I heard a snippet on radio news yesterday about a new drug that is 'effective' in maintaining weight loss but has some nasty side effects for a large proportion of those who take it. The side effects they've released include depression, dry mouth, anxiety, confusion, and memory loss.
I did some further research and in a report by ABC News, Professor Joseph Proietto states his personal view is that 'while you don't need drugs to lose weight, you really have to have drugs to keep it off.' Seriously?
Drugs are a necessity now for weight loss maintenance? Get serious people.
It's true that most people who are obese and lose weight put it back on, but the answer is not drugs. When will they stop focusing on trying to find a magic pill for every little and big thing; pills that can cause horrendous side effects, and unseen damage that may not manifest til years later and not be attributed to the drugs? I suppose the answer is when there is no demand for it.
Today people largely expect the medical profession to provide them with a quick fix, and self responsibility for health and well-being is for the most part dormant.
Weight loss is a multi-billion dollar industry and all those dollars spent on diet programs, books, drugs and surgeries don't seem to be making much of a difference as obesity rates continue to rise.
People are clearly desperately and genuinely in need of help. There is a need now to stop focusing on the problem of weight gain and obesity itself, and finding a magic pill to cure it, and start channeling time, research and resources into discovering why people gain weight in the first place, and work on prevention and healthy maintenance. Let's focus on educating people on nutrition, diet, lifestyle and positive psychology.
Education is key, there is currently a great deal of confusion surrounding diet, nutrition and weight loss. Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net
It is possible to keep weight off in a healthy manner with the right diet and exercise regimen, by addressing any emotional or psychological issues, and with a strong support network. It certainly isn't easy but it is indeed possible. The National Weight Control Registry is doing some wonderful research into long term successful weight loss maintenance, by exploring the lives and characteristics of over 10,000 people who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for a long period of time.
Rather than funneling money into drugs that will make the rich richer and the poor poorer, we believe money would be better spent on the following:
Education education education!
Wellness and Positive Psychology interventions
Cognitive Behavioural therapies
Building strong personal and professional support networks
If you've lost weight and kept it off, please feel free to share your experience and strategy with our readers by leaving a message in the Comments section.