Taking diet pills may harm hormones, mental health of teens: Study

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], May 20 : Do not let your teenage daughter or son turn to diet pills to lose weight as a study has found that these supplements contain toxic chemicals that can affect their hormones, growth and mental health.

According to researchers, diet pills are unsafe for all ages, especially for teenagers, because the pills interfere with their systems and result in nutritional deficiencies, particularly of iron and calcium.

The study says that other healthy ways to lose weight are through exercise, changing eating habits and drinking more water.

The Canadian Pediatric Society said that in growing children and teenagers, even a marginal reduction in energy intake can be associated with growth deceleration.

Experts have warned that in extreme cases, these pills can rip apart the stomach lining and even lead to death.

The pills contain ingredients such as phentermine, orlistat and sibutramine and these substances may keep the pounds away by messing with the body's natural regulations, but they come with a host of side effects including increased heart rate, fainting, unusual bleeding and heart attacks.

Dr. Lloyd D. Johnston from the University of Michigan said when he first began analysing the use of diet pills among high schoolers, he found a common ingredient was linked to causing strokes.

The researchers at the University of Minnesota claimed the use of diet pills in teenage girls had a significant spike in a five-year span, jumping from 7.5 percent to 14.2 percent in 2006.

They said a startling 63 percent of teenage girls use 'unhealthy weight control behaviours' to maintain a slim shape.

However, 22 percent of teenage females use 'very unhealthy weight control behaviours'. The Mayo Clinic described that these diet pills and weight loss supplements are 'downright dangerous' and advised people to speak with a doctor before taking any form of the pills.

Source: ANI