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Please order online below or

get in touch with the OPWSA administration office to order your copy.



$25.00 CA within Canada 


$30.00 CA within the USA


$40.00 CA International (outside of Canada & USA)


Price includes shipping and tax


The Red Yellow Green System (RYG) for Weight Management – for individuals with Prader Willi Syndrome by Karen Balko, RD, Registered Dietitian for the Prader Willi Syndrome Clinic.



RYG is an effective tool

RYG has proven to be effective for the prevention and treatment of obesity in Prader-Willi Syndrome.  In our Prader Willi Syndrome clinic which operates monthly, we have followed hundreds of individuals, young and old, who say this system has saved their life.  When implemented with all the components in place, it really has shown to prove worthy to reduce food anxiety, promote a healthy weight, improve health, and allow the best possible nutritional intake while under the on going guidance and monitoring of our nutrition clinic.  


What is the history of this tool?

The concept was originally developed for helping overweight teens, but it was adapted by the Children’s Institute in Pittsburgh and used by their inpatient rehabilitation program.  Karen Balko, RD then adapted this to provide more detail, to be culturally appropriate for our Canadian population as well as internationally, and designed 2 weeks of sample menus that could be easily followed with portions/recipes and allow families to kick start the program until they could get to a dietitian for more help.  It has been translated into Spanish for the South American population.  


What is the RYG system?

The RYG system is a very concrete dietary approach which groups foods based on the colours of the traffic light.  Red foods are “stop foods” as they  contain too many calories, sugar and fats and little nutrients. Yellow foods are moderate in calories, but required daily to meet nutritional needs – these include protein rich foods, quality grains, fresh fruit, fats, and dairy/dairy alternatives.  The entire day is based on a dietitian designed, meal plan of “yellow” or caution foods.  Calories are individuals planned for each person depending on their needs and goals.  Green or Go foods, are added in on a daily basis to add lots of bulk and fill space on the plate.  Green foods are lower starch vegetables and can be eaten in large but controlled amounts.  


Individuals with Prader Willi Syndrome truly understand the concrete approach of this system, and feel calmer when they know what they can have on a daily basis.  Our patients have told us that they wished they could have started this diet when they were younger as it would have made their lives much better.   

Buy the Red Yellow Green Nutritional Guide

What are the necessary components

of the approach:


1. Consistency – meals at around same time daily – a meal plan designed ahead of time so individuals know exactly what to expect so there are no surprises or false expectations.


2. Environmental control – foods must be stored and not left in visual range of the individual.  In many cases, there is a need to secure foods in the environment, however we are seeing that some individuals who have been on this diet and used to the volumes do not require foods to be locked up.  Often securing the food is necessary however to reduce food anxiety and obsession.


3. Exercise – daily physical activity


4. Balanced nutritional intake – we aim for approximately 20-25% protein, 45% carbs (healthy complex carbs) and 30% fat.  Given the necessary lower intake of calories due to lower metabolic rate, we add in multivitamins with iron, calcium, vitamin D, omega 3 and other nutrients as necessary.  


5. Volumetrics – the key is lots of low calorie foods to take up space on the food to help individuals have a better sense of satisfaction at meals.


6. Monitoring by a qualified dietitian and medical doctor trained in PWS.  Our clinic can help guide you to ensure your child is getting the right nutrients for optimal growth, and development.  Each nutrition plan can be modified to suit the needs of every child.  It really makes a difference when your child can connect to health professionals that can influence their health in a positive fashion.  

You can adjust the quantity in the cart, once you have added the product to your cart.

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