Nutrisystem is a home-delivery diet program that sells prepackaged food. They have a website at Nutrisystem.com where an individual can get information about the diet plans available. They offer diet plans tailored specifically for women, men, diabetics, and vegetarians (“Why Nutrisystem Works”, 2014). The plans feature six small meals that are to be eaten every 2-3 hours (“Why Nutrisystem Works”, 2014). They have a variety of shelf and frozen foods. A person can pick and choose their foods from a menu or they can choose a “favorites” menu that comes with preselected meals (“Why Nutrisystem Works”, 2014). In addition to the prepackaged food, a person must also purchase vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and other foods to be added with the meals (“Why Nutrisystem Works”, 2014). The plan claims a 1-2 pound weight loss per week. Exercised is encouraged for optimal results (“Why Nutrisystem Works”, 2014). They also provide 24 hour weight loss coaches, registered dieticians, and an online support community to interact with other participants (“Why Nutrisystem Works”, 2014).
Nutrisystem has been in business for over forty years. They are partnered with the American Diabetes Association and The Obesity Society which helps with funding of clinical research of their products and programs (“Why Nutrisystem Works”, 2014). Nutrisystem claims their prepackaged food diet plans work based on clinical trial research. The meals are designed for portion control and low caloric intake. They are based on a low glycemic index (GI) diet. The glycemic index is a value given to foods (carbohydrates) that measure its effect on blood glucose (“Why Nutrisystem Works”, 2014). Nutrisystem claims eating low GI foods helps control hunger and blood glucose levels. According to a study published on the National Institute of Health website, participants on a low Glycemic Index diet had a significant decrease in cholesterol, total fat mass, BMI and lost more weight than participants on a traditional low-fat diet (Thomas, Elliot
& Baur, 2007). On the Nutrisystem website it says their daily meal plan provides 25% protein, 25% fat, and 50% carbs (“Why Nutrisystem Works”, 2014). To get a sample menu, there is a short quiz to identify caloric needs based on weight, height, and activity level. A sample menu for a lightly active, overweight female would be:
Breakfast- Nutrisystem Turkey sausage & egg muffin w/ cheese.
Morning snack- low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh berries.
Lunch- Nutrisystem chicken & cheese quesadilla w/ green salad, apple slices w/ peanut butter.
Afternoon snack- Nutrisystem white cheddar popcorn.
Dinner- Nutrisystem Italian Herb flatbread pizza w/ steamed broccoli or spinach.
Dessert- Nutrisystem ice cream sandwich. (“Why Nutrisystem Works”, 2014).
This menu has a lot of health benefits. The percentages of macronutrients in a daily meal plan fall within the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR) (Whitney & Rolfes, 2012, p.20). There are...