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Obesity and Weight Loss Drugs
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Obesity & Weight Loss Drugs

If weight loss drugs require us to modify our diet and take regular exercise in order to lose weight effectively, what's the point of spending $50 to $100 a month (or more if insurance won't cover the prescription) on weight loss pills that may only yield weight loss of a pound a week?

Answer: obesity drugs do help people who are morbidly obese - 300 to 400 pounds - and are incapable of minor physical activity or walking because of excess weight.

"Sometimes anti-obesity medication can help jump-start weight loss... or provide a psychological boost when you start to see some results. Weight loss surgery for someone who is morbidly obese is another option. I am not adverse to any of these weight loss strategies", says Chris Rosenbloom, a registered dietitian and chair of the nutrition department at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.

For those who opt for a pharmacological approach to weight reduction, obesity drugs fall into two categories - those that prevent the absorption of some fat and those that suppress appetite. The former inhibit the intestinal enzyme that metabolizes fat, so that the fat passes undigested through the bowels. Xenical is an example. Appetite suppressants, such as Meridia, affect hunger control centers in the brain.

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Note About Weight Loss Pills
To reduce health risks, do not buy weight loss pills or supplements without first consulting your doctor. And when taking weight loss drugs or pills, be sure to check in with your doctor regularly.

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