The Skinny on Nurse Adams: How'd She Do It?
(from Health Magazine January/February 2003 Issue)


Fans of ER may have noticed a dramatic difference this season--one that wasn't in the scripts. Actress Yvette Freeman, who plays Nurse Haleh Adams, lost 107 pounds before reporting back for duty last fall. To shed the weight, Freeman enrolled in the Risk Factor Obesity (RFO) program at UCLA. Under doctor supervision, patients consume only 500 to 800 calories a day, mostly in the form of a nutrient-powered shake. Exercise (for Freeman, that means swimming, kickboxing and uphill hiking) and a regular support group help dieters reach their goals. Obviously, the plan works, but is it safe? "The RFO diets have been around for years," says "Jackie Berning, Ph.D., assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. "But they aren't programs the average person can do for herself." Aside from requiring close medical monitoring, the RFO regimen costs big bucks: Participants can expect to pay as much as $1,500. And, as Berning points out, no plan can replace wise food choices and regular exercise. Sounds like something Nurse Adams would say.