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Diet Pill Use Could Be a Step Away From Eating Disorder

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WEDNESDAY, May 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) – – Teenage girls who use over-the-counter weight loss supplements and laxatives to lose weight run a very excessive danger of creating eating issues, researchers say.

In a new U.S. research, girls who used slimming capsules had a 258% higher danger of being recognized with an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia within 5 years. If they used laxatives, the danger was 177% larger, in contrast with those who didn’t use these products.

“These findings, especially when also considering that diet pills and laxatives can lead to a number of dangerous side effects, including liver and kidney damage, really emphasize the need for policies to restrict access to these products, especially for youth,” stated lead researcher Vivienne Hazzard. She did the work whereas a postdoctoral fellow at the Sanford Center for Biobehavioral Research in Fargo, N.D.

In the United States, California, Massachusetts and New York are contemplating banning the sale of over-the-counter slimming capsules to minors, she stated.

“Based on the results of our study and a lot of other evidence indicating the dangers of diet pills, passing these bills should be a no-brainer,” Hazzard stated.

Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of weight problems surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, is worried that banning the sale of these medicine to minors may end in youngsters turning to extra drastic measures.

“The issue is that there is potentially abnormal stress or anxiety about weight and body shape,” he stated. “That is expressed by taking substances that they have been told may offer short-term weight loss.”

If entry to these medicine is restricted, the stress would stay, he stated. “I’m not sure that would not be expressed in more harmful items and more dangerous drugs. The taking of a substance is the symptom, not the underlying issue,” Roslin stated. “Beware of unintended consequences.”

Hazzard stated that oldsters ought to be on the alert: If your teenagers are using slimming capsules or laxatives as a weight-loss assist, think about this a warning sign of a potential eating dysfunction.

“If they learn that their child is using diet pills or laxatives to control their weight, parents should have a conversation with their child about the dangers of these products, and also, more broadly, about their child’s body image and relationship with food,” Hazzard stated.

“Parents should also take their child to be evaluated by a pediatrician and consider having their child speak with a mental health professional,” she added.

For the research, Hazzard’s group collected knowledge on more than 1,000 girls. The girls have been adopted from their teens for more than 10 years. During that time, they have been asked about their health and conduct, including using weight loss supplements and laxatives and if that they had an eating dysfunction.

The research doesn’t establish a cause-and-effect relationship, merely an affiliation. Also, it only checked out girls, so future research is needed to see if the affiliation holds among boys, Hazzard stated.

“We need to protect our youth from using diet pills and laxatives to control their weight, because using these products could lead to eating disorders, which are serious diseases with high mortality rates,” she stated.

One professional believes that society’s obsession with look puts undue strain on girls to evolve to a really perfect.

“Early intervention with this at-risk population, who are susceptible to the social pressure for thinness and unrealistic weight-loss claims of these products, is important,” stated Samantha Heller, a senior medical nutritionist at NYU Langone Health in New York City.

Family, buddies and others who witness young women partaking in the abuse of slimming capsules and laxatives should take steps to deal with it, she stated. “We need to continue to emphasize the notions of being healthy, not skinny, and of self-acceptance and self-respect with populations of all ages.”

Laxatives and over-the-counter slimming capsules aren’t advisable for weight loss, and may cause critical health problems, Heller stated.

“Laxatives play an important role for people with a medical need to use them. However, laxative abuse is a serious problem. And the majority, if not all, of over-the-counter diet pills and products advertised for rapid weight loss have not been evaluated for safety and efficacy, and really should not be taken by anyone,” she stated.

The report was revealed May 5 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

More info

For extra on eating issues, head to the U.S. National Institute on Mental Health.

SOURCES: Vivienne Hazzard, PhD, MPH, RD, postdoctoral fellow, Sanford Center for Biobehavioral Research, Fargo, N.D.; Samantha Heller MSRD, senior medical nutritionist, NYU Langone Health, New York City; Mitchell Roslin, MD, chief, obesity surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; International Journal of Eating Disorders, May 5, 2021


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