Nutrisystem – one of the most recognizable names in the weight loss industry for its healthy, delivered, portion-controlled meals – has been named a National Strategic Partner of the American Diabetes Association.
The company is being recognized for its commitment to supporting the mission to treat and eradicate diabetes through such efforts as clinical research and involvement with the ADA’s diabetes-focused movements.
Nutrisystem has also helped make significant strides in the fight against the disease with its Nutrisystem D program, which provides delivered, pre-portioned meals specifically designed for those living with diabetes.
Anthony Fabricatore, Nutrisystem’s Senior Director of Research and Development, spoke with Diets in Review recently to share what this strategic partnerships means for the diet company as a whole.
Fabricatore said that Nutrisystem has been working with the ADA for the past two years, which has not only heavily influenced the nutritional make up of the Nutrisystem D program, but also the direction of the company’s clinical studies regarding diabetes.
While significant internal changes for Nutrisystem may not be born from this partnership, Fabricatore said it’s validating in many ways for the company as it seeks to help people improve their lives and their well-being.
“It shows that we are not just a company that provides a product that helps people shed a few pounds and fit into their clothes better,” he said. “There’s also a serious benefit in helping people reach better health.”
Moving forward, one change the partnership brings about is the ADA now recognizes Nutrisystem as a member benefit. It also means current ADA members will be eligible for a discount on Nutrisystem products. Although a date has yet to be determined for when this promotion will be available, Fabricatore says they’re working out the details and will be able to inform the public soon. In addition to the member benefit, the partnership means Nutrisystem will continue to invest in diabetes research, as well as in the ADA’s community-level activities, such as the StepOut: Walk to Stop Diabetes.
Nutrisystem D – which includes a broad menu plan with 150 choices – caters exclusively to the unique dietary needs of those living with diabetes, as the products are in line nutritionally with the ADA nutrition recommendations and rank low on the Glycemic Index.
Fabricatore says the intent for Nutrisystem D is not to have people follow the program forever, relying on a diet of pre-packaged foods. But rather, it aims to help people who are in that initial step of trying to lose weight and need to learn how to eat healthfully and what proper portions look like.
“You learn a lot of aspects of healthy eating [from the program]. And when people decide it’s time for the training wheels to come off, they have guidance on what those first, few foundational factors are,” he said.
While the partnership is good news for both the ADA and Nutrisystem, it’s also good news for Fabrictaore whose fight against the disease is personal and professional since his own father lives with Type-2 diabetes. Having worked in the field for years, even prior to joining the Nutrisystem team, Fabricatore is very familiar with the cause. “With my family history, I know I’m at risk,” he said. “So I pay very close attention to my health.”
It seems this partnership is making strong ties even stronger and will hopefully yield positive results in the fight against diabetes, which affects millions of people worldwide, every day.
May 23rd, 2012