Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition Names New OPTIFAST Medical Director

Successful weight loss program adds Dr. Jamy Ard to its expanding list of resources for patients and physicians

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Becoming medical director for the OPTIFAST Program will allow me to continue the extensive research I'm doing within the area of obesity and behavior modification, while applying that knowledge to a program that is committed to getting the growing obesity epidemic under control

Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) April 16, 2009

Dr. Jamy Ard, assistant professor in the Departments of Nutrition Sciences and Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been named medical director for the OPTIFAST Program, a division of Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition (NHN). The OPTIFAST Program has been available at clinics across the country for 34 years and has helped more than one million people get down to a healthy weight through stimuli-narrowing and behavior modification.

Dr. Ard received his M.D. degree and completed internal medicine residency training at Duke University Medical Center. He also received formal training in clinical research as a fellow at the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care at the Durham VA Medical Center. He has been conducting research on lifestyle modification since 1995 and has worked on several National Institute of Health-funded multi-center trials including Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), DASH-sodium, PREMIER, and Weight Loss Maintenance Trial.

As the newest member of the OPTIFAST team, Dr. Ard will be working closely with the Nestlé Nutrition medical staff to enhance current program protocols, guidelines and training curriculum. "Becoming medical director for the OPTIFAST Program will allow me to continue the extensive research I'm doing within the area of obesity and behavior modification, while applying that knowledge to a program that is committed to getting the growing obesity epidemic under control," said Ard.

The OPTIFAST Program is one of the most comprehensive weight loss options available. It combines support and counseling, lifestyle education, and medical monitoring with meal replacements to help reduce weight-related health risks. A team of dedicated medical professionals provide support--in many cases including a physician, dietition, exercise physiologist and psychologist. Dr. Ard will join the corporate nutrition team and will serve as a consultant for physician inquiries. He will also provide expertise in the areas of OPTIFAST medical protocols, product innovation, lifestyle education modules, clinic training and post surgical programs.

"We are very pleased to add Dr. Ard to our team of professionals at OPTIFAST. His passion for helping control the growing obesity epidemic is contagious--we're excited to learn more from him in the near future," added Sean Foster, vice-president of marketing for Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition. "We're confident in Dr. Ard's ability to improve upon our already successful program, while giving more and more people their lives back through the use of stimuli narrowing and behavioral therapy--two key components of the OPTIFAST Program."

In addition to his ongoing research activity, Ard is medical director of UAB's EatRight Weight Management Services, which features the OPTIFAST Program. In 2007, Dr. Ard was appointed to the role of vice chair for Clinical Care in the Department of Nutrition Sciences. In this position, he assists in coordinating patient care activities.

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

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