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The initial study results show that diets with standard nutrition recommendations and guidelines don't work as well as portion-controlled diets, such as those utilized by Medifast. Diabetics following a portion-controlled diet utilizing Medifast's products quickly lost excess weight, reduced or eliminated the need for medications and reduced or eliminated the symptoms of type II diabetes faster than those following the American Diabetes Association recommended diet.
"These results are important for all type II diabetics," said Dr. Larry Cheskin. "If we're telling people they need to lose weight and manage their diet to better control their diabetes, it's helpful to know what works best."
Diabetes affects more than 18 million people in our country. Left untreated, type II diabetes can have serious health consequences such as heart, kidney and eye diseases. Type II diabetes is typically managed with medications and diet.
The researchers looked at two groups of type II diabetics. One group was given a portion-controlled diet of specially formulated soups, oatmeal, bars and a variety of shakes from Medifast, which makes a variety of leading health, nutrition and weight loss products. The other group was asked to follow the American Diabetes Association's recommended diet. The group following the American Diabetes Association diet was asked to shop for their own food and manage their own portions, but had the guidance from the same doctors, counselors and dietitians in the study as the Medifast group.
The Johns Hopkins University Study concluded: 1. Patients on the Medifast program of portion-controlled foods (that are specially formulated for diabetics) lost weight more quickly than those on the American Diabetes Association diet. 2. Patients on the Medifast program were able to significantly reduce or eliminate their medicines, including insulin. 3. Patients following the American Diabetes Association (ADA) dietary guidelines didn't lose as much weight, were slower to lose weight and didn't reduce or eliminate as much medication during the study.
"These results, while preliminary, could rapidly open the market for Medifast's products to millions of people with diabetes," said Brad MacDonald, Medifast's CEO. "Until now, drug therapy has been the gold standard for diabetics. Early results suggest that nutritional therapy, using Medifast's products could be more effective, reduce cost and provide a more favorable safety profile."
Medifast expects to announce full results of the study on December 11, 2003 when it also updates investors on its guidance.
Available for interview: Dr. Lawrence Cheskin, M.D. and Amy Mitchell, M.S. from Johns Hopkins University; Josephine Shaw - a diabetic whose dramatic health results sparked the study; Dr. Wayne Anderson, medical director of Medifast; and Brad MacDonald, CEO, Medifast.
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 of Medifast,
+1-410-504-8154, or Karen McGagh, Public Relations Consultant for Medifast,
+1-410-916-2315, or Jeremy Hunt, Investor Relations Specialist of Medifast,
+1-410-504-8196, or Ken Sgro, CEOcast, Inc. for Medifast, +1-212-732-4300
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