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Sara Bellum

You only need to stand in a supermarket checkout line to realize our society is obsessed with how people look. Magazine headlines scream, “Guess Who!” next to a picture of a flabby stomach. Or they praise “So-and-So’s Awesome Post-Baby Body!”

Both girls and guys tell themselves that they need to be thinner or bulk up. The dangers and repercussions of steroid use are well known thanks to baseball and cycling scandals. Possibly less well known are the dangers of taking diet pills to lose weight.

Many diet pills are sold as “dietary supplements.” That means that these pills don’t have to meet the same strict standards—required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—as medications do.

So you might not know exactly how the ingredients in diet pills will affect your body. Some common diet pills contain combinations of different drugs, like both stimulants and depressants, and can really mess with your metabolism and even your heart. In addition, some of them carry mental health side effects, like depression or even thoughts of suicide.

In our supersized Nation, many people do need to drop a few pounds—safely, by cutting out excess fat and sugar and replacing them with fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean protein. If you think you need to lose weight and aren’t sure how to start, talk to a nurse or doctor.

Tell us: Do pictures of thin or muscular celebrities affect your body image? What’s your favorite healthy way to stay fit?

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


That's just Hollywood not everyone
That's just Hollywood not everyone
Seriouslky, who has so low self esteem that they are actually influenced into mass weight loss due to a few magazines
I think that you should be happy with your body, and try to loose weight the natural way. People have been loosing weight for thousands of years without these pills, and I think that we can get by without them
Think about healthy and you will get the bonus, slim body. :)
For some people it's not that easy. Because like my mom and my aunts, they are all overwieght due to thyroid problems. I know a couple people who are depressed and because of that they can't lose weight.
get thin by going to the gym and have fun :)