Nowadays, obesity is referred to be the "trillion-dollar disease" in the pharmaceutical sector. That is the envisioned profit margin for a successful weight-loss medicine. But are firms close to creating a diet drug that truly works-that is, one that is both secure and successful at treating obesity? It appears that the answer is no.
It is true that only a small handful of weight reduction medications, including Xenical and Meridia, have received FDA approval for long-term usage in the treatment of obesity (BMI > 30). But the evidence from clinical studies indicates that the efficacy of these obesity medications is not very noteworthy.
The average annual weight loss falls between 8 and 20 pounds. Furthermore, individuals who take part in clinical trials that include pharmacological therapy, nutrition, exercise, and counseling frequently have the greatest weight reduction. This makes it challenging to determine the medication's exact effect.
In contrast, less well-monitored pharmacological studies for obesity frequently had greater drop-out rates and less effective weight reduction. Furthermore, compliance declines and weight loss declines with trial length.
In conclusion, although being beneficial to certain individuals, weight reduction medicines are still not the best way to combat obesity, especially when considering costs.
Should we expect this? Actually, no. After all, unless patients adhere to the required post-operative food plan, even bariatric surgery is not a guarantee of long-term weight loss.
Indeed, some specialists on obesity assert that treatments like medication and surgery are virtually inescapably unsuccessful because they strip patients of their agency and responsibility.
This point of view contends that the only way patients may actually achieve a normal weight over the long term is if they take full responsibility for their eating patterns and lifestyle.
Sadly, nobody is satisfied with this viewpoint! The pharmaceutical corporations, who must turn a profit, are not satisfied.
Both customers who seek immediate weight loss without having to alter their eating habits and doctors who need to provide hope to their overweight patients are unsatisfied with it. In other words, there is a huge market for obesity medicine, but one has not yet materialized.
Pills For Cosmetic Weight Loss
Not just those with clinical obesity are in demand for diet medicines. Millions of people who have fewer than 40 pounds to lose use over-the-counter medicines to reduce body fat or speed up the process of losing weight.
A University of Michigan research found that over 25% of female college students use anorectic diet medicines, such as laxatives and diuretics, to reduce their weight.
These over-the-counter medications are more challenging to assess since they are not subject to the same stringent regulations as prescription-only medications.
As a result, not all substances must be evaluated, doses and other labeling regulations are lax, and it is not necessary to record "adverse occurrences" or health issues.
Furthermore, there is no concrete proof of the safety and effectiveness of nonprescription medications due to the lack of long-term clinical research.
While this is going on, regulation and control will be increasingly harder to implement due to the enormous profits that can be gained from these weight reduction products, which may be supported by costly advertising efforts to enhance customer acceptability.
In fact, despite claims of sickness and damage, the FDA has found it very hard to outlaw over-the-counter diet medicines.
Herbal Diet Pills For "Healthy Eating"
Herbal diet pills, which are promoted as a sort of "good eating," have witnessed a sharp increase in sales over the previous five years.
These herbal pills, which apparently offer a better method of weight loss, frequently contain a varying blend of vitamins and other active substances. Clinical data seldom back up such claims, and the FDA and FTC are both looking into certain vendors.
However, the growing interest in these herbal weight reduction supplements is another indication of our enormous desire for what is fundamentally a non-dietary method of weight management.
How Do Weight Loss Pills Work?
Simply put, diet pills are made to either interfere with digestion to decrease calorie absorption or change body chemistry to decrease hunger.
Amphetamine-type stimulants like ephedra or medications that raise serotonin or norepinephrine levels in the brain are examples of appetite suppressants. Fat-blockers (lipase inhibitors) like Xenical and chitosan, carb-blockers, and very high fiber bulking agents like glucomannan are some of the medications that affect the digestive tract.
Are Weight Loss Pills Safe?
When taken as prescribed and under medical supervision, obesity medications are typically safe. When customers disregard the manufacturer's directions, problems begin.
Heart or blood pressure issues, strokes, as well as a variety of less significant concerns, are some of the adverse health occurrences associated with these medications.
The same is true for over-the-counter diet medicines, which can cause anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, impaired vision, headaches, sleeplessness, intestinal obstructions, and other health issues.
Both prescription-only and over-the-counter medications have the potential to result in illnesses that are life-threatening. Safety is still a relative idea, though. Every year, millions of people are killed by alcohol, vehicles, cigarettes, and stress.
When compared to this, diet tablets result in much fewer "casualties," and the risk to your health can be minimized if you talk to your doctor before using them.
The Real Problem With Weight Loss Pills
The major issue with depending on medications and dietary supplements to reduce weight is dependability, not health.
I have been working with overweight people and their families for around 20 years, and I have yet to hear of anyone who has successfully and sustainably lost a considerable amount of weight utilizing medications.
But I have encountered a sizable number of individuals whose weight and emotional well-being have been markedly impacted by pill use.
They tended to rely on purging, laxatives, and similar items to regulate their eating patterns because they were terrified of food and lacked any self-confidence in their capacity to make sane food selections.
One customer, a past yearly weight loss champion with one of the top dieting businesses, had been purposefully given drugs to take in order to lose the weight that the company demanded.
She had gained back 70 pounds of the weight she had lost when she came to me for assistance. In other words, relying on drugs to regulate your weight might harm both your health and psyche.
The Small Print Says It All
Headlines like "Effortless Weight Loss" or "Lose Weight While You Sleep!" dominate diet pill advertisements and infomercials. But the fine print frequently paints a different picture, advising users to stick to calorie-controlled diets, eat only at specific times of the day, avoid eating particular high-calorie meals, or some combination of all three.
There can also be a mention of the importance of exercise. In other words, read the fine print if you want to know the truth about a weight reduction supplement. Because it is impossible to lose weight permanently without managing calorie intake and expenditure, as dietitians and obesity specialists will all agree with you.
If You Must Take Pills
Here are two methods to facilitate weight reduction, regardless of whether you are a diet pill junkie or only take them sometimes. Find a diet that is nutritious and devoid of tricks and stick to it as closely as you can.
Instead of calorie counting, concentrate on healthy eating during this procedure. Calorie restriction is far less beneficial than attempting to eat healthfully.
Second, sign up for an online dieting community where you may find support and guidance from others.
Because all studies indicate that having somebody to depend on makes it much simpler to lose weight. In my own forum, for example, there are a lot of people who used to take diet pills who are now eating normally and losing a lot of weight.
This demonstrates that using willpower rather than using drugs to lose weight is considerably more successful.