Family Crimes

What Is Thrive, The Weight-Loss Supplement Shanann Watts Sold That Chris Watts Became Obsessed With?

Chris Watts' mistress Nichol Kessinger told investigators he always had at least two weight-loss patches stuck to him at all times.

There was one commitment in Chris Watts' life that seemed to inspire complete devotion.

The confessed killer was a regular, perhaps even obsessive, user of Thrive, a weight loss supplement that promises to help boost energy and increase overall health through patches, pills and shakes. He was likely introduced to the regimen through wife Shanann, who worked as a promoter and advertiser for the marketing company Le-Vel, which makes the product. She can be seen in online videos and posts raving about it in an effort to recruit new users.

Documents released by the Weld County District Attorney's Office days after Watts was sentenced to life for smothering daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, before strangling Shanann reveal just how into Thrive the couple had become.

“Prior to Shanann starting with Thrive, she and Chris struggled some, financially,” police wrote in the documents, referencing comments made by a friend of the couple. But, once she started selling Thrive, her friend said she was making between $65,000 and $70,000 a year and that she had signed up approximately 200 people. Friends said she won several vacations through the company, which also paid for her Lexus.

In comments his mistress Nichol Kessinger made to police, it seems Watts was an enthusiastic devotee. 

“I asked Nichol if Chris used any steroids or narcotics,” one investigator wrote. “She said she did not know. She referenced Chris always using Thrive and said he always had two patches stuck to him all the time.”

She told police he typically wore the patches on his left and right bicep and tricep area and on his lower back - something the product's makers might even describe as overkill, as they recommend wearing only one patch a day. Kessinger said he also used the company's shakes, pills and supplements on a daily basis.

Kessinger said Watts lost 13 pounds between July 4 and Aug. 11.

Thrive claims to be packed with “over 100 premium grade vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, digestive enzymes, probiotics, antioxidants, protein, fiber and more” as it bolsters energy and eases aches. But it's important to note, as the Wall Street Journal does, that claims in relation to patches and weight loss are hard to prove.

In fact, the Federal Trade Commission suggests consumers be skeptical of such products:

"Whether it’s a pill, patch, or cream, there’s no shortage of ads promising quick and easy weight loss without diet or exercise. But the claims just aren’t true, and some of these products could even hurt your health. The best way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories and get more exercise. Don’t be hooked by promises, testimonials, or supposed endorsements from reporters; all you’ll lose is money."

[Photos: Weld County District Attorney’s Office, Associated Press]

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