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Diet Pills: Not Effective, Unless You Want To Be Depressed

Illustration for article titled Diet Pills: Not Effective, Unless You Want To Be Depressed

Obesity is an epidemic. Over a billion people worldwide are overweight or obese. So naturally weight-loss drugs are big business. New research reveals that though over $1.2 billion was spent on obesity drugs worldwide in 2005, pills do not help people lose a significant amount of weight. BBC News reports that a team from the University of Alberta Canada culled "evidence from thirty placebo-controlled trials, involving nearly 20,000 people, where adults took one of three anti-obesity drugs — orlistat, sibutramine or rimonabant — for a year or longer." They found that pills like orlistat reduce weight by less than 5%. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends stopping the use of anti-obesity drugs if 5% of total body weight is not lost after three months. In other words, the Institute cannot justify using pills to lose weight.

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In addition, some of the drugs, like rimonabant, give users an increased risk of mental health problems. Those taking rimonabant were 40% more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. (Rimonabant is sold in the UK under the name Acomplia, but is not available in the US because it's so likely to make patients commit suicide. Thanks, FDA! )


Doctors say that selling anti-obesity drugs over the counter perpetuates the myth that losing weight is as easy as popping a pill. Professor Gareth Williams, professor of medicine at the University of Bristol, has earth-shattering news: "Globally, obesity is spiralling out of control and will only be reined in by public health campaigns that somehow persuade people to eat less and exercise more." Yeah, but then the drug companies wouldn't rake in billions of dollars!

Fat Pills Give Modest Weight Loss [BBC News]
Weight-loss Drug Increases Chance Of Depression [Guardian]

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DISCUSSION

bipolar123-old
Bipolar123

I agree that it would be great if people could just eat less and exercise but really that will never be the way of the world as long as there is plastic surgery and the drug companies who do not want to lose money. It is a sad truth that as much as people say they are concerned for the well being of people and wanting to help them it really is just about how they can get ahead and look better.

I have had problems with my self image and depression off and on for a while and it seems that the more obesity is becoming a problem so is addiction, plastic surgery, and depression to counter act the overweight world and how to make them feel crappy and it is all about what is the fast easy way out and eating healthy and exercising is not it is better for you but it is a long road. For me I am happy with my weight now but I have learn that it is ok to eat what I want just in portions not massive amounts. Take it easy and understand why you are overweight and fix that problem and the weight issues wont be anymore.