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Effects of Diet Pills

By aisha34 Nov 27, 2008 695 Words
Everyone has seen the ads, “lose ten pounds in ten days” or “miracle in a bottle.” What those ads forget to mention are the dangers associated with these “miracle” pills. Although many diet pills promise a quick fix to weight problems, the dangers linked to them are astonishing. The risks are higher than other drugs partly because the FDA does not regulate these supplements. have researched many these ‘miracle’ pills over the last two years due to my interest in medicine and health issues. The usage of unregulated diet pills is a problem in the United States; the risks involved with taking them should be understood and recognized. I will talk about the dangers of diet pills, followed by America’s obsession with weight and ‘quick’ fix diets and finally, what can be done to regulate and monitor the diet supplements.

The risks associated with diet pills. What many people fail to realize is the danger each pill possesses. Of the many dangers associated with taking diet pills, heart related complications seem to the top the list. Many diet pills use stimulants to boost metabolism. The stimulants then speed up heart rate, putting undue strain on one’s heart. In many cases, diet pills cause dehydration, hypertension, insomnia and even can cause death.

The obsession to be thin has plague America, the images of skinny models and actress bombards us on the cover of magazines, television and movies. America’s obsession with thinness is not something new. According to Laura Fraser, a free-lance journalist and author of Losing It: False Hopes and Fat Profits in the Diet Industry, Americans have been fascinated with thinness as early as 1900. The first cases of bulimia were noticed among women who were flappers in 1926 (Henry 2002). This obsession has continued until present day. “From the 1920s on, the trend was thinner, thinner, thinner” (Henry 2002) The trend to be thinner is a major problem among teenagers. Having a healthy body image is an important and significant issue for young girls to understand. In order to be healthy, one must exercise and have a balance diet. The key is not trying to be thin but to be healthy. A person must keep in mind that simply popping a pill will not solve the problems associated with weight. It is also the government’s responsibility to regulate and control dangerous items from entering the market. Although the FDA does not approve many of the drugs that sold over the counter; it should be the responsibility of the government to monitor what enters the local market. Prior to 2004 the drug Phen/Fen was legally prescribed to individuals, it was recalled after it was proven that it caused dangerous side effects and serious heart valve problems. The Harvard research that allowed the drug to be FDA approved was actually funded by the pharmaceutical company that discovered Phen/Fen. (Henry 2002) The FDA does regulate how products can be advertised, how they are used including the dosage level and the length of use but harmful substances are still on the market. These substances can be abused if not taken correctly. The fascination with losing weight will not leave our television set or magazines any time in the near future. The images will to continue to overwhelm us but it is the responsibility of the individual to know the dangers of these ‘miracle’ pills. Understanding the risks involved with diet pills must be recognized and understood. I talked about the dangers linked with diet pills, the culture associated with it and the regulation responsibilities of the government. So, next time you see an ad promising a ‘quick fix,’ just remember the risks and that the woman or man on screen is just a paid actor. Work Cite

Diet Pills. (

Henry Bridget. Speaker Laura Fraser on America's Thin-Obsessed Society. Collegian Correspondent. 2/28/2006 A History of Diet Pills. Grieger, Lynn. Diet Pills: Too Good to Be True?

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