Monday, July 23, 2012

There's a Pill for That . . . Really?

There’s a great difference in weight loss and overall health. For two-thirds of our population, weight loss is important, but how we go about that weight loss is really important. Weight loss without health is not sustainable and is not beneficial. Weight loss itself is an action, and an action that can lead to that elusive overall health—or not. People looking for wellness want to feel good, they don’t want pain, they don’t want to rely on medication to be healthy, they want to like that image in the mirror looking back at them—looking back with pride rather than in judgment. Guess what? The next best, newest, greatest pill won’t address these wide-ranging wellness goals.

And, now there’s a new pill . . . Belviq. It’s the new weight loss drug that suppresses appetite and stimulates metabolism. But here’s the conundrum—our problem is a combination of people eating too much food, and people not eating enough good food. How exactly does a pill solve this puzzle? If it suppresses appetite, how does the pill dictate exactly which food we eat to maintain balanced nutrition?

Now, here’s what the research says: Not even considering the side effects, which are significant, you can expect to lose 5 percent of your body weight in a year—if you weigh 200 pounds, that’s 10 pounds of weight loss, or less than a pound a month. Really? Hmmm . . . there’s always the alternative—portion size, healthier choices and lifestyle behavior choices and changes, without the side effects.

One more thing, the FDA rejected this same drug in 2010. The manufacturer came back this year with new data—new data, not a new drug. 

Here’s a little food for thought that doesn’t come in a pill. 

Does a pill tell you which food to eat? For many of us, won’t an appetite suppressant-type pill just keep us from eating the good food our bodies need in our collective effort to lose weight?  Won’t it (if it even works) create more malnutrition because it won’t even begin to change behavior? 

 Now, if we could only put lifestyle behavior change in a pill . . .

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