When it comes losing weight, US adults are bombarded with weight-loss claims and promises. This chaos, according to a new survey, makes individuals increasingly confused about what to believe in a bid to shed the flab.
As per a survey of 2,058 adults, conducted in late November by Harris Interactive on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, it was found that people were confused about what to believe in context of the claims made in regard to appetite suppressants, herbal products and dietary supplements.
Such dietary products are not required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to submit safety or efficacy studies, or to include warnings about potential side effects on their labels.
However, the survey revealed that 3 in 5 Americans think that these products are at least somewhat effective.
One-third wrongly believes that the products are approved for safety and effectiveness by the FDA before being sold to the public.
The interactive survey showed that two in five assumed that the government requires warnings about potential side effects on the labels of these products.
In fact, the analysis showed that about 18 million adults who want to lose weight in the coming time would rely on products that have not been reviewed and approved by the FDA before being sold to the public.
Rebecca Reeves, DrPH, RD, a GSK consultant who is past president of the American Dietetic Association and managing director of the Behavioural Medicine Research Centre at Baylor College of Medicine, said: "Weight-loss supplements claim to deliver extraordinary results with less effort than more traditional behavioural changes, such as diet and exercise."
"However, there is scarce scientific data available to validate these product claims, which is unfortunate for the 66 percent or so of American adults who are overweight and obese," she added.
Steven Burton, vice president, weight control, for GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare said: "Millions of overweight and obese Americans are incredibly frustrated with their efforts to lose weight, and unrealistic expectations and false hope feed that frustration.