TeenHealthFX strongly recommends against the use of any kind of diet pill or supplement – especially for adolescents. And FX is particularly concerned about your using Black Ice, since when we did a search on this particular product we saw that it is advertised as “Black Ice Ephedra” – and Ephedra has been banned by the U.S. Food And Drug Administration (FDA) because of the serious side effects that have been linked to it, including death.
Whether someone is using an over-the counter diet pill or a diet pill that has been prescribed by a doctor, there are definitely risks that come with both – and it is important to be aware of those risks. So please read the following before deciding on taking any kind of diet pill or supplement:
- No one really knows how safe various diet pills and supplements are. The FDA is responsible for verifying the safety of foods and medicines before the come out on the market. However, the FDA does not check on the safety of diet supplements before the are sold, but waits until it receives information about complaints or problems with the supplement before that supplement can be investigated and banned, if necessary. That is how ephedra (also known as herbal fen-phen) came to be banned in 2003 – the FDA pulled it from the U.S. market after it was linked to the death of one of its users. So to take an untested supplement means that you are putting your own health at risk because the potential side-effects and complications that could be caused by the use of that supplement are not yet know.
- Herbs like chickweed, ginseng, kelp, and bee pollen, often included in diet aids, do nothing to promote weight loss, and some can be harmful or deadly if taken in large doses.
- Diet pills have short and long-term side effects, some of which include: heart problems, increased risk of stroke, shortness of breath, fluid retention, inability to concentrate, shakiness, difficulty falling and staying asleep, malnutrition, binge eating when the pill wears off, changes in mood, and rapid weight gain after you go off the pills.
- It is not always clear all of what goes into various diet pills and supplements, so people with any types of allergies should be particularly aware. There may be ingredients from shellfish and other common allergens, and you just do not know how you will react.
- Prescription diet pills fall under the drug category of amphetamines, which are stimulants that accelerate the functions of the brain and body. Possible dangers associated with amphetamine diet pills include increased heart and breathing rates, elevated blood pressure, sweating, shaking, headaches, sleeplessness, and blurred vision. Prolonged use can even cause hallucinations and intense paranoia. Amphetamine diet pills are also psychologically addictive, and users who stop will report mood problems, such as aggression and anxiety, as well as intense cravings for the drugs.
For more information about the risks of diet pills, please read “Sister Is Going To Buy Diet Pills Through A Catalog” under the Weight Loss/Gain, Dieting and Diet Aides section of the website.
The use of diet pills by high school ages females has increased at a frightening rate over the past few years, and it concerns FX in terms of the harm that the use of these types of pills are doing to so many young women. The University of Minnesota’s “Project EAT” (Eating Among Teens) studied 2,500 female teenagers over a five-year period, and published the following statistic based on their study:
- High-school females’ use of diet pills nearly doubled in five year from 7.5 to 14.2 percent.
- By the ages of 19 and 20, 20 percent of females in the survey had used diet pills at some point.
- 62.7% of teenage females use “unhealthy weight control behaviors.”
- 21.9% of teenage females use “very unhealthy weight control behaviors.” These types of behaviors include the use of diet pills, laxatives, induced vomiting, and/or skipping meals.
- Teenage females who “diet” and use “unhealthy weight control behaviors” are at three times the risk of being overweight.
- Teens who feel good about their bodies and make healthier eating choices have a lower risk of being overweight.
While many people love to look for the quick fix, very often if something looks too east or seems too good to be true – it is! So remember the following pointers that will help you in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight:
- Develop and maintain a positive body image (See “Tips To Maintain A Healthy Body Image” in the For Teens By Teens section of the website)
- Practice healthy eating habits (Read the answer to “More On Eating Healthy”)
- Stay physically active and engage in appropriate exercise routines (Read the answer to “Have Fun And Exercise”)
If you would like to lose weight, talk with your doctor about setting up a healthy food and exercise plan for yourself. And if you are ever considering taking any kind of diet pill or dietary supplement, definitely talk it over with your doctor first. TeenHealthFX recognizes that some people will take diet pills regardless of the warnings given to them by medical or other professionals – so if you decide to take any type of supplement or diet pill regardless of a doctor’s recommendation, watch for certain warning signs, and call your doctor immediately if any of these warning signs should occur:
- Stomach discomfort
- Fatigue or lethargy
If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact Girl’s Street – A Young Woman’s Health Program – at 908.522.2555.