How Safe Are Diet Pills?


Written by Jolyne Babineau

Jolyne has a Master's degree in clinical nutrition. She has a true passion for the field and enjoys doing research on any topics related to dietetics.

Over a century ago, a surgeon by the name of Charles Miller noticed that there was a growing preoccupation with physical beauty in society. Today, our society is just as, if not more concerned about their physical attractiveness. Unrealistic body images seen by the mass media is a major concern. When people are dissatisfied with their body shape and weight, they often engage in self-destructive behaviors such as the use of diet pills, fad diets and extreme exercise.

With all the diet products available, why are there a growing number of overweight and obese people? It is because people often focus on short-term results instead of making long-term lifestyle changes. Engaging in such changes is often difficult and since non-prescription and prescription diet pills are easily obtained, it appeals to society.



Drugs can be defined as anything that will change the way your body normally functions.

Diet pills do enter into this definition because a lot of them are stimulants that are thought to reduce appetite. However, we have to be careful when using these products. Here are some things to think about before buying them:-

- Some studies have shown that a lot of companies fail to list all the ingredients that are found in their diet pills.
- Some reports have also shown adverse effects such as heart attacks, stroke and even death when using these drugs.
- Some diet pills may interact with prescribed medication.
- Even if they are “natural” or “herbal” products, they are not always safe. In fact, they can interact with other medication just as other products can and cause toxicity. In countries like Canada, they are not regulated, so be aware.



It is important to talk with a doctor or dietitian before taking any supplements, herbal medicine or non-prescription and prescription drugs. The companies who sell these products want to make money and will often falsify information to do so. My motto is to forget what is written on the bottle and/or package and always read the fine print. Remember, you can never judge a book by its cover.

As I have said before, losing weight is not about the number on the scale or looking like those models on the cover of magazines.

It’s about being healthy, feeling good and having lots of energy. You want to incorporate healthy eating and exercise so that you can lead a healthy lifestyle. The changes that you are contemplating on making should be ones that you know you can carry on for the rest of your life.



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