March 19, 2014 07:00 ET

Shari Belafonte Partners With VIVUS to Encourage Adults to Speak With Their Doctors About Losing Weight and Treatment Options Now Available

Actress/Model's Struggle with Being Overweight and Concerns about Weight-Related Diabetes, High Cholesterol Led to Asking Her Primary Care Physician for Help

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - March 19, 2014) - VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS) today announced that Shari Belafonte is teaming up with the company to educate American adults about seeking medical treatment for chronic weight management when diet and physical activity alone have not been successful. Ms. Belafonte, an actress, model, photographer, writer, singer and daughter of famed musician and actor Harry Belafonte, knows that the impact of being overweight is more than superficial.

In recent years, Belafonte struggled with being overweight, developed high cholesterol, and was increasingly concerned about a family history that included cardiovascular disease and diabetes. She worked with her primary care physician and was able to achieve her weight loss goal with an available prescription medication as part of a plan including proper nutrition and physical activity.

"I thought about the people I love and knew that I wanted to do more to improve my health," said Belafonte. "It is such a relief to have found the support of a physician who helped me set - and achieve - a realistic 10% weight loss goal. Reaching and maintaining this lower, healthier weight has made a real difference for me."

A 10% weight loss goal is recommended by the National Institutes of Health as a benchmark to help patients reduce the risk of developing other medical conditions while making a meaningful difference in health and well-being.

Belafonte plans to share new photographic work featuring patients like herself who have successfully achieved and maintained meaningful weight loss, improving their health and well-being. She is an accomplished photographer and videographer, commissioned by production companies and numerous periodicals. Belafonte has staged photographic exhibitions in major cities across the U.S.

About Obesity

The treatment of obesity is being taken more seriously in the midst of a public epidemic in which more than 110 million Americans are obese or overweight with at least one weight-related comorbidity. This past year, the American Medical Association House of Delegates approved a resolution to declare obesity a disease, encouraging physicians to use a range of medical interventions to treat it. Additionally, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has incorporated obesity management and FDA-approved medications for the treatment of chronic weight management -- along with lifestyle modifications -- into its recommendations for the treatment of patients with diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension.


VIVUS is a biopharmaceutical company commercializing and developing innovative, next-generation therapies to address unmet needs in obesity and sexual health. For more information about the company, please visit

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as "anticipate", "believe", "forecast", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "likely", "may", "plan", "potential", "predict", "opportunity" and "should", among others. There are a number of factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. VIVUS does not undertake an obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Investors should read the risk factors set forth in the VIVUS Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2013, and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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