Qsymia And Belviq Cure The Obesity Epidemic

Americans love a quick fix, and the pharmaceutical industry has obliged with products to lose our weight for us. Two new weight loss drugs have hit the market in spite of safety concerns: Qsymia and Belviq. The FDA had rejected both in 2010 but approved them last month with the condition that their manufacturers conduct follow-up safety studies. The approval of drugs with such serious side effects as heart problems and birth defects can be considered an emergency response to an obesity crisis that is killing more people than these drugs ever will.

Obesity: The New Normal

In spite of our multi-million dollar weight loss industry, over one third of Americans are obese. Obesity is more than carrying a little extra weight; it means that your body is composed of at least 30% fat, which for humans is the physiological equivalent of red alert. The incidence of illnesses such as heart disease, depression and diabetes skyrockets in the obese, and there is a direct link between excess body fat and some kinds of cancer. An estimated 300,000 Americans die each year from preventable obesity-related deaths.

Another 34% of Americans are classified as overweight. Combined with the number of obese people, this means that a whopping 70% of the population is carrying enough extra fat to harm health.

Managing your weight may seem like a private matter, but the entire nation pays the bill. The American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that we spend an estimated $147 billion per year, or 9% of annual health costs, on treating conditions stemming from obesity. The Journal predicts that we will be 33% more obese and 130% more severely obese over the next 20 years. The resulting rise in healthcare costs would be in the hundreds of billions.

A Treadmill In A Pill

Qsymia And Belviq pill

Healthcare experts have moved from viewing obesity as a personal choice to seeing it as a disorder that spawns other health problems. This shift may have spurred the FDA to approve the recent pharmaceutical treatments. Belviq, from Arena Pharmaceuticals, works by activating select serotonin receptors. Serotonin, the neurotransmitter that boosts mood, also aids weight loss. Qsymia, from Vivus Pharmaceuticals, contains two drugs that suppress appetite and promote calorie burning, in part by raising levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine.

Based on clinical trials, people might expect to lose up to 10% of their body weight within two years. The drugs are considered effective only if the person also adopts a healthier lifestyle that includes diet and exercise. However, both Belviq and Qsymia will be prescribed as maintenance drugs that people take indefinitely. Patients will be committing to dependence on a substance that will permanently alter their brain chemistry, but for some, the addiction will save their lives.

Containing The Epidemic

Are the risks of chemical dependency and side effects worth the benefit of losing perhaps 10 pounds per every 100 of body weight? Many other countries have made fitness part of their public health policy with such tactics as taxing junk food and rating healthiness on food labels. Efforts to tax so-called bad foods haven’t succeeded here, although package labeling has become more informative. However, Americans don’t seem deterred by the poor nutrition and large portions that the labels spell out for them.

We have a cultural mindset that eating is a hobby and our excesses should have a rewind button. According to Business Week, Americans spend $140 billion per year on weight loss solutions, and yet we’re getting fatter. Obesity is increasing fastest among children and may make this generation the first to have a shorter lifespan than their parents.

The issue isn’t a lack of public health information but a reluctance to walk the walk. Tackling obesity requires a holistic approach with responsibility shared between the individual and society. When public schools serve children junk food for lunch on the taxpayers’ dime, then public policy is involved. When new communities are built without sidewalks, then city planning is involved.

The choice isn’t between diet drugs and a healthy lifestyle but between behaviors. As long as taxpayers ignore the status quo in favor of a quick fix, many people will leave responsibility for their own weight to the pharmacy.

About Blog Owner

I am Atanu Majumdar, owner of the blog obesitytips4u.com. HowToReduceObesity covers articles on various obesity, Weight loss, Fitness, Diet topics. If you like This post, you can follow howtoreduceobesity on Twitter or On Facebook Or On Google PlusI am Atanu Majumdar, owner of the blog healthadvice4life.com. Healthadvice4life covers articles on various Health and wellness topics. If you like This post, you can follow healthadvice4life on Twitter or On Facebook Or On Google Plus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *