FDA advisory committee supports weight-loss pill
December 8th, 2010
10:59 AM ET

FDA advisory committee supports weight-loss pill

An FDA advisory committee late Tuesday recommended approval of Contrave,  the first anti-obesity drug to get such an OK this year.  Two other weight-loss pills, Qnexa and lorcaserin, have been rejected.

Contrave would be used by overweight and obese patients whose initial body mass index is greater than 30 or 27 and greater with one or more health risk factors such as diabetes or hypertension.

Personalized tips for managing diabetes: Take this test

The commitee's vote was 13-7. The FDA has until January 31, 2011, to grant final approval.

In the clinical trials, subjects who took the drug lost at least 5 percent of their body weight.  But subjects had a small increase in blood pressure and pulse rate compared with the placebo group.  The advisory committee raised questions about the drug’s effect on cardiovascular health as the “hypertension-related adverse events was significantly higher” in the drug group compared with placebo subjects.

The committee voted 11 to 8 that the company, Orexigen should examine the drug's risk for major adverse cardiac events.  Read more from the FDA.

Earlier this year, the FDA advisory committee rejected Qnexa, citing concerns ranging from heart issues to psychiatric side effects.  Another drug, lorcaserin was rejected after questions about the drug’s effectiveness and tumor development in rat studies.

soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Pat

    Guess this drug company had more money to pay the FDA than the other two....

    December 8, 2010 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Sickwit

    Lazy people, just start doing exercise and stop depending on weight lose pills

    December 8, 2010 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charley

      Absolutely. The only reason anyone would be fat is pure laziness. It has nothing to do with the thousands of genes that determine body type, number of fat cells, location of fat cells, type of fat cells, brain chemistry, etc. Or the genes that determine how an individual reacts to exercise, metabolism, etc. Or whether the brain gets a "full" signal from the stomach, or has an "always on" hunger switch. None of that has any effect. It's just all pure laziness.

      December 8, 2010 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
    • Susie

      Charey, Have you ever heard of Prader-Willie syndrome, or hypothyroidism? Google it before you make yourself look like a reall ass. Ohh too late!

      December 8, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
    • AmishAirline

      Susie lost her sarcasm detector. I'm also guessing that she tips the scale north of 300.

      December 8, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
    • camb1925

      @Susie- those conditions are extremely rare. Most obesity and overweight can be attributed to what is being put into your body and how much your body is moving. People need to stop making excuses and do the work it takes to lose the weight and keep it off.

      December 8, 2010 at 15:46 | Report abuse |
    • zombie671

      But but but...I love being lazy, I love my video games and pizza. And working at the local Blockbuster helps alot too.

      December 8, 2010 at 17:56 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Sure because the record shows that works long term... not. Doesn't a 98 percent failure rate of everyone that tries that tell you something? Like maybe you shouldn't be giving out bad advice?

      December 8, 2010 at 18:40 | Report abuse |
    • Big Bob

      I wonder why this country has such a high percentage of people with bad "fat genes" when compared to most other countries.

      December 8, 2010 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
    • fattothin

      My husband eats 3 times as much as i do – he is 50 pound lighter – We exercise the same – MAYBE METABOLISM has something to do with it and it is not just laziness. Seek help for your need to be critical of others and you will be happier or are you too lazy. Are you a doctor or expert – I would wager not.

      December 8, 2010 at 21:28 | Report abuse |
    • Bonnie

      Obviously, you've never had to deal with being hypothryoid. You can exercise, eat right and jump thru all the hoops in the world, but if your body doesn't want to lose weight and continuously gain, that's what it will do. Ignorance is bliss. You must be super happy.

      December 8, 2010 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
    • Snowflake

      How sad that people have to make fun of someone working hard at a video store, or go around saying "People need to lose weight! People need to exercise more!"

      Unless it is you, your spouse, or your child, mind your own biz.

      December 9, 2010 at 07:54 | Report abuse |
    • randy

      You are ignorant. I RUN 27 to 38 miles a week. I do a long run every other week (15 to 18 miles) Ever other week I also compete in a race including marathons (26.2 miles) I also watch what I eat. I have been doing this for over 8 years, yet I am still overweight.

      December 9, 2010 at 09:29 | Report abuse |
    • Fat Matt

      I just would like to say... (breath) that all of you fatty haters... (breath) can carry my... (breath) fat dead corpse out of McDonalds... (breath) in a Super Size cofin painted like a French Fry container... (breath) before I give in to your exercise fad! (cough, cough, deep breath) Great, now I'm hungry for fries!

      December 9, 2010 at 09:31 | Report abuse |
  3. AmishAirline

    No, Charley, it really is because you can't stop shoving food in your face and watching TV. Partial blame can go to the corn industry as well. Funny how the GOP complains about "corporate welfare" and "bailouts", when the biggest and most corrupt corporate welfare program in the world is the very one they support 100%. Want a good read on it? Check out Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma".

    In the meantime, we better start dropping this stuff into the water, like we did with flouride.

    December 8, 2010 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. wrxaddict

    what this article does not mention is that just because the FDA advisory committee recommends approval, doesn't mean it will get approved. Though the FDA often goes with what the advisory committee suggests, it doesn't always, and these questionable side effects could put the drug back into clinical trials.

    December 8, 2010 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. yanni

    "and though she's not really ill; it's that little yellow pill; no more running for the shelter of her mother's little helper; helps her through her busy day" We as a society are too dependent on pills for everything. Soon there is going to be an epidemic that wipes out thousands if not millions due to the current abuse of antibiotics.

    December 8, 2010 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. megin

    @CAMB1925 For one hypothyrodism is not extremly rare. It affects about 10% of americians. Is it an excuse for being obese no but it does play a huge part in it yes. Americia's obesity rate is slowly on the rise and the fact that we are a fast food nation plays a big part of that. There is a lot of genteic condtions that play a small part in obesity. These can be off set by excersise and diet. But, if from a young age you are not taught how to excersie and eat healthy it is hard to adjust you brain to do it as an adult.

    December 8, 2010 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JC

      Hypothyroidism does not play a large role in our current obesity epidemic. Many people may be effected by it, but it is easily treated and it causes many symptoms that are more concerning than weight gain, which lead people to doctors, diagnosis, and resolution via synthroid. Of the 10% you throw out there a vast majority are either treated or soon to be treated.

      And yes, genetics, the ag industry, our cars and our computers all lead to the epidemic. Unfortunately, for most of us these things are not modifyable. What we do have control over is ourselves, what and how much we eat...and how much energy (calories) we expend. Life isnt fair, but there isnt some magic scape goat that doesnt remove the fact that if you are overweight you are at high risk for morbidity and mortality and you need to change the way you live to continue to live a fulfilling life.

      December 8, 2010 at 19:59 | Report abuse |
    • john

      Wow 10% of what 50 billion people thats a lot. i work in the medical field and draw the blood on these overweight patients I only see high cholesterol and high sugar. Blaming your parents the fast food restaurants stress life don't cut it. Use some self control discipline and make health and fitness the most important thing in your life. No late night eating, numerous small healthy meals and exercise 4 times a week will work wonders. You can still eat junk a couple times a month and still lose weight. What's the phrase, "Only in moderation"!!!

      December 8, 2010 at 20:48 | Report abuse |
  7. Sandi

    I absolutely agree with yanni. It is so frustrating to watch pill commercials and see that there is a "quick fix" for every tiny little thing that's wrong with a person. Most of the time taking a pill is not the best option to fix something. It frustrates the hell out of me when people say they "need to lose weight" but they try for a day and give up. Losing weight is a lifestyle change and there is no "quick fix" for it. After working on losing weight for three years and struggling with it sometimes, I feel like I have accomplished a lot more and feel proud that I did this for myself without the help of a pill.

    And what happens when a person takes the pill and loses weight and stops taking it? does the weight stay off? Does being on this pill teach a person how to eat right and exercise? In my opinion, this is the worst possible thing the FDA can put on the drug market.

    December 8, 2010 at 16:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kate

      Actually diet medications are far more effective than just 'eating right and excercising'.

      Sorry to burst your bubble.

      December 8, 2010 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • Sandi

      They make you lose weight faster? Does that make it more effective? They mess up natural metabolisms because you are eating less calories, which sounds great but your body needs calories. In the article it says "subjects had a small increase in blood pressure and pulse rate compared with the placebo group." Does that sound more effective to you. Losing weight faster doesn't mean it is more effective. It's just another "quick fix" like I said before.

      December 9, 2010 at 09:04 | Report abuse |
  8. Flashidea

    Another example of how big pharma will try to develop anything that has huge income potential. Can you imagine the sales for an orgasm enhancer? Look at viagra sales and it's ilk. To be fair though, most people would love having a pill help with the hard work of self-discipline.

    December 8, 2010 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Greasy Americans

      Agree 100%. Many people want the easy way out of everything. They don't know the value of hard work and dont appreciate it. Of course there are some who are fat from pills and conditions that cannot be helped. Chronic pain is a big one. I deal with that and when I exersize it HURTS me MORE and it does nothing for my pain. But I do it anyways. But there are definitely those who need to have their lips stapled shut.

      December 8, 2010 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
    • wbaldwin

      that's the rub, self-discipline is a mental health issue. people over eat because of much more than simple hunger. I think the pill's focus should be on both fronts, one to help with the mental side for anyone that cannot control themselves or who may have binging urges etc. and the other to improve their physical health. However i only feel that prescribing such a pill should only be after physical and mental therapy have been exhausted.

      People seem to be so insensitive to others problems, it's sad. We can help our neighbors out and encourage them instead of insulting them.

      December 8, 2010 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      "To be fair though, most people would love having a pill help with the hard work of self-discipline."

      It's called Adderall. 😉

      December 8, 2010 at 23:08 | Report abuse |
  9. FAT

    Of course they are going to approve this. 99% of American's are walruses so this is a real big money maker for the drug industry. They all scratch each other's backs you know. Poison our food, cause illness, create a pill, make $$$. They win. You lose.

    December 8, 2010 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. ***


    December 8, 2010 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Brandy

    Every time I read about another diet pill that the FDA "might or might not" approve, I think back on an episode of Sliders I once saw, where people ended up eating one another because they couldn't get enough fat, or some such.

    Either way: It'll probably go on the market for a year or two. Then it'll be yanked because people will be suffering cardiac arrest, dangerously high blood pressure, seizures, blood clots: you name it.

    And the FDA will dodge the bullet because the fault is all "The Big Pharma". They'll go on to approve some other drug that does the same thing, has the same effects....

    Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

    December 8, 2010 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Steve-O

    5% weight loss.............I can do more than that by taking a dumparoo. Maybe I should bottle that and present it to the FDA for apporval.

    December 8, 2010 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Captain Obvious

      Thank you Steve O, somebody else that has done the math! Let's say a 200 lb (just for a round number) and loses 5% of body weight on this pill. That's only 5 pounds. You will loose the same by increasing water intake, (let's face it, too many people don't drink enough) and taking Aqua-band you get from the local drugstore. 5% of body weight is nothing to brag about. Hormones will cause my body weight to fluctuate in a day more than that.

      December 8, 2010 at 20:22 | Report abuse |
    • DMan

      Hey Captain, do the math again. 5% of 200 is 10 lbs.

      December 8, 2010 at 20:59 | Report abuse |
    • ghost

      Captain Obvious, please go back to school before doing any more math.

      December 8, 2010 at 21:35 | Report abuse |
    • Willow

      I lost 10% of my body weight by doing Weight Watchers. Perhaps they know more than the government.

      December 9, 2010 at 08:01 | Report abuse |
  13. Carl

    Yes there are conditions that make weight loss very difficult. But that doesn't explain why the obesity rate has skyrocketed. Some states like Mississippi have a disproportionate number of obese. Is there some genetic mutation in the deep south (no jokes)? No, its lifestyle. And the American lifestyle is bigger and bigger portions and less exercise. I was stationed in Europe for 3 years and their portion sizes are so much smaller and they walk everywhere. Everyone plays the blame game or wants the quick fix

    December 8, 2010 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kate

      Did you know that lab animals also are getting fatter – and their diets are fixed. Tell you something?

      December 8, 2010 at 18:39 | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Where is this study on the fat lab animals??

      December 8, 2010 at 19:20 | Report abuse |
    • guest

      Yes Kate it does...it tells me that you like to read the Enquirer while you are waiting on line to get your "lard fix" for the day and that you like to use the search engine called " Factless Bits of Info That Suit My Purpose" .

      December 8, 2010 at 20:49 | Report abuse |
  14. Lola

    In a way this is just another version of Qnexa, in that they've taken a mood disorder drug that causes weight loss as a side effect (Bupropion, once known as Wellbutrin), and paired it with an anti-adiction drug (naltrexone, an opioid receptor drug). For Qnexa, the "weight-loss-as-a-side-effect drug' was Topamax (prescribed for epilepsy and migraine), which was paired with the stimulant phentermine. Off-label use of drugs is common in mainstream medicine, and is often effective. But how can it be okay to prescribe powerful drugs FOR the side effects they cause? Antidepressants come with a long list of side effects, some of them pretty nasty. They can become life-long prescriptions, as many of them cause severe withdrawal symptoms. This new drug is like shooting a fly with a shotgun. I think it's unethical and dangerous.

    December 8, 2010 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Captain Obvious

      Great point, Lola! Zonisamide, (Zonegran) causes the same effect like Topamax. I also had the same effect with Trileptal. Zonisamide can cause kidney stones easily and Trileptal causes major sodium deficiency. I had cravings so bad, I had to hide the bar and laundry soaps to keep from eating them. Of course there were other side effects but I wouldn't trade being off those drugs for weight loss for ANYTHING in the world. No thanks! I will suffer and force myself to eat small salads with no dressing, veggies, and fruit for two of three meals and watching talk shows while on the treadmill.

      December 8, 2010 at 20:29 | Report abuse |
    • guest

      Get your facts straight ..... Bupropion is the generic for Wellbutrin ( not formally called ). It is a antidepressant. Buprenorphine is a narcotic that is mixed with naloxone( an opioid recept. blocker) called Suboxone that is is used for treatment of narcotic dependency. Now go on to make your point!

      December 8, 2010 at 23:18 | Report abuse |
    • Lola

      Pretty much what I said, "guest," now go take your meds and see if they improve your manners. Something should.

      December 9, 2010 at 00:10 | Report abuse |
  15. Matt

    Almost always the FDA follows the advice of the panel. I think they will do that in this case too. But they will be watching them closely in the post approval study they have to do, any signs of trouble with blood pressure and heart rate and expect trouble. The other drugs weight loss drugs had actually more issues as mentioned in this article and that is why they where not approved and are also likely not to get approved in the foreseeable future. Although this drug might increase blood pressure or heart rate, doing nothing and staying obese (morbid obese people have a hard time exercising) will be even more bad for the health.

    December 8, 2010 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. TpaDragonfly

    There is already a drug on the market that works extremely well. It's called Phentermine. I am on a weight loss program now, working with my DR. It helps with the cravings. It still requires hard work and a real desire to lose weight but it really helps to transition from crappy eating habits to one that is more healthy. I know it's not a magic pill and I am changing my eating and exercise routine. I look at food now as nourishment and fuel.

    December 8, 2010 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. bobby

    these people need to take a good long look at crossfit.com

    December 8, 2010 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. mkass

    This drug is actually a psychiatric drug in disguise. So now we can turn people who are overweight into overweight addicts of a profitable drug. When will the "advisors" of this agency get a clue: it's the food people! This drug seeks to take advantage of a fact that Dr. Mark Hyman eloquently pointed out, "One third of our economy thrives on making people sick and fat." http://organicconnectmag.com/wp/2010/10/obesity-in-america-are-factory-farms-big-pharma-and-big-food-to-blame/

    December 8, 2010 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Kevin

    In related news the FDA has rejected the concept of eating less food as a weight loss measure, they cite the lack of profit for all concerned as their decision.

    December 8, 2010 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. American X

    Yes. Genetics does play a role.
    My Mother – Father and Uncles are all overweight. Some would consider them obese. I was also headed down this path – I was getting bigger by the year. Until I got a grip and took a long hard look at my lifestyle. I stopped eating so much junk and started eating lean meats – fruits – vegetables – nuts etc… I made an effort to learn about nutrition and to exercise. I made a list of acceptable foods and continued to refine it.
    I read books and took a class at the University on Nutrition. I started exercising daily – running – swimming – biking whenever possible. I lost 40 lbs over 2 yrs ago and have not looked back. I don’t want to be fat again.
    None of my clothes fit me anymore – but that is a blessing in disguise. I want to write a book – Why America is Fat – just look around at our lifestyle – look at what people buy at the grocery store – look at what we are told is good for us. Most of it is pure junk. Either people don’t know good food from bad food – or they just don’t care. We would not have ½ the healthcare expenses – if our school system taught some basics in nutrition – exercise etc… Put down the Doughnut and the remote and get up do something – do it every day and the results will happen.

    December 8, 2010 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bud

      You don't know much about obesity, my friend. It's a far more complex issue than "put down the remote and exercise".

      December 8, 2010 at 19:51 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      I think that part of it is genuine lack of knowledge, which results in people eating and drinking things that they think are healthy, but are in fact not. For example, Gatorade. It's advertised as a sports drink in commercials with lots of super-fit people, so that means Gatorade is healthy, right? Wrong. It's colored sugar water with a ton of calories per serving. It CAN help with recovery after an intense workout, but overweight people are mostly likely not drinking it after intense workouts, but rather as an everyday beverage.

      The nationwide obesity rate is in reality a complex problem with many different causes, although people like to latch on to a single cause and place all the blame on that particular factor. The biggest players in the obesity epidemic are that the cheapest food tends to be the worst for you, convenience foods (oft used by those pressed for time... which is most everyone) also tend to be bad for you, and perhaps the most significant factor being that there are SO MANY overweight people. People whose families and friends are overweight are more likely to be overweight themselves, so environment plays a HUGE role. Among some social groups obesity is normalized, so no one ever learns a different way to live.

      December 8, 2010 at 23:17 | Report abuse |
  21. randy


    December 8, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Bud

    Some obese people are disabled, unable to exercise.

    December 8, 2010 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beth

      Which came first, the obesity, or the disability?

      December 8, 2010 at 21:18 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      Everyone can exercise. If you're so overweight that walking more than a block or two is just not possible for you, you can still climb into a pool. Pools have long been utilized in rehabilitating the injured, as well as ways for older people and people with other physical challenges to work out.

      Besides, the majority of weight loss comes from changes in diet. Diet makes you thin, exercise gives you tone and makes it easier to maintain your ideal weight. Even if a person is morbidly obese and can barely walk, they could easily lose enough weight to become mobile again just by eating lower-calorie, water-dense foods and doing some easy exercises in a sitting position. That is, presuming they don't live with an enabler who will go fetch McDonald's every time the obese person has a craving.

      December 8, 2010 at 23:25 | Report abuse |
  23. Justin

    The fact is that the obesity epidemic in the US is due to overeating, unhealthy diets, and pure laziness. You can post all you want about the minority of people with hypothyroidism or disability, but you're blind if you think a lack of personal responsibility and laziness doesn't come into play in most of the people who are overweight and would use this pill.

    December 8, 2010 at 19:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Small Successes

    I wish respondents would not be so damn mean! I fully agree that Americans need to eat better and exercise more – and I worked on this for 4 years, and saw my weight climb more than 50 pounds. I finally admitted something was wrong that was biochemical and out of my hands. I went to the doctor, found out I had joined my family ranks of diabetics, and got put on medication (not insulin....I had yet to reach that necessity). I had already been eating right. I had already been exercising regularly. I needed medication to make my body respond to carbohydrates differently. Within a year, I had lost 50 pounds, and feel better than I have in 10 years.

    December 8, 2010 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. kate

    it's always easier to blame some random issue than to take responsibility for your own actions. You don't ever hear people who work their buts off to be thin making excuse for overweight people. It's always going to be easier to pretend like it's out of your control. this website has good information about real weight loss http://www.diet-myths.com

    December 8, 2010 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Trey

    So it's funny how the FDA approves this, which is something that causes health issues but less serious than the issue it's tackling, yet rejected the e-cigarettes which fall into the same category: something with health concerns but less than the problem it is tackling.

    December 8, 2010 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. ann wilson

    Looking back at the 1950's and 1960's everyone was pretty slim, even older people. If you recall those
    days you also remember that about 80% of American's smoked too. Now most of us don't smoke,
    but most of us are fat. We seemed to have traded one oral fixation for another.

    But there is evidence that certain chemicals in our foods are disrupting the thryroid gland. This I believe is true.
    We microwave everything and the molecules of plastic get into our bodies and are known to disrupt thyroid

    December 8, 2010 at 21:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Beth

    Regarding hypothyroidism, which Susie mentions, and which camb1925 says is an "extremely rare" condition... it's actually quite common and even underdiagnosed. HOWEVER, despite what you usually read, most of the weight gain from it is relatively insignificant, and mostly fluids. It is really not a common cause of obesity. The problem is that most people in the country are overweight already, so a large portion of people with hypothyroidism are overweight (although the development of hypothyroidism has nothing to do with being overweight.) Hypothyroidism is a convenient excuse for being overweight, but it is not usually the cause of obesity. People who are regulated on medication should be able to lose weight just as easily as anyone else. I speak from personal experience as well as significant amounts of research.

    December 8, 2010 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Beth

    Also – regarding thyroid function... it is the presence of antibodies which affect the thyroid, not "plastic molecules" from microwaving food.

    December 8, 2010 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. ElisabethinCA

    Wow, didn't realize so many doctors and scientists read this blog and commented on it. Really, all these people that are commenting on this article just "know" how to cure obesity because they have all the facts can't just be everyday people. They can't be arrogant enough to think they know more than Doctor's and the scientific community...and yes, that means you too phlebotomists…. just because you draw blood doesn't mean you know anything about the science behind obesity. Are there some people that just eat too much? Absolutely. But the main population that is actually severely obese, not just overweight have more than just "stop eating" issues. Wait what am I thinking... since you all are doctors and scientists you already know that.

    December 8, 2010 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Adam

    99.99% of fat people are fat because they cannot control themselves.

    Weight loss is simple math. Burn more calories than you consume. Its pretty amazingly simple.

    December 8, 2010 at 21:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Snowflake

      it's not that simple, because people start to lose weight, then they feel hungry ALL the time, as their minds think a famine is happening, then they start to eat more, because who wants to feel hungry all the time?
      Your solution also says nothing about nutritional variety, the need to educate people on nutrition and how to cook, etc.
      Doable, yes. Simple, no way!

      Personally, when I start eating only healthy foods, everything is fine for 3 days, and then I feel like I'm STARVING, even if I eat high fiber/high healthy-fat foods, and drink a lot of water.

      Not sure what the answer is there, but it's not easy.

      December 9, 2010 at 08:06 | Report abuse |
  32. Beth

    How do people explain the sharp rise in obesity over even just the last 20 years? Why are so many people obese now when just 20 years ago, the numbers were much lower? Genes and health problems? Doubtful.

    The fact of the matter, though, is that regardless of the cause, the majority of Americans are at least overweight, and we now have a public health crisis on our hands, which is causing healthcare costs to skyrocket. The advice to eat a healthy diet and get enough exercise is not being followed. So, if people need a pill to lose weight, so be it.

    December 8, 2010 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. megin

    A captain obvious talk about doing math.... last time i checked 5% of 200lbs is 10 aparently thats not so obvious eh?

    December 8, 2010 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. ann wilson

    There is a good book out called "Hypothyroidism Type 2" The Epidemic, by Dr. Mark Starr. if you suspect
    you have hypothyroidism, you may want to read it. Apparently, it is a very complicated and complex
    problem with several triggers.

    No easy answers to this problem of obesity. We have to look at what has changed in what we are eating
    in the last 20 years or so. What are we doing now, that wasn't happening back 20 or 30 years ago?

    December 8, 2010 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beth

      I do have hypothyroidism, and I think it's an important issue, as it is underdiagnosed. It's still considered to be a post-menopausal woman's disease, when a significant number of women of child-bearing age have it. Testing for it in younger women is not routine in most places, and yet all women of child-bearing age should be tested for it, because uncontrolled hypothyroidism in a pregnant woman will almost invariably cause severe mental problems in the developing fetus, if the woman manages to carry the baby to term at all. (Hypothyroidism also gets worse in pregnancy... even those on medication for it will likely have to increase their dosage several times over the course of a pregnancy.) Even well-controlled hypothyroidism puts women at higher risk or miscarriage and it is a lesser-known cause of infertility. The standard test for it, TSH, tests a pituitary hormone, not thyroid hormones, and as such, many people with low thyroid hormone levels are told that they do not have a thyroid problem. Also, most primary care doctors do not know much about thyroid problems, beyond the fact that they can cause fatigue, weight gain, and depression. Most people don't know that it can cause muscle and joint pain, limb weakness, numbness in limbs and face, confusion, among other things. In my case, I had the latter symptoms, along with mild fatigue, and no weight gain, though my hypothyroidism was far-progressed when discovered. My symptoms were so varied that I was convinced I had multiple diseases.

      That said – it CANNOT be said to be a major factor in the obesity epidemic. Let's say 10% of Americans are hypothyroid. Well, 66% of Americans are at least overweight... so how do we explain the other 56% of overweight people? And, while 10% of Americans may be hypothyroid, not all of those people are overweight. Let's say 7/10 people with hypothyroidism are overweight. Well, not even all 7 out of 10 are overweight BECAUSE of their hypothyroidism... people can be overweight and also just happen to be hypothyroid, with no connection between the two, or with hypothyroidism only being one factor in their weight problem. Let's say 5% of Americans are overweight due to hypothyroidism. (That is probably a high estimate.) That means about 61% of Americans are overweight due to something else.

      In any case, unfortunately hypothyroidism is one of the "trendy" health issues these days. Everyone who is overweight wants to believe that they are hypothyroid, even when a full thyroid panel interpreted by an endocrinologist says otherwise. There is even a black market for thyroid medication, which people believe will make them lose weight. Oprah claims she's fat because of her hypothyroidism (which she then claims to "cure" through diet. Um, okay.) Lots of quacks make a lot of money off the "popularity" of this disease.

      December 9, 2010 at 10:39 | Report abuse |
  35. LadyVa

    Judgmental people always through WEIGHT around to deflect from their own insecurities. People who hate fat people only show FEAR that someday they could be there to. The song and dance is always the same. I can bet that if one of these 'fat haters' saw a fat girl- the immediate thought would be she is lazy YET that same girl goes to the gym daily and is trying to make better choices. We weren't all meant to be skinny as we r not all blondes with blue eyes. Get over the hate.

    December 8, 2010 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beth

      Certainly there are some fat people who go to the gym daily. But do you honestly think that MOST fat people do? Most skinny people don't, either, so I'm not knocking fat people. But your statement does not really hold up outside of a small number of cases.

      It is a shame that everyone gets lumped together, yes. But let's be honest. MOST PEOPLE do not work hard to battle their weight. And some of those people who think they do really overestimate the amount of exercise they're getting, and underestimate the amount of calories they consume.

      December 9, 2010 at 10:44 | Report abuse |
    • Lannoinnes

      I'm a 37 year old male that lost and is keeping off 93 pounds and am now within normal bmi which seems to have cured problems such as a pre-diabetic condition, joint pain, and obstructive sleep apnea. Hit the gym tons and swim every morning. Changes in eating habits were necessary to make that possible too (lean meats, fruits, whole grains, veggies, no – fatty foods, enriched carbs, or sugary items). The first few months were torture because at the start it is a far more restrictive calorie intake to facilitate weight loss (1100-1200 a day) and the ability for lean muscle to begin developing. Now I am very toned and athletic. I have seen some people who are still huge that go to the same gym and haven't lost a single pound. Seeing them eat their cream cheese bagels, cookies, and soda after their workout might be the reason....

      December 9, 2010 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
  36. LEB

    The FDA is passing a drug that reduces body weight by only 5%? The same thing can be achieved by cutting soda and Doritos out of your diet. And yet health insurance companies will cover these medications which probably cost thousands of dollars a year, while one year of gym membership can cost as little as $360 a year and prevent more health problems than these stupid pills ever could.

    December 8, 2010 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beth

      As little as $120 a year! A certain chain gym (not sure if I can mention it here) has been advertising a $10 a month program. ANYONE can afford that by cutting out unnecessary junk food.

      December 9, 2010 at 10:48 | Report abuse |
  37. Miserae

    I not only suffer from Hypothyroidism but I also have been recently diagnosed with Cushing's Disease. So I have two factors that are playing a bigger part in my weight. I have tried dieting, exercising, I eat in moderation, I eat healthy foods. I am sure some of you people talking about this drug enjoy dissing over weight people. Yes as a society, Americans are over weight, however...I am sure that there are people that are over weight, and trying as hard as I am if not harder to LOSE weight and would do anything just to lose even a few pounds. I work, I work really hard not only to lose weight but in my job as I work in the medical field. I am constantly on my feet, running around, so don't you dare tell me or anyone else who is reading these comments that they are fat because they are lazy. None of you are any expert to weight, as I am sure even you struggle with your own health whether it be weight or some thing else. So don't get all high and mighty on us, because you are no better than Joe Schmo down the street.

    December 8, 2010 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beth

      Please read what I wrote about hypothyroidism (which I also have.) I feel for you because of your Cushing's Disease, in particular. There are definitely, definitely people who are overweight due to health issues. But given that 2/3 of Americans are overweight, most people are NOT overweight due to health issues. It is unfortunate that there is such an anti-fat culture (I mean, hateful, not just one trying to eliminate obesity, which would be a good thing) because those who cannot help being overweight get lumped in with everyone. Most of the commenters here are allowing for the fact that some people have health problems which lead to obesity. But the fact of the matter is that MOST people do not.

      That being said, as I wrote in another comment, regardless of the cause of obesity, it is now a public health crisis, so if people need to use a pill to lose weight, so be it. I'm not against the pill, although it wouldn't work for everyone, and I am not sure what's so great about a pill which leads to a 5% weight loss.

      December 9, 2010 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
  38. Glenn

    Humans DO NOT need DIET PILLS! ALL they need is good nutritional guidance and they will lose weight even without exercising!!!!!!!! It's a freakin' no brainer!!! Think PRIMAL people, not PROCESSED!

    December 9, 2010 at 07:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Bob

    News Headlines:" FDA supports Fresh Fruits and Veggies to fight obesity." Maybe in a better world!

    December 9, 2010 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Get a grip

    It is amazing to me that people can sit and judge a person based on their weight. Be it judgment of laziness, no self control, no self discipline, or just not caring. Why is it that we are so well equipped to hang the fat man, but not someone else? I have battled weight my entire life. I get up and 5am most mornings and exercise just to remain a plus size woman. I am changing my diet and trying to make changes, but some of you are unbelievable. Are you going to look at the person that goes out every Friday and Saturday and tell he/she their priorities are messed up? Are you going to tell the person that smokes weed everyday that he/she need to get help? How about telling the 23 year old that has a new found love for drinking that they are turning into an alcoholic? You probably wont say a word about any of the above, but you will feel free to look at me and tell me I am lazy. I have no self discipline, and I should know that there is something wrong with me. What is wrong with this picture?

    December 9, 2010 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • yesfantoo

      Being overweight or the mentally ill are the last of the conditions that society seems to think people can make fun of or criticize. My boss makes snide comments about some of my coworkers, yet her and the other one that sides with her, while thin, are the sickest in the whole building: she has diabetes and smokes like a freight train exposing everyone else to second hand smoke and the other one ditto plus heart disease. I'll take the healthier fat people any day!

      December 9, 2010 at 11:35 | Report abuse |
  41. razzlea

    Weight loss should be done the natural way i disagree that taking a pill will help i think its all pscycological . Check out my health and fitness blog http://razzlea.blogspot.com/

    December 9, 2010 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. dom625

    Most of the obesity "epidemic" begins in childhood. When I was in school, we were required to engage in a set minimum amount of physical education each day, from elementary school all the way to high school. PE credits were part of our graduation requirements. But, now, with all of the focus on test scores, physical education classes are among the first to be cut. In addition, recess time is being shortened to allow more time for classwork.

    And then kids go home, where they veg out in front of the TV with chips and Cokes. My parents expected me to spend time outside everyday; after school, we changed into our play clothes and headed out for a couple of hours of playing. We were not allowed television time until after our outside time. We can't win the obesity war until we begin implementing changes in the schools and start educating kids about the importance of a healthy diet and exercise. The eating habits developed in childhood tend to stick for the rest of the life span, so if we lose them as kids, we will most likely never get them back.

    December 9, 2010 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. yesfantoo

    Ah, the FDA approves it, I feel safer already. NOT

    December 9, 2010 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. forallthefatties

    youre embarassing to look at. im sure you already knew that tho 😉

    December 9, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. kjh

    Aside from the small # of people who are naturally lean (even when ingesting excess calories. Trust me these people exist) the vast majority of people gain weight when they eat more calories than they expend. It's really simple math. The human body runs on energy derived from the break down of organic material (food). If the human body does not get food, it simply withers away then dies. If you want to maintain your body weight, simply eat the amount of calories (after accounting for the calories expended each day) that allows you to maintain your weight.

    Yes I realize some obese people exercise regularly. But I also know a lot of people don't report how they "reward" themselves after exercising. Say you burn 200 calories on the treadmill, you feel proud of yourself, and then you ingest a 300 calorie snack. You've just nullified all the calories you burned AND netted an additional 100 calories.

    While obesity may be genetically influenced, it cannot make you fat when you simply have not eaten enough for your body to store extra fat. Fat do not magically appear on it's own. If it were possible for people to remain heavy even when they're eating very few calories, then there would be people in the world who can survive without eating any food at all because they can somehow magically produce fat to burn.

    December 12, 2010 at 00:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. kjh

    case and point: a few hundred years ago when most people were laborers/farmers and had maybe only 2 meals a day, there were virtually no fat people. Only the rich nobility were fat.

    December 12, 2010 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. doudoututu

    I agree together with your Health Blog » Weblog Archive » An Enchanting Garden, great post.

    September 9, 2011 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. froleprotrem

    I beloved as much as you'll obtain carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nevertheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you want be turning in the following. sick undoubtedly come further until now once more as precisely the same nearly very continuously within case you protect this increase.


    February 11, 2021 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. bjAf5Y

    595121 7330U never get what u expect u only get what u inspect 517249

    February 21, 2021 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. ClarkTauts

    1pwz9 jdk6w mi13

    February 28, 2021 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.