Canadian doctors call for regulation of the weight loss industry

February 18, 2009 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

Canadian doctors call for regulation of the weight loss industry

Many weight loss products and private clinics fail to deliver on their promises and governments should be regulating scientifically unproven therapies, according to a new report in the February 16 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

North Americans spend $50 billion a year on pills, potions, diets and programs promising nothing short of miraculous weight loss. Many of them are nonsense, says the Canadian Medical Association.

For example, some weight loss programs promote the use of vitamin B injections or herbal supplements, claiming they help the body burn off fat faster - a claim lacking published medical evidence.

The doctors would like the government mandate formal accreditation of weight-loss providers to ensure quality and to provide consumers with an easily recognizable means of identifying effective weight loss services.

What's enough scientific evidence to deem a weight-loss service effective? That will be the challenge if governments start regulating weight-loss providers, says one obesity expert at Simon Fraser University.

If you're shopping for a commercial weight-loss program, ask yourself if the product will help support long-term changes in your diet and exercise habits. If it doesn't, seek the help of a registered dietitian who can supervise your weight loss program and help you achieve long-term changes.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.