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:

CBS News

New Weight Loss Drug Saxenda: FAQ
WebMD
24, 2014 -- A drug that treats type 2 diabetes has gotten FDA approval for another use: weight loss. Saxenda is the fourth drug for weight loss OK'd by the agency since 2012. It's already available in a lower dose as Victoza for type 2 diabetes ...
New weight-loss drug wins FDA approvalCBS News
New Weight Loss Drug Approved By FDA: Compare Diet Pills, Diets, And ...The Inquisitr
FDA Approves New Weight-Loss DrugHealthDay
Medscape -Bloomberg -New York Times
all 126 news articles »


MLive.com

Kalamazoo couple turns weight loss surgery into a joint project and loses 350 ...
MLive.com
Through the years, they both tried weight loss plans, even dieting together before they got married. But, diets never really seemed to work. "I've tried Weight Watchers and Atkins and just low-cal and low-fat. I did Weight Watchers maybe six times. I'd ...



Fox News

The 10 biggest food and weight loss stories of 2014
Fox News
I can't believe it's been a year since I compiled my last round-up, but it's that time again! As a research junkie, I think this year's crop of studies in the areas of nutrition and weight management have been particularly fascinating. Here are my top ...
10 Biggest Food and Weight Loss Stories of 2014TIME

all 2 news articles »


Healthy snacks can equal weight loss
Quad City Times
Need some snack ideas that will help you lose weight in the new year? Finding simple, tasty food options that won't break the calorie bank doesn't have to be so hard. Healthy snacking is actually just that: healthful. Snacking is a great pick-me-up ...



Consumer Reports: The truth about weight-loss supplements
KY3
A new Consumer Reports survey of about 3,000 Americans shows one in four has used weight-loss supplements. But that same survey found more than 90 percent couldn't lose the weight they wanted and keep it off. And about half reported at least one side ...



2 Post Holiday Weight Loss Tips That Work!
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Get some exercise. The very next day, get up and take a walk. You have 24 hours to do some damage control. Your body stores glucose in your muscles for energy if you don't use it then it will be moved and deposited in your fat storage (AKA hips, thighs ...

and more »


State College News

New Online Tool Aids Parents, Pediatricians Assess Newborn Weight Loss
State College News
Using weights obtained from more than 100,000 Northern California babies, a new study is the first to detail the weight loss patterns of exclusively breastfed newborns. The results show that some breastfed babies lose weight faster and for a longer ...



Runner's World Newswire

Why Adding Weight Training to Running is Best for Weight Loss
Runner's World Newswire
Given the choice between going running and doing strength training, most runners will pick the former. New research has found that those who run at least in part to keep their waistline trim will benefit most from a combination of running and weight ...
Weight Loss: Weight Training Targets Belly Fat Better Than Cardio, Study RevealsHeadlines & Global News
Weight Loss Tip: Lifting Better Than Running to Lose Belly FatNews Every day
Lose Weight Effectively With Weight Training; More Effective Than Running ...Medical Daily

all 90 news articles »


What Experts REALLY Think Of Weight Loss Resolutions
Huffington Post
According to Norcross' work, you have some reason to be cautiously optimistic about achieving your weight loss goals if you make smart, sustainable New Year's resolutions. But what happens beyond six months, or even a year if you make it that far ...

and more »


The Inquisitr

Val Kilmer's shocking weight loss was due to clean diet and walking workouts
Examiner.com
Kilmer isn't the only Hollywood celebrity who has made headlines for his dramatic weight loss. "The Hangover" star Zach Galifianakis unveiled his shocking weight loss in October 2014. Galifianakis, who reportedly lost 50 pounds, credited an alcohol ...
Val Kilmer Weight: Actor Speaks Out About His Dramatic Weight Loss On ...The Inquisitr
Val Kilmer shows off extreme weight loss during Malibu outingUPI.com
Val Kilmer Weight: Val Kilmer's Massive Weight Loss After Months Of Eating ...Jobs & Hire
Yahoo Celebrity UK (blog) -SportAct
all 18 news articles »

Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.