Two American obsessions, two sides of one coin: food & weight loss. Americans are obsessed with everything extra large -- sodas the size of buckets, pizzas too big to ride home on the passenger's seat, and double-sized candy bars marketed for one. Sometimes we choose size in a mistaken search for value (hence the popularity of "never-ending" meal deals). This extra-large world leads to extra-large waistlines which, in turn, send Americans looking for weight loss answers.
The basic rule of "calories in versus calories out" works, but it can be a long and difficult journey. Some people go looking for help, others for a shortcut, and they turn to diet pills. Sadly, dangerous diet pills far outnumber the effective ones (which still require lifestyle changes). Attorney Pittman believes manufacturers and retailers should not be allowed to take advantage of consumers and should be held responsible for the negative health ramifications of their products.
This month, Consumer Reports focused on one segment of the diet pill market in a report titled "Dangerous Dietary Supplements." Reporters found supplements that included prescription ingredients, synthetic steroids, pesticides, and even banned chemicals. Weight loss pills are among the most common forms of supplements.
As the framework stands, the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") has limited authority to regulate supplements, and it is nearly impossible for the government to remove dangerous supplements from the market. Products falling into this category are not reviewed for safety or efficacy prior to sale, and labels often fail to warn of potential dangers associated with the substances.
A bill pending in Congress, the Durbin-Blumenthal Dietary Supplement Labeling Act, would crack down on the use of the supplement label by manufacturers looking to avoid FDA oversight. Under the bill's framework, manufacturers would be required to register products and ingredient lists, provide proof of their health-related claims, and make labels more informative. Sponsors note that there are safe supplements on the market, but that other companies take advantage of the current law to sell products that are profitable, but harmful.
Whether sold as diet pills or even more regulated forms, diet pills have a shady reputation. This reputation appears to be earned, given the number of pills first marketed as "breakthroughs" that are later found to be dangerous or even deadly. Last year, a report in Forbes magazine examined five "diet trends" that can have disastrous health consequences.
The five trends discussed include supplements, a medication approved only for veterinary use, a type of pill that has since earned conditional FDA approval, and even a diet plan that involves receiving a starvation-level 800 calories per day delivered via a nasal feeding tube! Risks associated with the diets include the following: increased stroke risk, damage to the heart muscle, extreme personality changes, increased heart disease risk, ingredients that are possible carcinogens, birth defects, and liver or kidney damage.
Without question, obesity is one of the biggest health threats facing our nation today. While it is easy to say that weight loss involves a calorie deficit created by moving more and eating less, lasting weight loss can be a long and challenging journey. Many medical practitioners and many legitimate companies are working on ways to help people reach their target weight and avoid heart disease, diabetes, and other weight-related health threats. Unfortunately, other unscrupulous companies take advantage of people looking to lose weight and market products that are, at best, ineffective and, at worst, dangerous or even deadly.
When a company makes and/or sells products are that dangerous and cause harm to consumers, the injured consumer may have a civil claim against the company. Often these claims fall under product liability law. If you or a loved one suffered from serious side effects, injury, or illness as a result of dangerous diet pills, you have rights.
Attorney Pittman has specific experience representing the victims of unsafe supplements and dangerous diet pills in civil claims against unscrupulous manufacturers and marketers. Please call to arrange a free consultation to discuss how he can use his experience to help obtain justice for you or a loved one.