By Kaylyn Smith
It can be easy for people, especially college students, to become obsessed with physical appearance these days. Thanks to social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, body image anxiety consumes the Internet.
According to the Boston Medical Center, 45 million Americans diet each year, spending $33 billion annually on weight-loss products.
Kelsey Chandler, a first-year student, is one of those people. She started taking a diet pill called Adipessum, which she discovered through an Instagram ad. Chandler said she thought the pill was from Mexico, but after during research, the “miracle pill” is actually made in China.
“I could eat three blackberries for breakfast and be completely full until four o’clock in the afternoon,” Chandler said.
Adipessum does not have an official website. Most users find information about it through social media ads, like Chandler did. There is no site or social media page that contains a list of Adipessum’s ingredients.
Chandler started taking the pill right before she rushed for a sorority. After the first week, she had lost around seven pounds.
She took 30 days worth of Adipessum without knowing what ingredients were in it. The pill began to make her dizzy, and she found it difficult to fall asleep at night.
“It’s probably not the healthiest solution,” Chandler said. “I think the healthiest way to lose weight is to eat healthy and work out.”
Craig Barker, a local family practitioner, said diet pills suppress hunger and cravings, as well as help alleviate fatigue associated with decreasing calorie consumption.
“To a certain extent, some diet pills work,” Barker said. “They are useful for the initial transition into eating a lower amount or different food than patients are used to.”
Diet pills could be useful for some patients who have a significant amount of weight to lose, Barker said, but those wanting to lose weight should contact their physician to get on the correct medication.
Barker also said students taking diet pills from other countries should know exactly what is in their medications before taking it.
“My first recommendation before taking a diet pill, is to log your current diet for a few days and find your weak spots,” Barker said. “Then see what would be the easiest to cut.”
Watch this video to learn more about how supplements affect your health.