Pennington Biomedical Research Center unveiled its latest scientific weight-loss program today, billing it as “one of the world’s most accurate models” for shedding excess pounds.
Created in partnership with American marketing giant Amway, the BodyKey SmartLoss program, delivered via a smartphone app, blends customized eating plans with digital coaching to help users set goals and change eating behaviors. The program also includes Amway’s BodyKey by Nutrilite products, such as meal replacement shakes, protein snacks and tea.
What separates Pennington’s program from the myriad weight-loss products currently on the market is its science-based, all-inclusive system. BodyKey SmartLoss combines realistic weight-loss goals, highly structured meal plans, self monitoring, scientific coaching and a graph for mapping expected weight loss—a cornerstone of the program. All content has been developed by Pennington scientists.
“It’s like coming to Pennington to meet with a health coach every day,” says Leanne Redman, a Pennington scientist who co-developed the SmartLoss Digital Coach. “The feedback is what separates us. The program is customized for every person, which you don’t find with other apps. The content stands on the shoulders of 30 years of weight management research at Pennington.”
Six months of access to the BodyKey program costs $135 and includes a limited supply of Nutrilite meal replacements, snacks and tea. Users can still access parts of the program after the six months. In clinical trials, BodyKey participants lost 10% of their body weight in 12 weeks, scientists say.
In 2014, LSU awarded a nearly $50,000 LIFT grant to Pennington scientists Redman and Corby Martin to develop the BodyKey SmartLoss graph and digital coach. LSU’s LIFT program gives out semi-annual grants to faculty to help bring ideas to market.
The weight-loss app fits in well with Pennington’s core mission, as a world leader in obesity and nutrition research, and with its corporate partner in the endeavor: Amway. Weight management has become a central focus of the $8.6-billion Amway enterprise, which is one of the largest direct-selling companies in the world specializing in health and beauty products. In an effort to grow the nutrition side of its business, Amway partnered with Pennington to create a weight-loss program.
“In our search for where the best science and technology lay, it led us here,” says Amway Director of Global Discovery Paul Seehra. “We’ve had a phenomenal collaboration with Pennington over the last few years.”
The BodyKey program launched in the U.S. in March and will be available globally within the next year or two.