I’ve taken my fair share of diet pills. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t done it. I’m pretty sure that I’m now in a place where I would never go back to them, but in the moment they just seemed like the answers to all of my problems. Something about the promise of being made better simply by taking this little pill. No pain or effort required. Right?
Wrong. First of all, the health risks are ridiculous. Diet pills can lead to increased blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, insomnia, and weird oily bowel leakage. One study showed that participants using rimonabant to suppress appetite were more likely to stop taking depression and anxiety medication and had increased suicidal thoughts. The FDA warns against weight loss supplements and states that “we have seen deaths associated with these weight-loss products.” Ephedra has been banned from the US, but it definitely still manages to find its way into the hands of diet-obsessed individuals.
This is a really nice article that sums up the millions of other statistics that I would like to point out but am too lazy to resummarize. So read this.
And that’s just the health risks. The levels of effectiveness that diets have is even more ridiculous
-dieting is often associated with weight gain, due to the increased incidence of binge eating. For real, you guys. When you stop giving your body the food it wants, suddenly all you can think about is food. I promise you.
-adolescent girls who diet are at a 324% greater risk for obesity than those who do not diet. Read that again. Yes. It says three hundred and twenty fucking four percent.
For some reason it never really occurred to me that people actually take diet pills. I mean, I guess I obviously knew that people were buying into this whole mess since the diet industry is a $40 billion dollar industry! But for some reason it never really clicked with me. I guess because growing up, not many people around me were openly using diet pills or trying different advertised diets. I thought only my little eating disordered brain would be that willing to risk my health and happiness. Boy was I wrong. I was eating breakfast with a friend the other day and she admitted to me that both she and her boyfriend had taken hydroxycut in the past. I was horrified. I was devastated. I wanted her to know that she was healthy and beautiful and that it just isn’t worth the struggle and self-loathing (not to mention the heart attack risk). This made me really wonder just how many of my friends from high school had taken weird, freaky diet pills. Apparently 20% of them.
Seriously you guys, don’t diet. I’m not saying sit in front of the TV and eat cheetos and ding dongs all day. By all means, exercise moderately and eat in a balanced way. But don’t buy in to the idea that you aren’t good enough, that you need to be constantly perfecting yourself. Because, seriously? $40 billion dollars a year? If I had $40 billion dollars I would end poverty and save every single lemur on the face of this earth. Give your money to someone that needs it. Someone that deserves it. Not someone that is only going to use it to tell you that you STILL aren’t good enough and basically just make you feel like shit about yourself AND compete with the world around you.