Friday, April 4, 2008

Nutrisystem's Deceptive Advertising

I never understood the appeal of Nutrisystem. Paying way too much for processed food then still having to buy my own fresh fruits and vegetables never sounded like a good bargain. Their commercials, aside from being generally annoying, always show people with dramatic weight loss while flashing RESULTS NOT TYPICAL on each photo. A recent Nutrisystem campaign features shapely football commentator, Jillian Barberie, touting a 41 lb weight loss which she credits to Nutrisystem. Her before picture took me by surprise because I watch plenty of football and I never remembered seeing Jillian look that fat.

I have seen her commercial several times and something about that before picture bothered me. At first I just assumed it was because the dress she was wearing was really ugly. Someone as cute as her, no matter how fat, shouldn't wear something that shapeless and frumpy. But this morning, I happened to be walking right by the tv screen when the commercial played and got a REALLY good look at the before picture in the ugly brown dress. Then it hit me. The reason that dress looked like a shapeless tent is because it is a MATERNITY DRESS!

That's right folks. Jillian's BEFORE photo is a photo of her pregnant. According to internet reports, the 41 pounds she gained was BABY WEIGHT. If you check medical sites or have ever had a baby yourself, you would know that doctors recommend a healthy, normal weight woman gain between 25 and 37 pounds. provides a handy breakdown of where that gain comes from...
  • Baby = 7-8 pounds
  • Placenta = 1-2 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid = 2 pounds
  • Uterus = 2 pounds
  • Maternal breast tissue = 2 pounds
  • Maternal blood = 4 pounds
  • Fluids in maternal tissue = 4 pounds
  • Maternal fat and nutrient stores = 7 pounds

So even with her gaining 4 pounds more than recommended, and her baby weighing closer to six pounds, much of her weight loss is due to Nutrisystem? Apparently the secret to looking smoking hot after gaining 41 pounds is to be smoking hot in the first place and then give birth. Shame on Nutrisystem and shame on Jillian for misleading the public about her weight loss.


Sheridan said...

*Great* catch, Wifezilla! Deceptive advertising for a fact.

Shame on Nutrisystem, and all the many others who employ such tactics.

Anonymous said...

She also exercised. Diet and exercise. People have done it for years. It's nothing new.

Wifezilla said...

The Nutrisystem ad did not mention exercise OR that she had been pregnant in the before photo. If I take your post into consideration, Nutrisystem is even LESS responsible for her weight loss than I thought!

Keep in mind, total bullshit in promoting diet products is nothing new either. It's been happening for years.

Carol Bardelli said...

I'm totally with you. People shouldn't waste money on Nutrisystem unless they're rich and stupid (or lazy and can't boil water).They make it sound like their "advanced" meals are magical. It's just portion controlled freeze dried foods, folks. You can do it yourself for way less.

Next time that commercial comes on I'm running to the screen for a close up!

Misty said...

Nutrisystem ads are very deceptive.

Like the one with Marie Osmond on it where she says she lost 40 lbs using nutrisystem in the SAME WEEK on an interview she said she owes her weight loss to Dancing with the stars. So which is it? I know exercise is a key to anything but how can you say one thing and then 2 days later something else?...for the money. Yes you can tell Jillian was pregnant in the before pictures. It's sad!

Plus am I the only one who thinks their food looks like something the cat threw up? Seriously some of its scary!

Yucky said...

Great catch WZ!

Any reason why the Negative Nancy Drews can't take on Nutrisystem the same way they did Kimkins and are trying to do with the MCD? With the Kimkins thing hopefully drawing to a close, and so many other weightloss scams still proliferating, it'd be a shame for all this to go to waste -- the spirit, the energy, the brilliance and the dedication of the Negative Nancy Drews.

And by the way, Wifezilla, that avatar here is adorable!

Wifezilla said...

Yucky, a scam is a scam and a lie is a lie. No reason to limit it just to people (like Kimmer) who claim to lose weight and then use doctored photos.

If anyone out there has the ability to get a picture of that before image, please drop me a line.

Anonymous said...

Before and after pic from commercial

Wifezilla said...

Much appreciated! I will post those in a bit. Looks very much like a maternity dress complete with "baby bump"!

whizkidforte said...

I don't watch much TV, but I do watch mostly CNN, and almost every time they do commercials, they show those series of the deceptive ads from the brainchild of NUTRISYSTEM!

Oh, and don't just count CNN. I am a fanatic of British composer, broadcaster, and musicologist Howard Goodall. Each time I tune in to Ovation TV (I am near 20 and I'm one of the few who watch this fine arts network.) to see that blond, curly-haired advocate for music education (He has been National Singing Ambassador, a role in implementing singing in elementary schools in his native nation, for 2 years.) drive his car, play the piano, or (what I really like about him) sing, the Nutrisystem bozos bombard me with Dan Marino, Marie Osmond, or some woman who used that diet gimmick in response to her picture at someone's wedding! I'm too afraid to watch Howard Goodall's (insert whatever music documentary series he has written and presented himself)!

I'm very pleased that Kultur, a special-interest DVD distributor, released Howard Goodall's Big Bangs last summer. The other documentary shown on Ovation TV, Howard Goodall's Choir Works and Choirs Perform, will be released in a few weeks. If I purchase those two in the near future, I won't have to face those deceptive ads!

Wifezilla, thanks for conjuring up annoying memories! I'm proud not to have done that diet, as well. I eat a lot of fruits, whole grains, lean protein, dairy and vegetables and I also exercise. I am using Nurtisystem as a subject of one of the posts in my third blog (on nutrition) called Salutatory Noshing. As much as I find the Nutrisystem ads annoying and irksome, each time I turn on the tube, I'll think to myself, "Caveat spectator - be prepared for another Nutrisystem marketing barrage.