Meta-Analysis: Pharmacologic Treatment of Obesity

Speaking of less-than-preferred methods of losing weight…There is much debate about whether these drugs are actually even better than placebo, but lets say they are.  Taking sibutrimine alone, the additional weight lost in a year over placebo was just shy of 10 pounds.  The cost?  Probably close to $1000.  That’s about $100/per pound.  Not to mention any costs associated with physician visits and costs associated with any interventions needed to deal with any serious adverse effects that occur.  10 pounds in a year.

On a strickly calories in/calories out model of weight loss, that could be achieved by cutting caloric intake by 57 calories per day.  That’s like one less Snickers bar per WEEK.  Why anyone would even consider these drugs is beyond me.  They have side effects that, in some cases have been lethal, the cost ain’t exactly cheap, and they don’t teach anything about fixing the real problem which is lifestyle.  Also, not surprisingly, any studies of these pharmaceutical approaches to weight loss focus on WEIGHT–not body composition.  I would put some money on the fact that a large chunk of weight loss is coming out of the muscle mass.

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James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.