Articles Posted in Weight Loss Treatments

Champagne_1050x700-300x200Here’s hoping the holidays are going well for one and all. But, even as they fly away, moderation and some common sense about the seasonal celebrations is worth keeping in mind.

It can pay, for example, to be careful about what you eat in this festive time. Researchers at the RAND Corporation have just issued a study that finds that consumers are “more likely to choose unhealthy foods from November to December, and the subsequent holiday pounds they gain account for 60 percent to 70 percent of the weight they gain per year.” We’re all too inclined, the researchers said, to feast on “nutritionally undesirable foods” such as sugar-sweetened beverages, chocolates, cookies, candy, and ice cream, leading to added pounds that, alas, don’t go away quickly or easily. Bah, humbug, perhaps to these findings based on information on eating habits of 400,000 South Africans who were followed for four years? Or maybe the calorie-conscious might want to consider the Washington Post’s menu of party options and alternatives?

Or how about following the New York Times’ timely report on how the holidays—with their increased eating and drinking and staying up late or sleeping in—confuse our livers, those vital organs that researchers say closely follow circadian rhythms as they help to filter the blood and to regulate critical body chemistries to process food and liquids, including alcohol.

In her last week of the competition, Toy bid on and won a "growing pound" advantage for the weigh-ins, which would increase each week. In the interest of preserving it, Jen advised her not to use it right away. But that week, Toy went from 282 to 278 pounds, losing only four pounds - not enough to keep her in the game.

A ‘Loser’ contestant with coach. (Copyright NBC)

If you’re staring at that chocolate éclair or slice of apple pie ala mode with special guilt after reading about the weight woes of extreme contestants on a popular television show, fret a wee bit less, please.

It’s true that many pound-conscious people have hit the doldrums after reading in the New York Times that experts monitored some contestants of the hit show, The Biggest Loser, for years after their TV appearances to see if they kept their slimming ways. Nope. Many didn’t.

A lot of people believe that dietary supplements they buy over the counter are merely nutritional insurance, but many of these can have unexpected side effects when taken with other medicine. Guidelines recently issued by the FDA warn consumers about the risks of mixing popular dietary supplements with medications.

As explained on AboutLawsuits.com, people risk injury if they combine prescription or over-the-counter medication and supplements. Many of these dietary products alter how meds are absorbed or excreted, as well as a drug’s potency and effectiveness.

That puts people at risk of getting too much or not enough of the medication they need, which, in some cases, can be life-threatening. One example is taking vitamin E with warfarin, a common blood thinner. That combination can double the blood-thinning effect, leading to uncontrolled bleeding.

Dr. Mehmet Oz , a popular TV personality, is better known for his charisma than his medical expertise, and no wonder why – he’s constantly hawking dubious treatments, and recently the chair of the U.S. Senate’s Consumer Protection panel called him out for it.

Oz’s shilling for diet supplements now has the attention of comic John Oliver, to devastating effect, but readers will have to go all the way to the end of this piece to get the link.

Oz testified at a Senate hearing about deceptive advertising for over-the-counter diet supplements and products. According to CBS News, Sen. Claire McCaskill told him, “I get that you do a lot of good on your show [“The Dr. Oz Show”]. But I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true.”

It’s as if they’re playing hokey-pokey over at the FDA.

The Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee recently gave a thumbs-up to Qnexa fewer than two years after recommending against it. It’s the first time since 1999 that an advisory panel for the federal agency has approved a weight-loss drug.

The FDA doesn’t have to accept the panel’s advice, but usually does.

For a couple of years now, Southern California drivers have become used to seeing

billboards for a medical procedure that promises to turn overweight people into the thin creatures they want to be. By calling 1-800-GET-THIN, you could sign up for a gastric Lap-Band surgery at an outpatient facility and change your life. So they claimed.

Several people who took up the offer did change their life-they died.

Blogger Jim Edwards has a list of “10 Weird Health Theories That Just Won’t Go Away.”

Many of them flower from the backlash to the medical industrial complex’s desire to medicalize, and provide a pill for, all slightly different human behaviors. Others underscore how appropriate skepticism about modern medicine can lead to an over-correction and an endorsement of wrongheaded and dangerous ideas (autism being caused by vaccines as a prominent example).

Here’s the list of myths:

A pioneering new study of the popular liposuction surgery finds that the fat which a surgeon sucks out from one part of the body gets added back in elsewhere by Mother Nature.

The study published in the journal Obesity found that within a year, all the fat suctioned out in a liposuction was regained by the body — not in the location of the liposuction but in other places such as the upper abdomen and shoulders.

Obesity researchers say that the body “defends” its fat, carefully regulating the total amount of fat in the body. So fat removed by surgery in this respect is no different from fat lost by dieting — the body’s natural mechanism tends toward putting that fact back on.

Some unethical doctors are charging patients big bucks for prescriptions of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) for weight loss. Supposedly you can lose fat in just the right places, the belly for one, if you take daily hCG injections in your abdomen. The claims are sheer quackery.

This use of hCG, a pregnancy hormone that is derived from the urine of pregnant women, is “off label,” meaning the manufacturer is not allowed to promote its use for weight loss, since it’s never been proven to work.

For the doctors who prescribe hCG for weight loss, it’s not illegal, just unethical. The use of hCG for weight loss has never been proven to work any better than injections of salt water (placebo).

A diet drug which safety advocates called to be withdrawn from public use eight years ago has finally bit the dust. Under pressure from the Food and Drug Administration, the drug’s manufacturer, Abbott Laboratories, voluntarily pulled the drug from the market due to longstanding concerns that it increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

“There was no identifiable population of patients for whom the benefits of Meridia outweighed its risks,” said John Jenkins, MD, director of the office of new drugs at the FDA. “Meridia’s continued availability is not justified when you compare the very modest weight loss that people achieve on this drug to their risk of heart attack or stroke.”

The move was described as “commendable but dangerously too late,” by Sidney Wolfe, MD, a member of the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Committee and director of the Health Research Group of Public Citizen, a consumer and health advocacy group.

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