It is obvious to all of us that we are losing the war on obesity. Each year more and more adults and children are becoming overweight. There are three times as many obese adults (body mass index over 30) today than there were in 1960 and double that since 1990. Approximately 38 percent of our children are considered overweight.
So the war is on to find answers to this obesity epidemic. Drugs, medicines, surgeries, herbs, vitamins, books and CDs are being offered as answers and health professionals and the not so professional are trying to figure out ways to help people curb their appetites and lighten their wallets.
We’ll talk about the lightening the wallet issue in another column.
There is no question that it costs you and me and the country billions of dollars each year to fight the war. It’s easy to see how we can incur that kind of expense when you think of the money spent on diets, diet aids and surgical techniques to help curb obesity and the monies spent on medications, doctor visits and hospital stays to help control all the complications associated with obesity.
We spend a lot of money on diet aids to help us get those pounds off but we also take a lot of risk in doing so. In fact some of the effects of these aids have added to the cost by causing health issues such as heart attacks and strokes.
Some of these diet aids in bottles contain metabolic enhancers, heart rate increasers, fat absorption inhibitors, appetite suppressors and a list of disclaimers on the side of the bottle that read like a law contract.
That should be your first clue and as my father-in-law would say when he would read such a label, “This ain’t right!” Not that he understood all the things the label disclaimed but he figured the people who wrote it didn’t understand it either. He was a man of few words and he lived a very healthy life well into his eighties so I figure he had a little insight.
In the 1990’s the big craze was fen-phen developed by Wyeth, now owned by Pfizer Inc. Everyone clamored to get this weight loss product. In fact I had personal friends who got on the bandwagon and were very pleased with their weight loss. New clothes, new haircuts, new attitudes — oops, people began developing heart valve problems and other heart issues. The sales of fen-phen dropped like a rock and it was taken off the market.
Of course all my friends gained their weight back, grew their hair the way it used to be and thanked their lucky stars it wasn’t their hearts, as far as they knew, that had developed problems.
Today there are products like Meridia, sold by Abbott Laboratories that has shown it can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. This caused the FDA to require a stronger warning label on the product. More words.
Other drugs such as Alli by GlaxoSmithKline and the prescription form, Xenical by Roche Holding inhibit fat absorbtion. They can cause very uncomfortable and undesirable bowel conditions.
New drugs that are coming to market are targeting the brain, stimulating neurons and neurotransmitters that control appetite and metabolism. It will be an interesting read to see what the cautions are on those labels.
Some of these diet aids may help you jump-start your weight loss program but they are in no way designed to be used as a lifestyle. Be very cautious if you choose to a use a “weight-loss-in-a-bottle” regimen. Read, talk to your doctor and get on the Internet to see what others say about it.
If we can be of any help give us a call at (888) 348-7623, get on our website fitnessroad.com or come by our wellness center in Tempe Arizona.
Remember, trying to be healthy is a way of life not just a pill or magic food. Use common sense, stay committed and do your best.
God bless you and yours, Mick.
The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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