Obesity is on the rise in every part of the world and as the number of people who are trying to lose weight increases, people who want to exploit this grow in number as well. Diet pills and teas that claim to offer rapid weight loss, which have already caused the death of thousands of people, are still on sale online. Marketed under different names, these pills and teas claim to give their customers "the ideal body shape," and "reach the weight that they have been dreaming of for years."
Experts claim that the number of people who lost their lives due to these shady products is on the rise and half of the diet pills and teas on the market are fake. Speaking to Daily Sabah, dietitian Huma Karabulut said that these products — whose producers and ingredients are unknown can pose great risks to their customers. "They are not medicine but pills of death," said Karabulut. "Police discovered that a diet pill that was advertised online with films featuring celebrities had deadly chemicals inside."
According to Karabulut, one can only lose weight with a proper and balanced diet. "There is no short cut to it," Karabulut added.
The unseen danger
The fake diet pills and teas are mostly sold online without any approval from the Ministry of Health. These products promote themselves either with fake photographs of celebrities or with celebrities themselves.
The most dangerous part of these products is their ingredients which are not clear on the package. Most of the ingredients of these products are discovered when they are analyzed in labs. For instance, popular diet pills that are sold online feature an ingredient called "subitramin," which is a substance that can cause heart attacks. This substance makes its users lose their appetite but it accelerates the heart. Although the user thinks the pill is working, they unknowingly damage their heart and kidneys. "I saw a woman who recently gave birth and she was promoting a deadly diet tea. This is beyond belief. These products, even regular herbal teas, cannot be consumed while feeding a newborn," said Karabulut.
As a dietitian, Karabulut sees a lot of patients who used these kinds of pills and teas before coming to her for advice. "People consider dietitians as the last resort. People with weight problems play with fire in order to lose weight," Karabulut added.
Now, there is a new danger in the market. "Overweight people started to use injections. These injections are usually used for the diabetics and obese people but now even slightly overweight people have started to use them. These injections are done twice a week but they damage the body and internal organs irredeemably," Karabulut said.
Pharmacist Nurten Saydan claims that 50% of diet pills and teas sold online are fake. "These fake and illegal pills and teas causes unexpected side effects and poison the person who uses them. Most of these products do not get approval from the Ministry of Health and are sold without the supervision of a pharmacist. If people want to use supplements to help them lose weight, they should consult a doctor and purchase these products at pharmacies," said Saydan.