Alternative Treatments for Weight-Loss

Caveat Emptor

Published in: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, v. 41, no. 1, 2001, p. 29-31

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2000

by David M. Studdert

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Nontraditional or alternative treatments are extremely popular, especially with respect to obesity and body composition. Although such treatments are widely used, it is not clear that these are supported by the existing data in the peer-reviewed literature. Herein, the author review the data on 18 methods/products advocated as potential anti-obesity/fat-reducing agents. The author found that none have been convincingly demonstrated to be safe and effective in two or more peer-reviewed publications of randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials conducted by at least two independent laboratories. Nevertheless, some have plausible mechanisms of action and encouraging preliminary data that are sufficiently provocative to merit further research.

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