According to the Food Research Action Center, about 68.5% of people in the United States are obese. With this statistic rising each year, many people are desperate to shed pounds, but have a hard time losing a significant amount by diet and exercise alone. Due to this struggle, a majority of the population has resorted to taking weight-loss pills, but is this a healthy choice?
Weight-loss pills can be appealing because of their convenience and their ability to dramatically affect weight loss in a short amount of time, but these results are not guaranteed and are surrounded by many negatives and damaging to one’s health. Over-the-counter diet pills can be dangerous because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate them as closely as other medications. This makes their ingredients, their effectiveness, and their risk a mystery to the user.
Some of the most common side effects of over-the-counter weight-loss pills include:
• Upset stomach
• Raised blood pressure and heart rate
Prescription weight-loss pills are regulated by the FDA, but are only administered to people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and higher and have other health problems, such as diabetes and high cholesterol. If these pills are not taken exactly as the doctor prescribes them, they can lead to increased heart rate and poor sleep, which can ultimately cause a heart attack or stroke.
There is no easy solution to obesity. Even if you are taking weight-loss pills, eating too much fat can decrease the product’s ability to produce the desired result and cause weight gain and other detrimental effects on your body. Instead of spending money on weight-loss pills, try some healthy alternatives, such as playing a sport or going on a regulated diet. An active lifestyle and healthy eating habits can help you lose weight and keep it off permanently.
Are you taking a weight-loss pill and aren’t sure of its effectiveness or its side effects? A physician at the Family Medicine Ambulatory Care Center at Jamaica Hospital can help. Please call 718-206-6942.