The use of weight loss supplements is tempting. Who wouldn't want a little help to make the struggle easier? But there are hundreds of diet pills on the market. It can be confusing to sort through the claims and find a weight-loss product that is safe and effective.
Prescription vs. Over-the-Counter Diet Supplements
There are two categories of weight loss aids: prescription medications and non-prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) products. As a general rule, the use of OTC weight-loss products is discouraged. In a study published by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association researchers made a clear statement about their use. "Dietary supplements are not recommended as part of a weight-loss program due to concerns about efficacy and safety."
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) also addresses the use of prescription diet pills. In a policy statement, they acknowledge that weight-loss medications may help dieters lose a modest amount of weight initially, but the long-term safety and effectiveness of these types of medications have not been established.
The best resource for information regarding the use of any supplement is your healthcare provider. Ask your doctor about current research into the products that have aroused your interest. Your doctor will also be able to discuss how taking one of the aids might interact with your other medications and will also be able to provide the best advice regarding the safety of new products.
Prescription Weight Loss Supplements
OTC Weight Loss Supplements
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EatRight.org Weight Management. American Dietetic Association. Accessed: December 15, 2011. http://www.eatright.org/About/Content.aspx?id=8382
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Hoodia. National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. Accessed: November 25, 2011. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/hoodia/