Weight loss in the US is a big business; in fact, it is huge, bringing in at least $30 billion annually from the sale of all kinds of books, DVDs, supplements and pills.
The first pill approved for over-the-counter sales in America, which goes under the name Alli is proving to be not quite the wonder drug many users thought it would be.
The truth is that Alli, although helpful does not eliminate the need for healthy eating and some kind of exercise regime.
The Food and Drug Administration believes that many users of Alli and other weight loss drugs such as prescription-only Xenical are being abused by people attempting to take shortcuts to weight loss.
Drugs like these work by helping your body to avoid absorbing the fats found in many foods. But the FDA is now warning that the fat does not simply disappear from the body and must be excreted in the stools of users.
The FDA believes that the side effects of these drugs, such as constant diarrhea, incontinence, and considerable flatulence, far outweigh their benefits. Although the FDA does recognize that these two related drugs can have their uses, overweight people seem reluctant to accept that these are not a replacement for diet and exercise they are an additional tool.