FDA approves new weight loss pill - just what we need

FDA approves new weight loss pill - just what we need

Overweight? Just take a pill.

From health.usnews.com (partially included - click link to read full article.)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Arena Pharmaceutical's anti-obesity pill Belviq, the first new prescription drug for long-term weight loss to enter the U.S. market in over a decade.

Despite only achieving modest weight loss in clinical studies, the drug appeared safe enough to win the FDA's endorsement, amid calls from doctors for new weight-loss treatments.

The agency cleared the pill Wednesday for adults who are obese or are overweight with at least one medical complication, such as diabetes or high cholesterol.

The FDA denied approval for Arena's drug in 2010 after scientists raised concerns about tumors that developed in animals studied with the drug. The company resubmitted the drug with additional data earlier this year, and the FDA said there was little risk of tumors in humans.

With U.S. obesity rates nearing 35 percent of the adult population, many doctors have called on the FDA to approve new weight loss treatments.

Are you kidding me? You're taking on the risk of God knows what (the first version gave animals tumors - yeah, I'm sure this version is perfectly safe with no side effects at all. note - that was sarcasm), and putting more man-made chemicals into your body, when the test subjects lost an average of about 3% of their body weight in a year..?! (note: non-diabetes subjects lost 5% - wow.) Let's do the math: you're carrying 200 lbs on a 160 frame. You take a man made pill full of chemicals every day for a full year. You now weigh 194 lbs. Why even bother?

How about modifying your eating habits, just a little bit, to reduce your caloric intake. You can use a hard calorie count, or a process of removing certain bad foods (meaning high calories with low nutritional value, and usually highly processed) from your diet, or you could use a portion control plan, where you simply eat less of whatever you were going to eat.

Add in some exercise, even if it's only 20 minutes at a time, and I'm betting you can lose those same 6 pounds in a couple of months. You can lose 20-30 lbs over the course of the year with just a few changes to your diet and exercise routines. But a pill everyday for 6 lbs - that's ridiculous.

-Chris Butterworth