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 WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Following today's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announcement on weight loss industry advertising, Nutri-System, Inc., chairman and chief executive officer Michael Heisley urged the entire weight loss industry to support advertising standards and focus on the needs of consumers in today's market. Nutri-System was the first of the five largest weight loss companies to agree to a Federal Trade Commission consent decreee on advertising guidelines in July of 1993.
 Heisley said: "Nutri/System signed the FTC consent decree to reflect our ongoing leadership in the weight management industry and signal our commitment to ensuring the accountability of our industry to consumers.
 Heisley stressed that "Our signing the consent decree is in no way an admission of guilt. The only thing Nutri/System is guilty of is working hard over the last several years to ensure the trust of our customers.
 "Nutri-System has been in discussions with the FTC since 1990 and we have been in compliance with all major areas of the consent decree for almost two years. We think it is time to shift everyone's focus to the health and weight management needs of our clients."
 The FTC is pursuing lawsuits against Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig who refused to sign consent decrees.
 Heisley commented: "We regret that two of our major competitors did not see fit to sign the consent decrees and affirm our industry's commitment to our consumers. While we agree that industry-wide standards are preferable, we also feel Weight Watchers' and Jenny Craig's impending battle with the FTC will only serve to prolong the issue and damage the reputation of the industry."
 Heisley encouraged Congress and the Federal Trade Commission, in the absence of industry-wide standards, to focus its attention on the smaller diet companies that make up roughly 40 percent of the weight loss market. "It's high time the federal government used its limited resources to examine the practices of `quick fix' powder and pill diets that the American public recognizes are the real bad apples in the industry."
 Heisley continued, "The FTC's actions represent a win for consumers. Nutri/System feels consumers must be confident they are receiving the best services and information possible from our industry."
 "Further, our leadership represents the new direction Nutri/System is taking to provide the best weight management and healthy lifestyle program available in the marketplace. While some of our competitors concentrate on legal actions, we will be moving into 1994 with new programs and a commitment to the needs of our clients."
 Nutri/System and its extensive franchise system have almost 900 weight management centers located across the country. The Pennsylvania- based privately-held company has over 20 years of experience in the weight loss industry and boasts a comprehensive weight management program that includes real food, eating-behavior modification instruction and exercise.
 -0- 9/30/93
 /CONTACT: Dr. Joseph DiBartolomeo for Nutri/System, Inc., 215-940-3382/

CO: Nutri/System, Inc.; Federal Trade Commission; Weight Watchers;
 Jenny Craig ST: District of columbia IN: HEA SU:

DT-KD -- DC027 -- 7402 09/30/93 15:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 30, 1993

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