Weight Loss and the Real World

What happens when a new weight loss study is announced is that the media jump on it and you get headlines like:

How to lose weight while chowing down at work

Team sports help teens stay fit

The secret to weight loss? Pen and Paper

Weight-loss keys: Food journals, eating in, not skipping meals

Artificial sweeteners no silver bullet for losing weight

And the whole thing, whether or not it’s valuable information, is hyped up and made into something much more than it really is. I’ve also noticed that much of the research merely provides evidence for what I’ve known and been teaching for many years now, so I’m not often surprised by the findings.

But let me tell you why this study information sometimes needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

There are four main areas that we need to be concerned with for weight loss:

  1. Non-pharmaceutical weight loss products
  2. Pharmaceutical weight loss products
  3. Behaviour i.e. eating patterns & activity
  4. Fat clubs e.g. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig…

Non-pharmaceutical Weight loss products

This is the likes of Acai, Hoodia, teas, slimming biotox reviews 2021 drinks, patches, and all of the incredibly expensive products provided for people who think the solution to eating too much and not exercising enough is a tablet or a magic drink. This is the territory of the Health-Food shop/web site. Now I have to say I have absolutely no experience with any of these products, so if you’ve had good results using them, and you’ve kept the weight off, then let me know below. My gut feeling is that they are a waste of money and sales owe more to the skill of the advertisers than to any efficacy they possess.

Pharmaceutical weight loss products

There are not a lot of pharmaceutical weight loss products around but two are about to receive FDA approval: Belviq and Qnexa. They are both, in my opinion, attempts by the manufacturers to make $ billions rather than any serious attempt at providing a safe weight loss product. The stock of both the manufacturing companies went up through the roof as soon as they passed the first stage of FDA approval. Qnexa was originally rejected by the FDA two years ago, but I understand that the manufacturer spent a lot of money to convince the FDA panel that they should reconsider.

Both drugs contain components from an earlier weight loss drug that was withdrawn for safety reasons, and so they should be causing serious concern about the side-effects. But it seems the FDA is happy for the long-term safety trials to take place after approval. The benefit of using the drugs (in terms of weight lost) is so small when compared with known safe methods that they are just not worth the risk. Nevertheless as soon as they pass the final FDA hurdle (which they undoubtedly will) they will be prescribed in their billions by overworked doctors who will be grateful that they can spend two minutes printing a prescription, rather than providing counselling, education, and advice; alongside real help, support and encouragement.

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