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7 Dangers of Diet Pills7 Dangers of Diet Pills


Dangers of Diet Pills

Do you think you need a diet pill to lose weight? Here are seven reasons the dangers of diet pills far outweigh the benefit of any potential weight loss.

No FDA oversight

Dietary supplements do not require approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With so many companies and products, it is easy for unsafe ingredients to find their way into popular diet pills, going unnoticed until adverse reactions are reported to the FDA.

Increased risk for heart attacks and strokes

Stimulants are the main ingredient in many diet pills, and they have been found to increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes. Often these stimulants are prescription-level drugs that have been banned from the market, but they illegally make their way back into these pills due to poor regulation of dietary supplements.


Diet pills often contain amphetamines, anti-anxiety drugs, and antidepressants. Not only is this a dangerous mix, but these drugs are also highly addictive.

Multiple side effects.

Some diet pills contain fat blockers that decrease nutrient absorption and cause stomach upset. Other reported side effects of diet pills include constipation, headaches, and mood swings.

False claims

In a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an analysis of 127 dietary supplements (including weight loss pills) found that 20 percent made illegal claims on the labels stating that the product cured or treated disease.


Many diet pills are simply a combination of caffeine and other diuretics, which cause water loss. Initially, this results in a lower number on the scale, but this is not true fat loss and the water weight will return. Additionally, extreme water loss due to diet pills can cause dangerous dehydration.

No change in habits

Long-term weight loss requires a change in your eating and exercise habits to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Taking a pill as a quick fix does not encourage you to gain a better understanding of how foods and exercise affect your weight. You are less likely to check food labels, record your food intake, and fit in your exercise if you think a pill is going to do the work for you. Taking pills forever is not sustainable and once you stop, you'll be back to your poor habits and initial weight.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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