Misinformation is rife; with flames fanned on by social media and the wantonness of some figures in pushing agendas that aren’t approved by the responsible bodies. One area that has been marred by the plight of misinformation has been in the area of weight management; where people have been exposed to all sorts of products and health routines that have ended up being harmful rather than helpful in the purposes for which they have been communicated.
One popular incident involved a syrup containing Cyproheptadine manufactured by an Indian Pharmaceutical company that was marketed on popular media sites for the development of body ‘curves’, a claim that the manufacturer denies and the FDA refutes. But after cases of extreme drowsiness after taking the drug, the authorities had to come in to stop the growing vice, but the problems are far from over.
Body weight is tightly controlled by hormonal, metabolic and neural factors; and for that reason, weight loss maintenance is no easy feat, as it requires expertise and consistency to achieve gains, and even greater effort to maintain gains achieved. And this is why many people may fall prey to ‘quick’ ways of weight management. Some of these ways that have over time proven to have negative effects on general health include:
- Purging: This often involves the abuse of laxatives and diuretics (water pills), or people making themselves vomit. The purpose in most of the purging activities is to immediately get rid of the food that has just been eaten, through mechanisms to quicken expulsion. This is usually done to get rid of the calories that have just been ingested.
Purging is a very serious eating disorder known to cause serious medical conditions and its effectiveness in aiding the loss of calories before digestion is highly questionable. Some of the effects of self-induced vomiting may include: Damage to the esophagus, damage to the teeth that come into contact with the acid, dehydration due to loss of electrolytes.
Laxatives that are often used to treat constipation by triggering large bowel movement are also often abused to ‘expel’ calories but this is wrong. Why? It’s often water and minerals that are lost at this point after the body has digested food. The perceived loss in weight tends to be water lost which is regained soon after water is taken. The resulting dehydration exposes a person to great health risks.
Water pills (Diuretics) help to expel water from the body. They’re misused to get rid of excess weight but the loss in weight is often temporary.
- Exercising too much: Compulsive exercising involves doing more than is needed to stay healthy. Bodily harm can happen due to over exercising; it can lead to weak bones, bone fractures, dehydration, and heart failure.