2013 OPTIFAST(R) "New You" Weight Loss Competition Announced

Contest to Recognize Patients and Medical Professionals

Jan 14, 2013, 09:00 ET from Nestle Health Science

FLORHAM PARK, N.J., Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Nestle Health Science today announced the launch of the fourth annual OPTIFAST® "New You" weight loss contest designed to recognize the pursuit of and dedication to weight loss by patients and medical professionals.

Each new year, millions of Americans make a New Year's resolution to improve their health through weight loss. With more than one third of American adults (35.7 percent) obese,[i] the OPTIFAST "New You" weight loss contest celebrates OPTIFAST patients who achieve their weight loss goals and the medical professionals who helped them get there.

In 2012, the OPTIFAST "New You" contest named three Grand Prize winners who collectively lost nearly 350 pounds and made long-term lifestyle changes to help maintain the weight loss.* Through the OPTIFAST Inspire Award, the contest also honored two outstanding health care practitioners for their dedication and passion to helping patients lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"As the rates of obesity increase in this country, it is inspiring to see the thousands of patients who turn to the OPTIFAST Program to transform their lives," said Maureen Monahan, director and general manager for the U.S. OPTIFAST business. "Many weight loss programs and contests celebrate only modest weight loss; however, through the OPTIFAST Program patients make dramatic strides towards living happier and healthier lives."

The 2013 contest will recognize three patients and their guests with a trip to New York City for a three-night getaway that includes a spa package makeover and $500 shopping spree. Up to three medical professionals will be recognized with the OPTIFAST Inspire Award for the integral role they play in their patients' weight loss journeys.

"People who are overweight or obese are at high risk for a variety of life-threatening diseases and it is the responsibility of medical professionals to help people return to a healthy weight. Through a holistic program, like OPTIFAST, the patient not only receives medical support, but is also counseled, educated and taught the best ways to approach food. The OPTIFAST Program has helped more than one million people affected by obesity over the last 35 years,"[ii] said Jamy Ard, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention and the Department of Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and medical director for the OPTIFAST Program.

To participate, applicants must submit an application and a 500-word (or less) essay describing their journey with the OPTIFAST Program. Applications may be submitted electronically, via fax or by mail and must be postmarked or time-stamped no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on April 1, 2013. Visit www.OPTIFAST.com to download an application and obtain contest rules and regulations.

OPTIFAST was developed in 1974 to fill the growing need to address obesity in a healthy, effective way. As diseases related to obesity became more prevalent, and more people began taking drastic measures to treat the problem, OPTIFAST was introduced as a sensible option for lifestyle transformation. The program combines support and counseling, lifestyle education, and medical monitoring with meal replacements to help people lose weight which can, in turn, reduce weight-related health risks. A team of dedicated medical professionals provide support. The OPTIFAST Program is available in over 400 clinics nationwide. OPTIFAST is a business segment within Nestle Health Science. For more information, to see patient stories and to find a clinic, visit www.optifast.com.

About Nestle Health Science
Nestle Health Science offers nutritional solutions for people with specific dietary needs related to illnesses, disease states or the special challenges of different life stages. Nestle Health Science, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestle S.A., became operational on January 1, 2011 and has worldwide headquarters in Lutry, Switzerland.

*The typical OPTIFAST patient loses over 50 pounds in 18-24 weeks. For many dieters, weight loss is temporary.

[i] Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity in the United States, 2009–2010. NCHS data brief, no 82. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2012. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db82.pdf

[ii] Nestle HealthCare Nutrition National Database, 1997, data on file Nestle HealthCare Nutrition

SOURCE Nestle Health Science