We made it to the end of the week! Pats on the back to everyone. Before you head for the door this weekend, check out some headliners from DIR and our friends. Plus, we have sweet fruit recipes for you to try to stay refreshed all weekend.
Candy-Free Potty Training Should be the Norm, Not the Exception
Rewarding children for good behavior with sweets can lead to obesity and addiction to sugar. Our managing editor potty trained her daughter with words of encouragement and love. Testimony from other parents prove rewarding without sugar shouldn’t be a common practice in households.
6 Weeks to OMG Strikes Controversy with its Unlikely Health Advice
British author Venice A. Fulton promises readers will lose up to 20 pounds in six weeks and get skinnier than all their friends. Fulton’s health advice raises eye brows, but he stands behind the claims because they are backed by clinical research. Take a read and see why the author is stirring the health controversy kettle.
Solving Obesity Requires More Than a Lorcaserin Prescription
On June 27 the pharmaceutical industry game was changed with the approval of Lorcaserin. Lorcaserin is a new prescription drug used to treat obesity. This isn’t a get skinny fast pill, and thinking a pill will solve the obesity rate is questionable. Our resident pharmacist Dr. Sarah G. Khan weighs in.
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Lorcaserin was approved by the FDA on June 27 and will be sold as the brand name Belviq. Produced by Arena Pharmaceuticals out of San Diego, California, it is indicated for the treatment of obesity in addition to a reduced-calorie diet and exercise. Upon that approval news, I was quoted in an article on SheKnows.com saying “This is a sad attempt by the FDA to thwart the obesity epidemic,” and I stand by my comment.
I also mentioned in that statement that we need a plan to solve the problem, so here goes.
A Vision for Ending Obesity
I just read this fantastic book by Dr. Francine Kaufman called Diabesity: The obesity-diabetes epidemic that threatens America– and what we must do to stop it. This women is an inspiration to females in the medical profession like myself and to diabetics all over the world. She’s specializes in pediatric endocrinology, which is the treatment of children with hormone conditions, particularly diabetes. What she’s found in her years of practice is a growing trend of youth developing type 2 diabetes. This was once previously called adult onset diabetes, but this is now not the case. The vast over-consumption of food beyond what our bodies actually need to function and the sedentary lifestyles that we now lead has caused our children to develop this devastating illness. I feel this is why the FDA is approving diet drugs when initially they were rejected due to side effect concerns.
The cost of medical care for diabetics is astronomical and with people developing it at earlier ages this will only exacerbate the problem. Part of the Affordable Health Care Act is a $13 billion fund with a committee developed to focus on prevention of diseases. This is where medical practice needs to move toward prevention and away from treatment.
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There are mixed reviews about the recent approval of lorcaserin (Belviq) and its new availability as a prescription weight loss drug. Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States and across the world and the maker of lorcaserin, Arena Pharmaceuticals, will market this drug as a supplement to drug and exercise to help patients reach their weight loss goals faster. Every drug has side effects and I felt it was important to look closer at some of the possible reactions.
Lorcaserin activates the serotonin 2C receptor which helps you eat less and feel full sooner. Previous weight loss drugs activated the 2B receptor and caused damage to heart valves. Cardiovascular health will be monitored once this hits the market to ensure no damage to the heart valves occur, as there were concerns about this in trials. In October 2010, lorcaserin was rejected by the FDA due to a cancer signal being detected. It caused mammary tumors in rats, which the makers believe is related to the animal themselves and should not have the same effect in human subjects (although prolactin levels can become increased in humans leading to breast development in men and lactation in women).
Multiple studies had patients with and without diabetes treated long term for one to two years with nearly 8,000 patients participating. Those who were randomized with lorcaserin along with diet and exercise counseling lost 3 to to 3.7 percent more weight. The drug should be discontinued if the patient does not lose at least five percent of their body weight in the first twelve weeks.
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Fourth of July is right around the corner and we are all looking forward to having that one day off. But, before you sprint for the weekend, get a healthy dose of news from DIR and our friends. Plus, we have recipes to help you celebrate Fourth of July!
News from DietsInReview.com this week
Courtney’s Summer Challenge Kicks Off 10 Weeks of Fitness and Fun
Our Biggest Loser correspondent Courtney Crozier wants people to challenge themselves mentally and physically. The 10 week challenge will make participants think differently about food, fitness, and themselves. Plus, there are prize giveaways from Truvia® natural sweetener!
Win 2 Free Entries to The Color Run
Enter to win two free entries to The Color Run in a city of your choice*! DIR will choose a winner on July 6, 2012. Hurry and enter to win tickets to experience The Color Run!
Diet Pill Belviq Approved; First New Weight Loss Drug in 13 Years
The FDA approved new weight loss drug Lorcaserin. But is this going to help overweight Americans lose weight and get healthy?
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It promises to help patients lose five-to-ten percent of their weight (according to clinical trials) when combined with diet and exercise. But is this what America’s overweight patients really need?
Lorcaserin, the drug name for the prescription diet pill Belviq, was approved by the FDA today, making it the first weight loss drug to receive such approval since Orlistat (Alli) in 1999. This comes just weeks ahead of what is anticipated to be an FDA approval for Qnexa, another weight loss drug.
“In two clinical trials, Lorcaserin helped patients lose 5.8 percent of their body weight after a year. That’s about ten pounds for a 180 pound person. Big deal,” said our resident dietitian Mary Hartley, RD.
The drug works by controlling the appetite by making the brain think its fuller sooner. It’s fared well in clinical trials, and will have to undergo six more studies after its in market to ensure long-term cardiovascular health and to determine Belviq’s risk factor for heart attack and stroke. This makes the in-market patients unassuming guinea pigs, according to Hartley, and that isn’t right.
“The advisory committee decided that the benefits of the drug outweighed the risks heart value problems, but the drug manufacturer was made to conduct post-marketing studies to assess long-term cardiac events such as heart attack and stroke. That makes the patient a guinea pig. No thanks.”
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