While we’re weary to promote any kind of ‘quick fix’ weight loss pill, the “Take Five to Live Light” campaign is something we’re a little more willing to get behind.
The campaign is part of a study that’s investigating a new weight loss drug called Contrave, which has been in development for the last several years.
Contrave is a combination of two medications – naltrexone and bupropion – which have long-been prescribed to patients to aid weight loss. While the two haven’t been found dangerous on their own, the study is seeking to confirm that pairing the two won’t have any adverse affects on patients.
Steven R. Smith, M.D., scientific director of the Florida Hospital, believes that most people can’t achieve long term weight loss through diet and exercise alone, saying “the Light Study is an important clinical research study evaluating the cardiovascular health outcomes of Contrave, which is designed to reduce appetite, increase metabolism, and control cravings and overeating behaviors.”
As a way to promote the study – which is being co-sponsored by Orexigen Therapeutics and the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) – the OAC has developed the “Take Five to Live Light” campaign to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic, the need for new and diverse treatment options, and the benefits of even minimal weight reduction. Practically speaking, it encourages obese individuals to take five minutes to learn how losing just five percent of their weight can benefit their cardiovascular health.
OAC president and CEO, Joe Nadglowski, believes Contrave could be an important drug in the fight against obesity, saying it’s a “serious medication for a serious problem.” When asked what he thought about ‘quick fix’ diet pills, Nadglowski said there’s no place for them on the market and that patients should seek out modest weight loss only when done in conjunction with lifestyle changes, such as a diet and exercise program.
While the “Take Five” campaign encourages people to lose just five percent of their weight to improve their health, Nadglowski says it should be viewed as a starting point that precedes further weight loss.
As for what inspired the campaign, Nadglowski says there needs to be a push to fight the mentality that’s caused by what he calls “the Biggest Loser effect.”
“When people in the public watch these weight loss transformation shows, they see a 40-pound weight loss in a week and they think that’s realistic,” he said. “But we say that’s not achievable for most people and it doesn’t have to be drastic.” That message, says Nadglowski, isn’t shared in the obese community often enough.
What Nadglowski and the OAC view as a more effective approach to weight loss is focusing on the benefits of losing those first few pounds and then moving on from there. After all, one great health benefit of losing five percent of your weight is lowering your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
“Type 2 diabetes is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease,” said Nadglowski. “We know modest weight loss lowers incidence of diabetes, and 80-90 percent of all people get that disease because they’re overweight or obese.”
He hopes the “Take Five to Live Light” campaign will promote the idea that focusing on the small steps instead of the big picture is a wiser, more sustainable approach to getting healthy.
Those interested in participating in the Light Study should visit the Light Study website to see if they quality. To be eligible for the study, you must be a man over the age of 45 or a woman over the age of 50, and you must be overweight or obese (have a 27 BMI and above). Visit the website for more information.
While we don’t necessarily promote the weight loss drug Contrave, we do believe the “Take Five to Live Light” campaign’s message is an important one to share as natural weight loss at a safe pace (1-2 pounds per week) is a great approach to achieving better health.