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    Diet aids-the benefits and risks

    Weight loss produces have become a popular diet aid in the past few decades, as more and more women, and even men, try to do something about being overweight or obese.
    One six in ten Americans is now overweight, and that trend is being reflected all over the globe. Statistics also suggest that that figure is actually increasing every year, not decreasing, despite all of the diet programs and options available on the market.
    Many people desperate to lose weight will in some cases decide to resort to weight loss surgery, or prescription drugs for weight loss. Both of these strategies come with a fair number of risks and unpleasant side effects. They are also expensive and not always covered under a person's health insurance plan.
    Since the two main prescription weight loss drugs, Xenical and Meridia, carry a risk of serious side effects many people have turned to over the counter weight loss drugs, or even herbal weight loss drugs, thinking them to be more natural and safe.
    However, everything you consume has the possible risk of side effects and allergic reactions, even naturally occurring substances.
    Over the counter remedies tend to be crammed with caffeine, making you feel less hungry, but also making you feel more on edge and nervous. In addition, many people will suffer from sleeplessness as a result. Since they rarely do anything to regulate their eating habits or add activity to their daily routine, these diet aids do nothing to address why they became overweight in the first place.
    The importance of sleep to get a good night's rest and stay healthy and able to function is obvious to most of us, but sleep has been linked recently too with less stress and more successful weight loss. Some of these diet drugs cause weight gain, if people are tempted to eat more thinking that their diet will help them lose weight easily.
    Moreover, once people stop taking these weight loss products, if they have not adopted healthier diet and fitness habits, any weight they might have lost is bound to creep back on. In some cases they night even gain more than they already lost.
    Another danger of over the counter diet aids is that they are not as regulated by the American Food and Drug Administration because they are not a food, and not a drug. This seems an odd way to look at something you put in your mouth and swallow. However, no detailed assessments are made as to their safety or claims that they are able to aid in effective weight loss. They can often be expensive, with no prove results.
    As for so-called all natural diet drugs, many of them do indeed have natural elements in them, such as hoodia, acai berry, or green tea. The trouble is that few if any studies have been done that support the claims of these diet drugs.
    In addition, we have no idea what an effective dose would be for any of these natural diet drugs. Even if we did, there is no way of knowing how much we are getting in each tablet. A recent survey of herbal medicines discovered that in over 70% of the supplements investigated, the contents were less than promised on the label. In 6% of cases, the contents were greater, which can be equally if not more dangerous in some situations.
    Ingredients like green tea have become popular recently due to their disease fighting properties, but that is no guarantee that it can help people lose weight. However, it does have caffeine in it, so in essence it is working like many other over the counter diet drugs to help curb your appetite, but can also lead to the jitters and sleeplessness. Since so many products on the market now contain green tea, everything from drinks to juices to diet bars and other diet aids, it is possible that many people can "overdose" on these diet supplements if they are not careful.
    In conclusion, while it is clear to see why diet drugs are popular, offering help as you try to eat right and lose weight, they are no substitute for a calorie controlled diet and moderate level of physical activity each day.
    Many diet drugs carry potential side effects which range from unpleasant to dangerous. Above all, they fail to address the reasons why people gain weight in the first place.
    Finally, they are expensive, in many cases more expensive than a nutritious shopping basket full of groceries. Therefore, when it comes to diet drugs, buyer beware.

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