Obesity and Diet pills - An overview
Obesity is about to become this country’s leading cause of preventable death. Lack of exercise and too much food are not only making us fatter, they’re leading to increases in other diseases, such as diabetes.
Weight loss is so often followed by weight gain that we should just accept being overweight or obese as a fact of modern life. We should just quit telling overweight people to lose weight and making them feel had.
Obesity is not only a deadly disease, which shortens lifespan, it increases the risk for conditions such as arthritis, coronary heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, cancer, and other serious health problems. Despite the fat acceptance movement, we as a nation are, and are likely to remain, prejudiced against obese people. Being overweight is very often connected to psychological issues. Most people with weight problems have struggled to lose for years and in the process have become quite expert in the fields of diet and exercise … yet their weight remains out of control.
We are creatures of habit, and much as we might like to weigh less, often the motivation to make the lifestyle changes is not as strong as the desire to lose weight, and hence weight loss either doesn’t happen or it is temporary as old habits are resumed and the weight inevitably returns.
Certainly changing habits is hard. It is perhaps even harder to change one’s self-image. We all have an image of ourselves as looking the way we do. To think of ourselves as thinner people is not easy, yet that is exactly what we must do in order to succeed. Specialists in behavior modification can help in the effort to remake ourselves into thinner people: people who don’t eat junk food (regularly), who exercise instead of vegging in front of the tube.
Good, healthy foods; exercise; sometimes formal behavior-modification therapy; sometimes weight-loss products and diet pills -these are the keys to losing weight. But weight loss, is not the main goal. All diets work in the short term. But unless you make a permanent change in your diet and exercise habits, you should expect the weight you lose to come back, usually with a vengeance. Therefore, it is best to make changes you are comfortable with and can maintain permanently. That is the only way to achieve permanent weight loss, which is the real goal.
The Skinny on Dieting and Dieting Products
“LOSE 30 Pounds in 30 Days Without Dieting!” “Eat All You Want and Lose Weight!” “Fast, Fun, and Effortless!” “Lose Weight While You Sleep!” If any of these things were true about losing weight, very few people would be ten, twenty, thirty, and more pounds above their ideal, healthy weight.
About 97 million American adults (55 percent) are overweight or obese, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. At any given time, 33 to 40 percent of women and 20 to 24 percent of men in the United States are on a diet. Many of these individuals are buying diet products or enrolling in weight-loss programs-to the tune of $33 billion-plus annually-to help them lose excess pounds.
The fact is that many claims made by weight-loss programs are less than truthful. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s most recent study of weight-loss ads, published in 2002, 55% strain credibility by making such claims as “works three times faster than fasting itself,” or “lose up to 2 pounds daily.” Says Richard Cleland, an assistant director at the FTC: “The ads are filled with testimonials about amounts of weight that are just physiologically impossible for a person to lose. You just don’t lose 30 pounds in 30 days.” In fact, the standard disclaimer “results not typical” is one of the few claims that are actually true.
Unfortunately, the latest thing in weight-loss drugs, Alli—although FDA-approved and deemed safe—comes with a slew of bizarre side effects, many of them more embarrassing than harmful. The way it works: Alli uses an active ingredient called orlistat to block about 25 percent of the fat you eat, cutting your calorie intake and thus promoting weight loss. The problem is that the blocked fat, which is never absorbed by the body, can get expelled in strange and noxious ways, including gas accompanied by an oily discharge and frequent or loose stools. The maker of the pill, Glaxo, warns on its web site: “You may experience some bowel changes during the first few weeks of use,” and explains that that they’re most likely to occur after taking an Alli capsule and eating a meal containing more than 15 grams of fat.
When it comes to diet pills, most people make their purchases based on little or no reliable information. In desperation, they believe the ads and the marketing hype. Here we try to provide important information about prescription, single-ingredient, and combination ingredient weight loss diet products.
There are so many benefits to losing pounds and to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, but the majority of people find it very difficult to do so. One reason is that they want an easy solution: a quick fix or magic pill that will make their weight melt away. Another is that often they do not understand all the factors that may be contributing to their weight problem.
“You’re fat because you eat too much.” Oh, if it were only that simple. At the most basic level, the reason the majority of people are overweight is that they consume ‘more calories than they burn. However, there are many factors that can cause the imbalance between the number of calories people consume and the amount they use. Those factors include, among others:
• Metabolic rate-the rate at which the body burns calories
• Lack of adequate exercise
• Medication-some drugs promote weight gain by slowing metabolism 9r stimulating appetite
• Nutritional deficiencies-low levels of some nutrients (i.e., vitamins B6 and Bul hinder fat metabolism or cause depression, which can lead to weight gain
.• Psychological factors, such as low self-esteem, use of food as security, and other emotional influences
Except for age, you can influence or change each of the other factors. You can remedy nutritional deficiencies, for example, by changing your eating habits and’ taking ‘supplements, You can identify which medications may be contributing to weight gain and find alternatives, and if you have a poor self-image, you can seek help from therapists or other emotional support sources. Losing weight involves positively redesigning your lifestyle, which results in behaviors and goals you can live with for the rest of your life. It’s not about deprivation; it’s about health, energy, self-esteem, and personal growth. To lose weight in a healthy way and keep it off, consider your attitude about yourself, your weight, and your lifestyle. You are not just your body; you are also mind and spirit, and all three entities work together to create who you are. Therefore, remember to nurtureeach aspect of yourself when you are redesigning your lifestyle.
Before you start any weight-loss diet plan, you should get a complete physical examination, including a general blood biochemistry panel, and an electrocardiogram if you are older than forty-five. A thorough examination will identify factors that may be contributing to being overweight, such as vitamin and mineral deficiencies or low thyroid function. Make sure to tell your health-care professional about any medications, herbs, or nutrients you are taking.
• Eat nutritious, balanced meals.
• Exercise regularly.
• Develop a loving relationship with yourself and your world.
• Be informed about, not fooled by, weight-loss aids.
A grapefruit diet may help you lose a few pounds fast, but can you really live on grapefruit forever? Some people say they have lost weight eating lots of protein, like steaks, milk, and hamburgers, but have they considered the long-term effects of all that protein on their kidneys and bones, not to mention the fat clogging their arteries and the pesticides and hormones in the animal products? Fads can ruin your health; nutritious, friendly foods can save it.
The array of weight-loss products on the market is dizzying, and the information you hear and read about them often brings up more questions than it answers. Have you ever picked up a weight-loss product and asked yourself:
When it comes to spending money on diet pills, dietary products, and weight-reducing programs, people are quick to open their wallets: according to the” American Dietetic Association, Americans dish out $33 billion a year on such items. And among the most popular types of dietary items purchased are pills, foods, and supplements.
But buying weight-loss supplements and products can be a gamble. On the one hand, consumers can be glad they have a tremendous number of these dietary aids from which to choose, and the media makes sure they are constantly reminded of those choices. On the other hand, much of the information about these products is misleading, inaccurate, and confusing. Adding to the confusion is the fact that there have been very few long-term studies of the effectiveness or potential dangers of many of the over-the-counter dietary products currently on the market. Advertisements for many of these dietary aids can be found in magazines and newspapers; on billboards, television, radio, and the Internet. Although most of these advertisements are alluring and convincing, drawing in their audience with promises of fast, easy weight loss and implying they will achieve happiness and the bodies of their dreams, many of them are short on mentioning side effects or emphasizing the realistic results people can expect. The result is a large population of people who are anxious, even desperate, for diet products that work, yet they are not provided with the tools to make appropriate, educated decisions about the products available to them.
How do you search among all the rhetoric surrounding these products to find the kernels of truth? How can you identify effective, safe weight-loss products?
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM WEIGHT-LOSS PRODUCTS
In the majority of cases, the best you can expect from prescription, OTC, or herbal weight-loss products is a slight increase in the amount of overall weight you lose when you use them along with the three basics of weight loss: a sensible, nutritious eating plan, regular exercise, and emotional/spiritual support.
Many remedies do little more than make your wallet lighter. Many weight-loss products are pricey, especially those marketed as “package deals,” requiring that you buy the shakes, nutrition bars, special meals, and additional supplements if you want to get results. If you want to consider such plans, it is best to review all the literature about them alone, away from the distributor or salesperson, so you can take the time to honestly ask yourself whether you will follow the plan, whether the cost is reasonable and justifiable, and whether other options would make more sense.
Worse, however, is that weight-loss products can be dangerous. The Food and Drug Administration periodically receives reports of adverse effects, even deaths, associated with the use of various weight-loss products. Two of the most notorious products were Pondimin (fenfluramine) and Redux (dexfenfluramine). Fenflurarnine was combined by some doctors with phenterrnine in the popular diet drug combo known as fenphen. Fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine were withdrawn from the marketplace by the manufacturer in 1997. The other half of the fen-phen combination drug-phentermine-was determined to be safe and is still available as a prescription weightloss product. Redux and Pondimin use was associated with several problems, the most serious of which was a greater chance of getting pulmonary hypertension when taking the drug. This is a rare and potentially fatal disease that usually affects women aged thirty to fifty years, perhaps the biggest market for diet products. Around the same time, researchers found that some people who were taking fen-phen or Redux were developing heart abnormalities.
Weight-loss products are a multibillion-dollar business. They also are products that command much emotion from those who buy them, and they have the potential to harm people’s health. Thus the use of weight-loss products is not something you should enter into lightly, for several reasons: both individual substances and combination products can be unsafe, you may not get the desired results, and you can waste time and money. Each of these reasons boils down to one thing: theft of your health, your trust, and your lifestyle. Take control of what you put into your body, and you will be better for it.