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Nutrisystem CEO: "We never want to be that fad diet"

Daily Ticker

Dawn Zier, president and CEO of Nutrisystem (NTRI), has one thing in common with her customers: she too wants to drop 10 pounds this year. The 41-year-old weight loss company has renewed its focus on helping customers learn portion control and weight maintenance since Zier took control of the company in November 2012. Nutrisystem may be best known for its personalized meal delivery service yet Zier says customers should not be hooked on the company’s food forever.

“We never want to be that fad diet,” she explains in the attached video. “We want to offer new solutions to weight loss that are not extreme measures.”

Related: Secrets of the fitness industry

Losing weight has never been easy and more and more Americans are getting fatter. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of U.S. adults are expected to be obese by 2030. 

A new report by the London-based Overseas Development Institute says one-third of adults globally are now overweight, up from 23% in 1980. The $61 billion weight loss industry has grown from meal replacement shakes and ready-to-go meals to apps that track how many steps a person walks each day to free calorie counters and food diaries. Even with the proliferation of weight loss gadgets on the market, fewer Americans are dieting: 19% of Americans are currently dieting compared to 20% in 2012, according to market research firm The NPD Group. Dieting reached a peak in 1991 when one-third of Americans were trying to lose weight, reports CBS.

Zier acknowledges that the traditional weight loss model has changed dramatically in the last decade and says Nutrisystem will launch a new digital product by the end of March. Right now the company has been busy marketing its new “Nutrisystem Fast 5” program that helps overweight individuals shed pounds quickly, within a week.

Related: How Shelly Palmer lost 50 pounds using his iPhone

“What we’ve learned from research is that you’re more successful [with losing weight] the more you lose early on … and more likely keep it off,” notes Zier.

Investors are also seeing results with Nutrisystem stock. Shares of the company more than doubled in 2013 and are currently priced at 30x earnings. Nutrisystem competitor Weight Watchers (WTW) blamed a “challenging recruitment environment” for weak third-quarter sales sales and its stock fell 38% last year.

Will Nutrisystem food soon be organic, GMO-free or locally sourced? Watch the video to find out!

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