Resolving to Lose Weight?

03Jan11

Right on schedule, once January 1 rolls past, you see the advertisements for weight loss products. And pharmacies want their share of your resolution-related spending. This past weekend, a national pharmacy chain dedicated two pages of their flyer to “fat burners” and other products that promise a slimmer, healthier you. But before you make any purchase, keep this in mind:

There is no supplement or “natural health product” that has been demonstrated to have any sustained, meaningful effects on weight.

Judging by the traffic patterns to this blog, it’s clear many visitors are searching for the science behind different supplements. Here’s a roundup of some of the weight loss products and strategies that have been reviewed over the past two years:

Mulberry Zuccarin – despite the claims, mulberry has no evidence supporting its use as a weight loss product.

Detox Kits – the idea of “detoxification” as a process you need to undertake is a marketing myth, without any basis in reality.

Adrenal fatigue – an alternative medicine marketing term, adrenal fatigue doesn’t exist.

Chili Burn – Two ineffective ingredients (green tea and chili peppers) combined into one product.

pH Balancing -  If you can read this, your body’s pH is just fine.  No supplements or testing needed.

Apple Cider 600 – This product has its roots in seventies folklore. Efficacy claims are implausible and unproven.

Science-Based Pharmacy could be dedicated solely to weight loss products and would never run out of products to review. But here’s the good news: If you want to lose weight, there are science-based interventions you can make, and there are bloggers out there that lay out the reality of dealing with obesity.  Follow these blogs, like I do, for credible information:

Dr. Arya Sharma’s blog – Dr. Sharma is Professor of Medicine & Chair for Cardiovascular Obesity Research and Management at the University of Alberta. He is also the Scientific Director of the Canadian Obesity Network. Dr. Sharma blogs about a wide variety of obesity-related topics. I especially appreciate his explanations of the mechanisms and root causes of obesity, as well as his critical appraisals of the latest research findings.

Weighty Matters – Dr. Yoni Freedhoff is a family physician and founder of founder of Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Institute. Dr. Freedhoff doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to sorting out the science from the fiction of obesity management.  I particularly enjoy his perspective on policies related to nutrition, as well his skeptical appraisal of the different food industry players.

Obesity Panacea – Obesity researchers Travis Saunders and Peter Janiszewski blog about popular weight loss products, and also cover obesity, nutrition and physical activity.

Other obesity and nutrition blogs I recommend include author Marion Nestle’s Food Politics, and of course, Science-Based Medicine which does cover the occasional obesity and nutrition-related topic.

Am I missing other credible nutrition and obesity-related bloggers? Let me know your recommendations.

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2 Responses to “Resolving to Lose Weight?”

  1. And another great read that addresses the cognitive and behavioural aspects of eating and losing weight: The Beck Diet Solution by Judith Beck (published by Oxmoor House: Alabama, 2007).



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