Are Diet Pills the Answer?

Diet Pills
Image by Tacit Requiem (JoAnne Q. Escober)

You do not have to look very far to find diet pills. Every pharmacy, grocery store, health food store, vitamin shop, and super store like WalMart and Target offer a wide variety. You don’t even have to leave your home; you can order them Online (in bulk).

There are hundreds to choose from because dieting is a billion-dollar industry that continues to grow year after year preying on the hundreds of thousands of people who are obsessed with their appearance – especially their weight.

All the ads and marketing campaigns focus on everyone’s need to “look good” and to “be happy.”  It is not uncommon to see a before and after ad campaign showing an overweight individual looking sad and unhappy and then, the transformation (the after) shows the person slim, trim and smiling. Even without words, the message is clear – lose weight and be happy. Their product is the key and it will change your life.

The promise is wonderful and grabs your attention if you have been struggling with extra pounds for any length of time.  The ads are often very appealing and the promise is music to your ears. In spite of all the magic that is promised, there is rarely any scientific data to back up their claims of success.  And . . .  using the pills can be dangerous to your health – and even deadly.

There are no government regulations for diet pills.  The FDA does not test or screen the products and in fact, diet pill companies are not even required to post warnings on the labels regarding the dangerous side effects.

As with any pills – side effects will vary. One fairly common one is an accelerated heart rate that is triggered by the ingredients. They often contain stimulants or amphetamines which can make you jittery – the same as if you were taking a stronger, illegal drug. Other side effects are mood changes, nervous energy, sweating and gastrointestinal issues.  Plus, misuse of stimulants can put you at risk for a fatal heart attack or stroke.

In addition to all of that, the pills can be addictive. You may get through the dieting process unscathed – health intact and even a few pounds lighter – but with an addiction that is difficult to break.

There is an FDA published list of diet pills that have been recalled because of the dangerous ingredients they contained.  These pills were on the market and many people used them – often with adverse effects! There are studies being done and more and more dangerous ingredients are being discovered.

The reality is that because of the lack of required testing and regulations, the effects of diet pills could come back to haunt you years later.

Diet pills are a BUYER BEWARE situation.  Be very cautious about choosing diet pills to help you lose weight. In fact, the recommendation is to avoid them altogether. Don’t fall for the empty promises.  The only thing you can count on losing is your money – and possibly your health.

Choosing to eat a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine – with safe supplements if you feel you need them –  is a much saner, healthier, and effective way to go.

See you next time,


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