Diet Supplements - A Growth Industry
growing segment of the weight loss industry is over-the-counter weight
loss supplements. Since 1997, sales of diet pills and related supplements
have been increasing 10 to 20 percent annually to the point where last
year they reached $2 billion.
sellers continue to be products based on ephedra. According to the General
Accounting Office (GAO), as many as 3 billion servings of ephedra are
sold each year in the United States.
OTC Weight Loss Pills are Safe
assume that OTC weight loss pills have met some type of basic safety or
efficacy standards before hitting the marketplace. However, inspection
OTC Weight Loss Pills are Effective
to the GAO, little is known about whether OTC weight loss supplements
are effective. Studies have been conducted using specific ingredients
found in many diet products, but most such studies were brief, exposed
small groups of individuals, or adopted study approaches that limited
the value of their findings.
OTC Weight Loss Pills are Not Always Accurate
It is not
uncommon to find that amounts of a weight-loss product's active ingredients
do not match what's been reported on the label. GAO investigators cited
one ephedra study that found concentrations in one diet supplement were
more than 50 percent higher than labeled. That is why it is extremely
important to only use pills that have been approved as safe by a
Loss Pills May Contain Unlisted Ingredients
was that weight loss pills sometimes contained ingredients not listed
in the packaging. Earlier this year, the International Olympic Committee
found that of 634 nutrition products that it analyzed, 15 percent contained
ingredients banned by the committee and not listed on the label.
Weight Loss Pills Be Called Drugs
new agricultural chemicals, such as pesticides, may not be sold in the
United States until a manufacturer has established to the appropriate
regulatory agency that the product is safe and effective. But weight loss
or diet supplements can be sold without efficacy or safety studies as
long as they contain ingredients already in the food supply.
have claimed that abuse of OTC weight loss pills and diet supplements
could be dramatically limited if they were simply called drugs - and regulated
as such. For example, one expert states that any compound containing ephedra
"should not be called a dietary supplement; it is a drug."
Herbal Products Association
of the national trade group called the American Herbal Products Association,
which represents the interests of many manufacturers of OTC weight loss
pills and diet supplements, has said that his industry has developed a
number of voluntary standards to "promote responsible commerce in
botanicals." Indeed, he argued that his industry remains "ahead
of federal regulatory agencies with respect to encouraging the herbal
supplement industry to label their products with useful and important
Loss Pills, Operation Waistline
In the meantime,
the Federal Trade Commission is directing a program known as Operation
Waistline aimed at alerting consumers to misleading and deceptive weight
loss claims, steering them to accurate information about healthy weight
loss, and bringing legal action against companies that violate the law.
At the end,
it advocates what overweight people least want to hear: that to maintain
weight loss, people must change how they eat and must increase exercise.
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the above information is a brief general summary about otc weight loss
pills, using weight loss information in the public domain. It is not intended
to replace a doctors instructions about the suitability of these products.
Before taking any weight loss medication please ask your doctor to explain
all your weight loss options. When taking weight loss pills, take only
as directed or prescribed.