Thursday, September 11, 2014

There is no magic pill

My mother used to say she just wanted a magic pill to help her loose weight.  As much as we would all love a magic pill, the reality is – the only way to loose weight is through a balanced approach of diet and exercise.  This is not the news that so many of us long to hear. 

As I turned on the television today the morning talk shows were excitedly announcing the news headline, A Big break through….the next diet wonder pill! Really?

It turns out this huge news for dieters is the release of a new pill called Contrave.  The news report went on the say that Contrave is only for individuals with a BMI of 30 or over, and studies showed patients who took this drug only lost about 5% of total body weight.  Not only that, but there are serious side effects including high blood pressure and even heart attacks.  I don’t think a heart attack is worth it for a few pounds. 

According to ABC News, there are 100 million dieters spending over $20 Billion for the elusive prize of weight loss[1], sadly with all that money the results are dismal.  Forbes magazine reported that two-thirds of American dieters regained all the weight they had lost within a year, and 97 percent had gained it all back within five years[2].  It doesn’t take an economist to know that this is not a sound investment. 

One of the biggest problems is that we live in a fast-paced, fast food, microwave world.  We like shortcuts; we want everything instantly.  A healthy diet and exercise program will not work that quickly, the pounds won’t just drop off overnight, and our society does not like to wait around for anything. 

So we waste billions of dollars looking for the short cut.  The more we diet, the fatter we seem to get.  Some dieters even go to the extreme levels of intervention.  Over 200,000 morbidly obese individuals resorted to the extreme weight loss method of bariatric surgery in the last year alone.  Sadly even those folks have a high rate of regaining the weight.  The long-term results are dismal.

Unfortunately the only ones who are seeing results from the diet industry are the celebrities who endorse diet products, in some cases they have earned up to $3 million. 

If I had a magic Jeannie I would ask her to make all the extra fat go away, but I will NOT take dangerous diet pills – and neither should anyone else, they are NOT magic!  Eating right and exercising are the real magic, but it takes so darn long. 

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