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Every day, more lives are transformed all over the world – one healthy habit at a time. Read the latest about how Medifast and the OPTAVIA® movement is impacting people’s lives.

Obesity in the Inner City; Medifast & Coppin State to Study Obesity in Urban America
Obesity is Killing Inner City Residents; Arthur's Story: At 650 pounds He's Trapped in His Body and His House

At 650 pounds Arthur Sudler was first in line to participate in a study aimed at helping obese people in urban America lose weight. Arthur is part of a silent majority in the inner city, struggling with obesity, yet lacking access to basic care.

Middle Class Americans have easier access to weight loss programs than those in an inner city-urban setting. Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers dot the landscape of suburbia. Not so in the inner city, where residents turn to convenience stores for their basic food needs.

What's more, Suburban Americans can generally afford memberships in neighborhood gyms, or take a walk around the block to exercise. For those in Urban America, gyms are too pricey and streets are often unsafe.

Researchers at Coppin State College, (a historically black college in Baltimore's inner city), and Medifast realize those obstacles and want to help.

On November 11, 2003, a groundbreaking study will begin. One hundred participants have been chosen to enter a study that will document the obstacles Urban Americans face in battling obesity. The study will be run out of the Nursing Center Coppin State Health Center, located in one of Baltimore's most challenged urban neighborhoods.

The study will closely follow two groups, looking at whether it is better to lose weight on a controlled program, or through a recommended diet. Those on the controlled program will get dosage-controlled meal replacements from Medifast. The other participants will shop for their own food from local stores.

Participants must be clinically obese, range in age from 12 to 60 and live and work in the community surrounding in Baltimore City.

Forty-five-year-old Arthur Sudler is just one of the 100 participants in the study.

Not long ago, Arthur weighed a healthy 200 pounds. An upholsterer, hand surgery forced him out of work for months. Disabled without health insurance, he was unable to support his family, and turned to food for comfort. He quickly reached a weight of over 500 pounds. Arthur has tried losing weight on his own, without success. He lives in an area, where it is easier to get fast food, than it is to get healthy-nutritious foods from the grocery store.

Arthur is hoping the study will put him on the right track to shed the pounds and get his life back. If he doesn't, doctors have told him he'll face an early death.

This release contains forward-looking statements, which may involve known, and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Medifast's actual results and performance in future periods to be materially different from any future results or performance suggested by these statements. Medifast cautions investors not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only to management's expectation on this date.

SOURCE: Medifast, Inc.

CONTACT: Casey Seward, Public Relations Manager, +1-410-504-8154, or
Karen McGagh, Public Relations Consultant, +1-410-916-2315, both of Medifast