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Monday, December 22, 2014

Prescription Weight-loss Drug Use Common in Normal-Weight Adults

Posted by William on August 31, 2012

Although prescription weight-loss drugs are intended for overweight and obese adults (those with a BMI of 27 or higher), new findings show that adults without weight problems are also using weight-loss drugs.

In a two-year study, published in the February 20th issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers surveyed nearly 140,000 adults, ages 18 and older, to determine the prevalence of use of prescription weight-loss drugs in America. Participants disclosed information, such as age, gender, ethnicity and body mass index (BMI) both before drug use and during the study.

Researchers found that 2.5 percent of the participants reported using prescription weight-loss drugs, and about 25 percent of drug users were not overweight or obese. Women were four times more likely than men to use prescription weight-loss drugs, and Latinos were 30 percent more likely than Caucasian or African-Americans to use weight-loss drugs.

Researchers estimate that, of the nearly 5 million adults who used prescription weight-loss drugs between 1996 and 1998, at least 1.2 million adults were not overweight and may have used the drugs inappropriately. Researchers suggest that physicians encourage lifestyle changes for weight control and limit prescription weight-loss drugs only to adults who have a BMI of 27 or higher.

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