and improved blood sugar management."

Nutrisystem D Now Commercially Available

The Nutrisystem D program is now available for overweight people with type 2 diabetes. The program includes 150 pre-packaged, portion controlled meals, formulated using a low glycemic approach which emphasizes healthy whole grains, as well as low fat and low sodium foods. The Glycemic Index measures how quickly food is broken down and absorbed by the body, which impacts blood sugar, a vital factor for people managing their diabetes. A recent clinical study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that for patients with type 2 diabetes, 6-month treatment with a low-glycemic index diet resulted in moderately lower HbA(1c) levels compared with a high-cereal fiber diet.(7)

Nutrisystem customers also receive a welcome kit which includes a meal planner, a resource guide highlighting Nutrisystem tips and tools for weight loss, and an on-the-go meal planner. Nutrisystem recommends a combination of diet and exercise to lose weight. Nutrisystem D is a comprehensive weight loss program. It does not treat, cure or prevent diabetes, and is not a substitute for diabetic medications. To learn more visit

Disclosure Statement

The Temple University Study: The Effects of a Pre-packaged, Portion Controlled Meal Plan on Weight and Glycemic Control Among Obese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes, was led by Dr. Gary Foster, Director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University School of Medicine and Chairman of Nutrisystem's Advisory Board, and was funded through an unrestricted educational grant from Nutrisystem, Inc., Horsham, Pa.

About the Center for Obesity Research and Education (CORE)

CORE is a university-wide group of investigators dedicated to excellence in obesity research. Its mission is to promote interdisciplinary study of the etiology, consequences, treatment and prevention of obesity. Ongoing research ranges from lab-based studies to epidemiology, with a particular focus on the causes, treatment and prevention of obesity among minorities of lower socioeconomic status among whom obesity is more prevalent. For more information, visit:

About Temple University

Founded in 1884 by Dr. Russell Conwell, Temple College became Temple University in 1907. With more than 34,000 students from the Philadelphia region and across the country and the world, Temple offers more than four dozen doctoral and more than 100 master's degree programs that contribute to research and scholarship. Temple seeks to create new knowledge that improves the human condition and uplifts the human spirit through a commitment to recruiting, retaining, and supporting outstanding faculty that prize diversity of thought, excel in scholarly endeavors, and support the aspirations of capable students. For more information, visit:

About Nutrisystem, Inc.

Nutrisystem, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRI) is a leading provider of weight management products and services. Nutrisystem is sold direct to the consumer through for convenient home delivery. The company offers proven nutritionally balanced weight-loss programs designed for women, men, and seniors, as well as the new clinically tested Nutrisystem D plan, formulated specifically to help overweight people with type 2 diabetes lose weight. The Nutrisystem program is based on 35 years of nutrition research and offers a variety of great tasting, satisfying high-fiber, heart healthy, good carbohydrate meals that are low on the Glycemic Index and contain zero trans fats. Nutrisystem is hundreds of dollars cheaper than other weight loss programs, based on an independent survey by National Business Research Institute (October 2008). The program has no membership fees and provides 24/7 weight management support by trained weight loss coaches and online weight management tools free of charge. In 2009 Nutrisystem was selected as the #1 overall online retailer in the Health and Beauty category and #46 out of the top 500 online retailers overall by Internet Retailer Magazine. For more information or to become a customer visit or call 1-877-681-THIN (8446)


(1) Foster, G., et al. The Effects of a Commercially Available Weight Loss Program Among Obese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Study. Postgraduate Medicine [10.3810/pgm.2009.09.2046]. 2009; 121 (5). Available at: Accessed September 2, 2009.

(2),(3),(4) Weight change in diabetes and glycemic and blood pressure control, by Adrianne C. Feldstein and colleagues. Diabetes Care 31:1960-1965, 200.

(5) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes fact sheet: general information and national estimates on diabetes in the United States, 2007. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008.

(6) Evidence-Based Nutrition Principles and Recommendations for the Treatment and Prevention of Diabetes and Related Complications Diabetes Care 25:S50-S60, 2002.

(7) Effect of a low glycemic index or a high-cereal fiber diet on type 2 diabetes: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2008 Dec 17;300(23):2742-53.

SOURCE Nutrisystem, Inc.

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