You have heard it on the news and read about it in the paper...unfortunately the headlines are true...obesity has become an epidemic in America.
Latest reports estimate that over 60 million Americans are obese, and an even larger number are overweight.
So why should we care...
What is the problem?
The problem is obesity can kill us. Yes, that is right - obesity can kill us.
How, you ask?
Obesity can lead to diabetes, high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and heart disease- all of which, if left untreated, can kill us.
All right, so how do we lose weight?
That is the big question, and two drug companies claim to have the answer.
These drugs are being touted as safe and effective ways to lose weight. Wow that is great news...
I can take one of those pills and lose weight while getting healthier - excellent!
Well, that is what we may be thinking but unfortunately that may not be the case. With all new drugs there is the inherent question of safety. They may be approved by the, but that does not mean they are 100 % safe. The FDA's drug approval is based on data from clinical trials, clinical trials that have small patient populations and short durations. So what does that mean? It means a drug may have the potential to cause major health problems in greater patient populations over the course of a longer period of time. In other words, we don't know all the health risks of a drug until years after it has been introduced to the general population. Therefore, a drug may cause more harm than good in the long run.
For example, remember the drug Alli? This drug was hailed as a magic weight loss pill. It was proven to be safe and effective in clinical trials with no major side effects and was sold to the public as a solution to the obesity problem. Take Alli and you will safely lose all the weight you need. Great, right? Well, that was the case until the FDA slapped it with a warning concerning liver toxicity, and Alli proved to be not as effective as originally thought. Millions of Americans were shocked. Not only were they taking a drug that was not as effective as they hoped, they were also putting themselves at risk for long term liver damage. Alli was suppose to help us become healthier, not put our health at risk. Eventually the once hailed Alli faded away into obscurity and we let go of the notion of the magic weight loss pill. That is, until Qsymia and Belviq were FDA approved.
Suddenly, the magic weight loss pill is back- or is it?
Before we rush to take either Qsymia or Belviq we must first remember Alli. Like Qsymia and Belviq, it too was proven to be a safe and effective way to lose weight, the magic weight loss pill. But as it turned out, Alli was nothing of the sort.
Will Qsymia and Belviq share the same fate...?
Only time will tell.
Until then, we are left with the oldest, safest ways to lose weight...
diet and exercise.