Diet or deny it

Good nutrition may be the best option


Photo by Peyton Sims

Photo Illustration

Story by Bailey Hawkins, staff writer

When it comes to weight loss, there is no shortage of pills, detoxes and teas advertised to help shed the extra pounds. But do weight loss pills work, and are they healthy?

“I think [diet pills] may work temporarily, but it’s not a permanent solution,” junior Payton Smith said. “If you just want to take [supplements] for a month and assume they are going to help you the rest of your life, that’s not possible.”

On some level, we know that there is no quick fix to our struggles with weight; there’s no product that will melt away our fat while we sleep. Despite our questions and concerns, we are constantly drawn to the latest and most promising weight loss methods. With the help of social media, diet product advertisements easily reach millions of people. World-renowned TV personality, Kim Kardashian, currently has over 147 million fans and followers, each of which have probably come across a Fit Tea or diet supplement ad on her feed. However, achieving her famous figure simply cannot be done with just the help of a dietary supplement.

“If a product sounds too good to be true, then it probably is,” said National Heath Service director, Professor Stephen Powi, in an article on the National Health Service website. “The risk of quick fix weight-loss outweighs the benefits, and advertising these without a health warning is dangerous.”

Many dietary supplements are harmless, and some may even create a sense of fullness, burning of fat or a boosting metabolism. Some of the popular ingredients in weight loss products have been banned by the FDA because of harmful side effects like liver damage, kidney problems, increased heart rate and high blood pressure.    

“I’ve never tried [dietary supplements] but from what I’ve heard, they do have a lot of negative effects,” junior Gabby Reed said. “That seems to be the most communing review.”

In some cases, a weight loss drug may be a useful part of an eating disorder rehab program. Binge eating disorder, for instance, can leave patients overweight. But in many cases, these products are being abused by teens or adults who have no medical need to lose weight. According to pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Dr. Stephen R. Daniels, in a Time Magazine article, the best weight-loss method is “to eat a healthful diet and to engage in more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.”