Meantime, the huge profits to be made from these weight loss products means they can be supported by expensive advertising campaigns to increase consumer acceptance, making regulation and control even more of an uphill struggle.
Appetite suppressants include amphetamine-like stimulants such as ephedra, or pills to increase serotonin or norepinephrine levels in the brain. The trouble starts when users do not follow the manufacturer's instructions.
They fight kicking and screaming, insisting that they CAN and they MUST lose it faster.
Then you have these TV shows that encourage the masses that rapid, crash weight loss is okay.
Indeed, some obesity experts claim that medical interventions like drugs and surgery are almost by definition doomed to failure, for the simple reason that they take control and responsibility away from patients.
With 32% fat, a 260 pounder has 83.2 pounds of body fat and 176.8 pounds of lean mass. It's very common to lose 4 - 5 pounds in the first week on nearly any diet and exercise program and sometimes even more on low carb diets.
My own forum for instance includes a large number of former diet pill users who are now enjoying their food and losing significant amounts of weight in the process.
That's the estimated amount of profit a successful weight loss drug can expect to make. But evidence accumulated in clinical trials suggests that the effectiveness of these obesity drugs is less than impressive.
It may be OK to lose slightly more than two pounds per week if you have a lot of weight to lose because the rate of weight loss tends to be relative to your total starting body weight.
However, you must become aware of some serious problems that can occur if you try to force it and lose weight too quickly. The faster you lose weight, the more muscle you will lose with the fat, and that can really mess up your metabolism.
After all, even bariatric surgery is no guarantee of long term weight loss unless patients comply with the necessary post-operative dietary regimen. Millions of consumers with less than 40 pounds to lose take non-prescription pills to burn off body fat or increase their rate of weight loss.