An FDA panel has recommended that approval be given to a new weight loss pill. If Qnexa gets final approval it will be the first new “diet” pill approved in over a decade. The move has surprised many as within the last two years three drugs including the one now recommended for approval had been rejected. The original rejection of this drug was due to side effects.
The reversal comes as the panel was apparently impressed by the amount of weight loss, despite its concern about cardiovascular (heart) side effects. Previous diet pills were taken off the market after heart related deaths!
It is estimated that Americans spend $59 billion annually on a range of weight reduction measures from diet books to stomach surgery.
Yet only a very small amount of this is spent on prescription drugs.
There are two main reasons for this. Number one is that they don’t work particularly well and secondly there is a track record of diet tablets being taken off the market due to safety concerns.
All three new drugs had shown some “positive” results over a one-year trial. This is not a long time though and the safety issues with previous weight loss drugs only became apparent after they were used by a much larger number of people.
Given the huge potential profits it is easy to see why the pharmaceutical industry may be keen to get involved (the drugs are owned by biotech firms looking for a pharma partner). This is despite sales of current weight loss pills being small and the safety/liability issues. There is also the FDA concern of them being used “recreationally” by people who are not overweight but say want to drop one clothes size.
Here is something to think about. If it wasn’t a pill, which made you put on weight why do you, need a pill to reverse the process. It is always interesting to hear when people say diets didn’t work. Diets have no moving parts. The only way it can “work” is if the individual sticks to it.
Now herein does lay the issue. Many “diets” are considerably removed from what people normally eat each day. Hence the change is too hard to sustain. Even when people stay the course for long enough to reduce weight, they then revert to their previous eating patterns, and not surprisingly this takes them right back to where they started.
Whilst this should not come as a surprise it usually does.
So is there a solution? Of course there is. It starts with taking personal responsibility. You must accept that it is your own actions, which have led you to this place, and that it is only your own actions that can take you to a different place.
The solution is to change your eating patterns. It is no use repeating the same thing and expecting a different result. You need to change the way you relate to food. For example, if you comfort eat then recognize this and deal with the underlying issue. If you have a sweet tooth (like I do) accept this and allow yourself some small treats rather than going without for so long that you end up binging.
Keep at the front of your mind this simple concept. The body stores energy it does not use up as fat. The only way to reduce weight is to use up more energy each day then you put in. This gives you two dials to adjust. Use more energy by being active and consume less energy (calories). Do not go hungry. Choose foods, which provide nutrition without excess calories. In simplest terms this will be whole food. Food that until recently, was moving around, or growing somewhere.
Cut down on processed and packaged foods. Drink mainly water. For sustainable change these must become what you do daily not just a “diet” for a few weeks.
It has been done, it can be done and you can do it if you so choose.
Medical Doctor, author, speaker, media presenter and health industry consultant, Dr Joe Kosterich wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life.
Joe writes for numerous medical and mainstream publications, is clinical editor at Medical Forum Magazine, and is also a regular on radio and television.
Joe is Medical Advisor to Medicinal Cannabis Company Little Green Pharma, Chairman of Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association and sits on the board of Arthritis and Osteoporosis WA. He is often called to give opinions in medico legal cases.
Through all this he continues to see patients as a GP each week.