Nutrisystem announced a new addition to their Nutrsisytem D program this week. The diet company is now offering the expertise of certified diabetes educators for its current and future Nutrisystem D customers.
Nutrisystem D is an arm of Nutisystem that provides delivered, pre-portioned meals specifically designed for those living with diabetes. All of the meals have been formatted to help control and reduce diabetes symptoms, and are congruent with the nutritional standards set forth by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
This announcement comes just weeks after Nutrisystem was named a National Strategic Partner of the ADA for its effort in fighting the disease.
Diets in Review spoke with Nutrisystem’s Senior Director of Research and Development, Anthony Fabricatore, Ph.D., to better understand how this change will affect customers.
According to Fabricatore, this modification won’t bring any changes to the meals, delivery process or price. It’s simply an addition of a team of certified diabetes educators who are part of the company’s dietary and healthcare services department that are available by phone to Nutrisystem D customers seven days a week from 7 a.m. – 12 a.m. (EST). This service is in addition to Nutrisystem’s sales team, which handles more customer technical needs such as ordering and delivery.
The move seemed natural and almost necessary for Nutrisystem as those living with diabetes often need more than just a diet plan to treat and control their condition. Each diabetes counselor has gone through extensive training in diabetes management to provide quality support and help clients deal with the day-to-day struggles and questions they may have, which is key to long-term diabetes control.
“No mater how good a doctor or counselor is, the majority of the decisions are being made by the patient him or herself,” explained Fabricatore. And these diabetes educators are Nutrisystem’s way of providing extra support in that area.
“[The counselors] are available right as they call Nutrisystem. Oftentimes, people have questions about whether the diet is really good for those with diabetes, but our general sales staff isn’t trained to explain why and what it is about our diet that makes it beneficial for people with diabetes, and these educators are qualified to do that,” said Fabricatore.
One thing Nutrisystem is not intending this change to do is replace the customers’ doctors or diabetes educators already in place in the community. The company is simply hoping to provide a free service to its customers, as most insurance plans do not cover access to diabetes educators and counselors.
“The educators that we have through our call center are no way intended to replace talking with the patients’ own doctors. We always encourage customers to speak with their doctors and let them know they’re about to begin a weight loss effort with us, because people with diabetes are often on medications that need to be adjusted,” he said. “The educators are there to help the customer form questions to take to their doctors.” They’re also available to answer specific questions about anything from diabetes-related nutrition to foot care.
According to the ADA and Centers for Disease Control, a person is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. every 17 seconds, and adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about two-four times higher than adults without diabetes. But recent studies have shown that glucose and blood pressure can be improved and the progression of Type-2 diabetes can be slowed if a person simply loses 5-10 percent of their body weight.
New clinical trials showed that people who used the Nutrisystem D program along diabetes counseling sessions lost an average of 18 pounds over the course of six months, which is just one more reason why Nutrisystem is excited to offer this new, free service to its customers with diabetes.
The cost for joining the Women’s Nutrisystem D program on an auto-delivery basis ranges from $229.99 to $309.99 based on the order type. And the Men’s D programs ranges from $259.99 to $339.99. A full comparison of Nutrisystem program offerings can be found in this official Nutrisystem Meal Delivery Comparison.