Superstar Weight-Loss Products – Dangerous to Your Health?

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), more than half of the adult population in the United States is overweight. Even with renewed public awareness of the harmful health effects of obesity, more Americans are overweight than ever before. In the past 10 years, the numbers of overweight children and teenagers have doubled, leading public health experts to explore new avenues for combating the ongoing problem.

While the government looks for ways to educate the American people on the benefits of lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating and increased exercise, the population gets plenty of news and ads for quick-fix weight loss products that downplay the need for the consumers to play active roles in their weight loss.

The push from these fad products is strong and appealing, promising significant weight loss and increased quality of life. Americans are more than willing to spend a small fortune on unproven and untested products in an effort to lose weight quickly and easily.

Balanced DietOne such product is Sensa, sometimes referred to as “The Sprinkle Diet.” Sensa is a product composed of several ingredients, including maltodextrin, tricalcium phosphate, silica and flavoring. Sensa is promoted as a product that works with your sense of smell to fool your brain and stomach into thinking you are full. However, independent third parties have not made any clinical trials or studies on either the short or long-term effectiveness of Sensa for weight loss or its effects on the body.

Another product that has recently come under fire is HCG. HCG is known as a “Super Supplement” for its claimed ability to promote rapid weight loss. However, in December 2011, the FDA and FTC sent warning letters to companies that were selling over-the-counter HCG products. The letters warned marketers about making unsupported claims for their products.

Many Americans are overweight and willing to accept the quickest and easiest path to their weight loss goals, making the traditional methods of eating less and exercising more seem less appealing to some. However, the as-yet-unknown consequences of weight-loss fads are looming in the distance.

In a clear attempt to tackle the obesity problem from several fronts, including education and public awareness, the FDA has approved two new prescription diet pills for the first time in 13 years.

  • Qsymia – Has been found to create a loss of about 10 percent of body weight. Though patients need to diet and take more exercises while taking the drug, Qysmia suppresses the appetite and increases the feeling of fullness in patients.
  • Belviq – Similar to Qsymia, Belviq touts a five percent loss of weight in combination with dieting and increased exercise.

With FDA clinical trials and approval, consumers can have some measure of confidence in the safety of these two new diet pills. The case is different for the hundreds of fad diet products marketed today. To avoid long-term health consequences, consumers should choose carefully and do their homework to find the best and safest product.