Diet Pills for Children
Many people turn to diet pills in an effort to lose weight and burn off excess fat. However, diet pills can be dangerous, especially when they are used incorrectly. Therefore, the vast majority of medications – whether they are prescription medications or not – are intended for adult use only and are not recommended for the treatment or prevention of obesity in children.
Are their any diet pills safe for children? This is a difficult question to answer, because there have not been enough controlled clinical studies conducted to make this determination. Due to the lack of research, doctors are very reluctant to prescribe anorectic (water loss) pills to prepubescent children and will only usually consider this option in extreme cases of obesity when previous methods, such as dietary and other lifestyle modifications continuously fail. Furthermore, when a health care practitioner prescribes diet medication for children, the child is carefully monitored and must undergo frequent nutritional and family counseling, as well as adopt a regular exercise routine.
Why are diet pills not an ideal option for children? You might think that if a pill has been designed to help you burn fat and shed a few pounds, how could it really be a poor choice for an extremely overweight child? After all, wouldn’t helping them lose weight outweigh the risks of possible side effects? The reality is that many prescription diet drugs have not been FDA approved for use in children who are less than 16 years of age. There are a number of reasons why these medications are considered too risky for kids, some of which include:
- Children have smaller bodies than adults so they are far more susceptible to drug toxicity. Thus, it is difficult to decide on a safe and suitable dosage.
- Some diet medications are designed to prevent the body from absorbing fat. This prevention also hinders the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins are essential for childhood and adolescent growth and development.
- No studies have been done to determine the long-term use of these dugs in children, and until further research is available, these medications are simply not recommended for kids.
What about non-prescription diet pills? While there are a variety of weight loss pills that are sold over the counter, many of these products are ineffective and can also be quite dangerous, even those that claim to be “all natural”. Just because a product is labeled as being “natural” or a “dietary supplement”, doesn’t mean that it is safe. Many of these pills carry side effects and not all of these natural remedies have been approved by the FDA.
To help your child lose weight, the best thing you can do for them is assist them in changing their lifestyle by providing them with a well balanced and healthy diet and making sure they are receiving adequate daily exercise. If you think your child needs help beyond natural weight loss methods, consult their doctor.