Are Diet Pills Safe?
About 65% of Americans are considered to be overweight or obese. This
condition can predispose you to serious health conditions such as heart
disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. Healthy weight loss can be
achieved many ways. Several lifestyle changes should be adapted such as
eating a high-fiber, high fruit and vegetable diet, decreasing saturated
and trans fat intake, being physically active, and behavior
modifications. In addition, there are a few prescription medications
that can assist with weight loss. Two medications approved by the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration are orlistat (Xenical) and sibutramine
(Meridia). Meridia works by decreasing appetite/making you feel full
and Xenical actually alters your body’s ability to absorb fat.
Unfortunately, drug store shelves are flooded with diet
pills/supplements that are not FDA approved. This means that they do not
necessarily need to be tested for safety and are not legally bound to
report adverse side effects. People that take these often times do not
know what they are digesting or what to expect from them. None have been
proven to be effective long term and some (ephedra) have been banned
because of serious side effects.
When trying to achieve weight loss, I would first try to make healthy
lifestyle changes (possibly meet with a registered dietitian). If this
is unsuccessful, then speak with your doctor about healthy and safe
alternatives for weight loss.