Don't Take Qnexa To Lose Weight and Solve Obesity, Change Your Diet

On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel approved a new weight loss pill called Qnexa. The drug is a combination of phentermine and topiramate, which acts as an appetite suppressant and a stimulant. Qnexa does appear to induce weight loss. According to a clinical trial conducted by VIVUS, the company developing the drug, patients who took it lost on average 37 lbs and saw their cardiovascular health improve.

Pills that reduce obesity may be appealing to many people, including those who want or need to lose weight. But there's a simpler, safer solution to this problem: People need to change their diets.

While VIVUS scurries to get the FDA's blessing and get Qnexa to market, study after study has demonstrated that people usually gain weight because their diets are loaded with sugar. When they modify the kinds of foods they eat, they lose weight and experience the same benefits weight loss drugs are supposed to provide. Additionally, this is a better solution because it gets to the root of the obesity problem. Sometimes people genuinely need powerful drugs to treat their illnesses. But people don't gain weight or become diabetic because they haven't taken Qnexa; they suffer those consequences because of their poor diets.

Furthermore, diet changes usually don't carry serious side effects, like birth defects or heart palpitations. As the Los Angeles Times reported, Qnexa will be heavily regulated for precisely this reason. Who can purchase the drug, who uses it, and how it affects them will all have to be carefully monitored.

The FDA experts who approved Qnexa say these are a worthy trade off for the weight loss, but I can't fathom how. The solution to the obesity problem has been staring us in the face for decades now, yet government researchers and anti-obesity advocates seem to avoid it at all costs.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Cameron English

I cover public health, nutrition and science education for PolicyMic. I also write critical thinking exercises for high school science textbooks. My previous work includes freelance writing and editing for Science 2.0. I've never been paid by Monsanto for my opinions, though that would be awesome.

MORE FROM

Paul Manafort is meeting with Senate investigators. Here’s what we know about his Russia ties.

Paul Manafort has Russia links dating back more than 10 years.

Yes, Donald Trump can fire Robert Mueller. Here’s how he can do it.

It's a complicated process, and it could get messy, but he can do it.

Charlie Gard’s parents say they want to take their son home to die

The parents are returning to court to fight for their right to take their son home.

Vatican shuts off historic fountains in the midst of devastating drought

Officials say it's the first time they can recall ever shutting off the Vatican's fountains.

The last baby orca to be born at SeaWorld dies after serious health issues

Kyara was the last baby orca to be born into SeaWorld's controversial breeding program.

Paul Manafort is meeting with Senate investigators. Here’s what we know about his Russia ties.

Paul Manafort has Russia links dating back more than 10 years.

Yes, Donald Trump can fire Robert Mueller. Here’s how he can do it.

It's a complicated process, and it could get messy, but he can do it.

Charlie Gard’s parents say they want to take their son home to die

The parents are returning to court to fight for their right to take their son home.

Vatican shuts off historic fountains in the midst of devastating drought

Officials say it's the first time they can recall ever shutting off the Vatican's fountains.

The last baby orca to be born at SeaWorld dies after serious health issues

Kyara was the last baby orca to be born into SeaWorld's controversial breeding program.