New Study Finds 1 in 10 Teens Globally Use Risky Weight Loss Products
A recent study published in JAMA Network Open has shed light on the alarming rate at which teenagers are using laxatives and other risky weight loss products. According to the study, almost 1 in 10 teens worldwide have turned to these products in their quest for a slimmer figure.
The research, which included a systematic review of 90 studies with over 600,000 participants aged 18 and under, found that diet pills, laxatives, and diuretics were the most commonly used non-prescription weight loss products among adolescents. Interestingly, girls were significantly more likely than boys to seek out these products, with almost 1 in 10 girls using them in the past year.
The consequences of using non-prescription weight loss products can be severe. The study revealed that such products can lead to immediate and long-term health risks, including cardiac issues, increased body weight, eating disorders, low self-esteem, depression, and substance abuse. These findings highlight the urgent need for evidence-based, medical treatments for obesity in order to prevent young people from resorting to potentially harmful options.
The authors of the study have called for increased regulation of non-prescription weight loss products, particularly when it comes to youth. They point to New York’s ban on the sale of diet and fitness supplements to minors, as well as the UK’s ban on the sale of stimulant laxatives to minors in retail settings, as examples to be followed.
Furthermore, the study emphasized the need for more research in regions such as Africa, South America, and the Middle East. Understanding the impact of non-prescription weight loss products on youth in these areas could help develop targeted interventions and preventive measures.
As the use of these products continues to rise among teenagers globally, it is crucial for policymakers, healthcare professionals, and parents to take action. By implementing stricter regulations and providing evidence-based treatments, we can protect our youth from the dangerous consequences of risky weight loss practices.