New Year, New Diet Pill?

Sahar Aker

You know a new year is just around the corner when a) Everyone around you resolves to lose weight, for real this time; b) There are as many weight loss ads out there as there were political ads right before an election, and c) A new diet pill is coming, a new diet pill is coming!

I don't have much to say about "a" or "b" but I've got two words for you about that diet pill: SIDE EFFECTS. Serious ones. Like heart attacks, stroke, and liver disease. Which is why diet pills almost always get pulled off the market. So why, oh why, haven't we learned that these drugs are not a good idea?

A new one might be coming soon. An FDA panel recently backed the first new weight loss drug in a decade, called Contrave, despite heart risk concerns. Yes, you read that right. There are already concerns of heart problems right now with this drug.

Obviously, there are health risks to being overweight and obese, but I just don't think the risks of diet pills are the answer to weight loss. And when these drugs go to market when there are already concerns of health problems or they get taken off the shelves because they are not worth the health risks, what's the point?

A better solution, in my opinion, is getting to the root of the weight problem -- whether it's an emotional issue or behavioral issue -- and fixing that instead of risking your health popping a pill.

The FDA is expected to make a final decision about Contrave by the end of January. If it approves the new diet drug, I'm willing to take bets on how long it takes before it's pulled off the market.


Image via cupcakeenvy/Flickr

Read More