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How weight loss pills lead to an unhealthy relationship with food

Information provided by Arti Dhokia, a specialist mental health dietitian at Priory Hospital Woodbourne in Birmingham

Many of us spend time online researching ways to change our weight or shape. But the advice and information on multiple websites can ‘drown out’ the science, which is either non-existent, misrepresented or vaguely worded.

Arti Dhokia, specialist mental health dietitian at Priory Hospital Woodbourne, says: “A quick internet search will provide an extensive list of weight loss drugs and supplements that claim to either reduce appetite, reduce absorption of food, or increase fat burning. All these pills and supplements come at a cost and are often recommended in high doses, making compliance an expensive choice.”

Unfortunately, many people do turn to these diet pills and herbal supplements in an attempt to change their weight or shape.

The impact of diet pills on eating behaviours

The current diet culture – and the diet pills that people are taking - can damage a person’s relationship with food.

Arti says: “Food is an essential; however as a society, fuelled by social media and an ever-growing diet culture, our ability to eat intuitively has lost its way. We no longer listen to what our body needs, but nourish ourselves based on what we’re told we need.

“Taking diet pills can damage our relationship with food, as calories become the enemy, instead of what we use to fuel ourselves.

“Guilt that comes from being unable to eat ‘as we should’ at all times and to meet our body image ideals, can lead to a more chaotic relationship with food, affecting physiological, psychological and social health. Despite all that these pills promise, healthy diet and exercise is the most effective method of weight loss.”

The dangers that diet pills place on our health

Certain diet pills and health supplements aren’t regulated, which can lead to people dealing with health issues as a result of taking them.

Arti says: “It is very important to know that diet pills and herbal supplement doses may not be regulated, and can result in gastrointestinal discomfort and in some cases, can put your health at risk.

“There have been increasing reports of death in people who consume unregulated diet supplements bought online in recent years, and this doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

“Drugs that claim to increase your metabolism as a side effect of what they are normally used for have an increasing presence on the internet. Our metabolism works at a rate that is safe; increasing this may result in weight loss, however can lead to numerous health complications, including cardiac issues and potentially death.”

Eating disorder treatment at Priory Group

If you are concerned about yourself or someone close to you, it is important to seek help. With the right level of care and support, a person can overcome their destructive eating habits, work towards recovery, and lead much healthier and fulfilling lives once again.

At Priory Group, we are able to provide eating disorder treatment on a residential, day care and outpatient basis. The treatment programme that a person receives will be based on their individual circumstances and the recommendations of our specialist team, to make sure the most effective approach is taken.

We work closely with people to support them in understanding their eating disorder and the triggers that lead to certain habits. Our specialists also help people to develop healthy coping mechanisms and strategies so that they can achieve a full and sustainable recovery.

Get in Touch Today

For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding eating disorder treatment, please call 0800 840 3219 or click here to submit an enquiry form. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

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