Why I’m Telling You to Cut the Short Cut


By Kristianne Tecson, Guest Writer

Turning the television on, one HOSA member of George Ranch High School came across a peculiar commercial that sells the message,“Burn fat quickly without the need of exercise.” Ads for weight-loss have been around for a long time, yet with all the warnings, it is shocking that it still appears currently in the media.

“I know weight-loss ads are old news, however, I question the T.V media on showing sketchy ads in the year of 2015. I mean, this isn’t the 1950s. Lots of people should be aware that losing weight without changing anything else but consuming diet pills can potentially hurt your body in many ways,” Kristianne Tecson, a student in GRHS said.

In a nutshell, weight-loss commercials have stayed in traditional media on targeting people to buy “beauty”. Beauty advertisements were seen to be very cultural, which they have evolved from wanting people, especially women, to appear athletic and slim. From these advertisements, weight-loss supplements were hyped until people discovered the many side effects included the risk of chest pain, irregular heartbeat, nausea, and death. Nevertheless, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have enacted laws on regulating diet pills in the 1960s.

Good bye diet pills?

No, not so much. Weight-loss supplements are still found as an occurring problem in the 21st century.

From further research, many weight-loss pills today have unlicensed ingredients sold from numerous online companies. One of the many ingredients found was called  Bitter Orange; an ingredient created to treat weight-loss, allergies and nasal congestion. Unfortunately, Bitter Orange has connections to heart problems from a compound called Synephrine, in which it was banned in 2004 by the FDA.

With this information, we decided to interview one teacher in George Ranch, who may have a comment that will further our research:

Have you heard of any news about the FDA’s poor job of regulating diet pills?”

“I haven’t paid attention to any specific FDA regulations, but I do know over the course of last 10 to 15 years that there are a number of supplements pills and diet pills that have come out…..that have somehow passed FDA regulation but are actually very harmful and detrimental to younger people. Like as a coach, I don’t want any of my players to take any of that stuff because their bodies are not developed…their livers are not developed and they can’t process the toxins and chemicals in a matter with 35 year old adults.” Mr. Baker, a teacher/coach in GRHS said.

Why do you think many consumers still take the risks, even though there are health problems associated with this?

“Well, I think there’s a handful of reasons. Like one, people are always looking of easy, fast solution. Right? Like a quick fix to some long term problem. And there’s billions of dollars spent every year on marketing with these things with phenomenal results that make it hard to believe. And even when you see…“Oh! Twenty-five percent had actually lost weight!”..most people actually think they will be in that twenty-five percent and don’t believe that they’re actually gonna be in the seventy-five percent.” Mr. Baker stated.

From this, we ended it with one last question.

What would be your advice to people who were planning on taking these diet supplement?

“One, I would tell them before putting anything in your body…. do the research first. Two, go actually talk to a doctor. They’re the expert. They’re the ones that understand, and in some level, they understand your body better than you do. So a general, actual practitioner physician may actually be able to explain to you what the cost benefit analysis there is. But then again, if you are the under age of twenty-five…you shouldn’t be putting it in your body period. Because twenty-five is about the age where the liver is fully developed and matured….and the liver is the most important organ in terms of filtering out toxins out of your body..and those things are gonna bring toxins. So with an undeveloped liver, it’s detrimental to your long term and health being. Believe it or not, it’s the reason why the drinking age is twenty-one and not sixteen. I mean, I know a ton of eighteen year olds who are probably mature enough to have a drink from time to time. The problem is that, physiologically, their body is not ready to handle that yet. Their mind might be, but their liver is not,” Mr. Baker concluded.

As this interview was finished, it gave an added perspective on the many danger of weight-loss supplements. Interviews and research for the last months of 2016 are the many reasons why the GR HOSA team (Kristianne Tecson, Chidie Ukaegbu, Clair Bebis, Tricia Siplon, and Ugonma Ukaegbu) conducted same basic research and brought awareness of the danger of weight-loss supplements to local residents via media. The team motto is “Cut the ShortCut”. They want to promote a healthier lifestyle versus bearing the consequences of unregulated diet pills. Lastly, the team wants to fight this underestimated health risk caused by weight-loss supplements, in a hope to make an impact on larger audiences in the year 2017.

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