Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Weight Loss Product Warnings -- How to Spot Bad Pills


There are numerous ways to make a bad weight loss product look good. How to Spot Bad Pills is the first article in a series on evaluating weight loss products. My hope is to provide you with reliable, easy to understand, and useful tips for spotting bad weight loss products.

For the purpose of this article, the phrase, weight loss pill, refers to over-the-counter, non-prescription weight loss supplements. The following six tips will help you identify weight loss pills that don't back up claims with evidence, cite poorly designed research studies, don't work, and possibly cause serious harm.

The tips, arranged in no particular order, are effective in spotting glaring omissions of evidence, misrepresentations, and outright lies. However, many marketers have become quite skilled in the art of statistical illusion, fooling even those of us with extensive experience in statistical analysis.

What does this mean for you? Use the six tips from How to Spot a Bad Pill as part of your own overall assessment and not as a definitive evaluation. A "good" weight loss pill based upon my six tips, does not necessarily translate to a well studied, safe, and effective product. However, a bad pill here is a bad pill everywhere.

With that quick disclaimer, let's get started...

Bad Pill Tip #1 -- References

Match each claim cited with a reference. The reference should be clear and include the author's name, the location of the study, primary sponsor, title of study, publication source, year, volume, and pages.

A solid claim made for a weight loss pill should not be sales oriented. I fully understand that there is a time to sell. However, I am assuming you are beyond that, and need real information about this weight loss product in question. As you investigate the pill, and the sales copy never seems to go way, that's a red flag.

Lets look at two different claims. The first one is NOT a solid science claim..."Amazing New Weight Loss Pill Maximizes Weight Loss...". This belongs back in the sales copy.

Instead, here is a claim well grounded in science...

"The percentage of weight loss was significantly higher in the test group at the end of the 5 week study...(6)"

Notice the reference is clearly cited and displayed by the number 6. This is identifying the 6th listing on the reference page as the source. This brings up a related topic about the reference page. All ads and websites should have a reference page.

As a matter of fact, the reference page is more valuable than the testimonials. It is a list of the actual studies used to make a case in favor of a weight loss product.

To see an example of a reference page, use this link, Weight Loss Pill Reference Page.

Bad Pill Tip #2 -- Mechanism of Action

Verify how the weight loss pill works, also called the mechanism of action. Every pill, prescription drugs included, should have the mechanism of action clearly stated with references. Do not label a weight loss pill as "good" without a description on how it works.

Bad Pill Tip #3 -- Author

Verify the primary author referenced to make the best claim or the author referenced for making most of the claims. Verify, in this case, means to check the reference as "real" and also test the "marketer" for how accessible the information is to get and review.

Bad Pill Tip #4 -- Subjects

Investigate the number of subjects that have been tested using the weight loss pill in question. This is difficult to judge, but understand that the smaller the study, the less reliable the results. One study with 10 subjects is not enough to make any significant claims.

When isolating one study, the number of subjects needed to produce reliable results depends on several factors. I suggest looking through the information provided to you for references to choosing the right number of subjects. If they take the time to write about it in their official study report, then, most likely, they had the best possible number of subjects.

In general, if you're reviewing one study measuring one variable, you would like to see at least 50 subjects (n=50). However, we often lower this standard given the difficulty in recruiting for studies.

Bad Pill Tip #5 -- Side Effects

A well designed, unbiased study does not hide reported side effects (also called adverse events). This should be as easy to find as the headline of the sale copy or the order form. If it's hidden, stay away from that weight loss pill.

Bad Pill Tip #6 -- Help

If all else fails and you just can't call it a good or bad pill, call your health care provider. Let the person answering the phone know exactly what it is you need. Say something like, "I need feedback on a new weight loss pill, called Pill ABC. Is this a bad pill for me to take or is it a good one?"

Personalize the reason for needing the information and the response time will triple. Since you made it clear you're considering taking the pill, they will get back to you fast to avoid any adverse event. If they don't, consider finding a new health care provider.

Obviously, there are several other areas to critique a weight loss pill. But these are 6 excellent tips that will help you decide if the pill is good or bad. It simply comes down to checking for very basic information that any credible scientist or physician would display or provide immediately.

Not passing just one of the tips is enough to label it as a bad weight loss pill.

To Healthy Living!

Michael A. Smith, MD
Diet Basics Website and Resource

Dr. Smith is the primary physician and consultant for the Diet Basics Website of the Weight Loss Professional. Stay tuned for the second article of the series called Weight Loss Product Warning.

Please visit the Diet Basics website and take advantage of all the free offers...original e-books and articles, a top rated newsletter, and much more.

You can visit the site at, weight-loss-professional.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Headlines & Global News

Weight Loss Drug: Diabetic Medication Saxendra (Liraglutide) Effective Against ...
Headlines & Global News
Saxendra, also known as liraglutide, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2014 as a weight loss and diabetes management drug, but the agency also required further testing for it. The new round of studies, in which 3,700 ...
Diabetes drug proves effective weight-loss aidMedical News Today
Liraglutide: Diabetes Drug Significantly Helps Weight Loss, Study FindsReliaWire
Diabetes drug's happy side effect: Weight lossThe News Journal
iSchoolGuide -KTRH
all 60 news articles »


WISH-TV

Which is more effective for weight loss? Diet or exercise?
WISH-TV
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — If you're trying to lose weight, which one should you tackle first: diet or exercise? Research points to diet. “If we're looking at which one is going to bring about the most weight loss in the shortest amount of time, then sure ...

and more »


wivb.com

Is “reverse dieting” your key to weight loss goals?
wivb.com
She said being in touch with how you're feeling and not restricting what you eat is the key to weight loss success. “When you restrict your calories, and you're hungry and you eat something, your brain puts out more dopamine, that pleasure chemical ...



9 Ways to Bust Through a Weight-Loss Plateau
Newsmax
How's that diet going? Did you have great results at first — pounds falling off and squeezing back into a favorite pair of jeans — but now the scale is stuck? You're puzzled, because you've been carefully following the same diet and exercise regime ...



Medical News Today

Weight-loss surgery 'superior to lifestyle interventions' for type 2 diabetes
Medical News Today
But recently, studies have suggested weight-loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, may be just as effective as lifestyle interventions and medical therapy for obese patients with type 2 diabetes. In April 2014, for example, Medical News Today reported on ...
Weight-loss surgery is better than changing lifestyle in treating type 2 ...Science Times
Is weight loss surgery worth the risk? New study says it might beNews Quench
Weight-loss surgery might be better for Type 2 diabetes patientswwlp.com
Medical Daily -Latinos Health -WXYZ
all 164 news articles »


Health Column: Weight loss catalysts
Grand Junction Free Press
There's no “magic pill” when it comes to weight loss, but there are a few prescriptions that come mighty close. If you do all the right stuff to lose weight yet seem to hit a wall, then you need help. Readily available, highly effective and safe, some ...



E! Online

The Biggest Loser Contestant Tara Costa Gets Married, Shows Off Weight Loss ...
E! Online
She may not have been The Biggest Loser, but Tara Costa was definitely the biggest winner on her wedding day. E! News can confirm the season seven contender, who finished in third place behind winner Helen Phillips, said "I Do" to fiancĂ© John ...
'Biggest Loser' Contestant Tara Costa Gets Married, Shows Off Weight LossLatin Post
Tara Costa, John Baranowski Wed: 'Biggest Loser' Weight Loss Winner's ...The Inquisitr
Biggest Loser Tara Costa Marries Fiance John Baronowski in Weight-Loss ...Celebrity Dirty Laundry

all 9 news articles »


Atlanta Journal Constitution

Weight loss Shannon McCune, 44, of Kennesaw lost 62 pounds
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Want more news? Sign up for free newsletters to get more of the AJC delivered to your inbox. SUCCESS STORY / Shannon McCune, 44: From 197 pounds to 135 pounds. Former weight: 197 pounds. Current weight: 135 pounds. Weight loss Shannon ...



Scoop: EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS: LOVE CAN'T WEIGHT on ABC - Tonight, July ...
Broadway World
Scoop: EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS: LOVE CAN'T WEIGHT on ABC - Tonight, In the current season of the hit series "Extreme Weight Loss," there are three special companion piece editions -- "Love Can't Weight" -- in which hosts and trainers Chris and Heidi ...



Obesity Research May Shed New Light on Weight Loss
Medscape
Arthur L. Caplan, PhD: Welcome to Close-Up With Art Caplan. This is an interview program where we speak with leaders in the field of healthcare. I am very excited to have Dr Judith Korner with me today. Dr Korner runs the Weight Control Center at ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.