A Miracle Cure for Obesity?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mariah Smith

"After only 7 days of taking Stimulife 750, I have lost 4 pounds, and I feel great, and I am not starving myself." --George M., Arizona

"This isn’t like dieting! I can eat my favorite foods and not feel the guilt and still lose weight and inches." --Rita M., Nevada

"I used to go stand in front of the refrigerator and stare in, looking for something. I was always craving food. Now that my body is getting the nutrients it needs, I do not feel the need to munch all the time. In fact, many times I almost forget to eat. For the first time I feel satisfied."

--Mary J., Louisiana

 

More fantastic claims like these can be found on the Stimulife 750TM website at http://www.stimulife-ind-dist.com/testimonials.htm. What is this wonder drug and what does it promise?

Stimulife 750 is a hybrid of an appetite suppressant and a nutritional supplement. John Fike developed it after a long trial-and-error process. He was looking for a nutritional supplement that would also assist in weight loss. Believing that there wasn’t anything currently on the market that could adequately assist the dieter in these areas, Mr. Fike set out to develop a drug of his own. He interviewed people from a wide variety of professions: doctors, athletes, and pharmacists. Mr. Fike wanted to develop a drug that was all natural to prevent the potential side effects associated with chemical substances found in other diet pills. He also spent time talking to individuals who had a constant weight problem. Determining that certain emotional and mental factors contribute to obesity, Mr. Fike wanted to offset these as well. Complete information on the background of Stimulife 750 and its creator can be found at http://www.weight-loss-solutions.com/TheStimulifeStory.htm.

Mr. Fike worked with a computer model to study the effects of combinations of herbs and nutrients. He wanted a pill that would provide the nutrients that the body needed but would not be getting because its appetite had been suppressed. The Fike family had a history of heart disease therefore Mr.Fike also wanted to make prevention one of his goals for the drug he was designing.

The result after many years of work was the drug that is now on the market as Stimulife 750. Apparently it was worth the wait. Stimulife 750 makes some pretty hefty claims at http://www.dieterssupport.com/stimustory.html. It has been called "…a true weight loss supplement that increases metabolism, curbs appetite, enhances the thermogenic process of food digestion, and provides a nutrition based energy." All this is provided in two capsules that are supposed to provide the body with the equivalent nutritional value of four servings of vegetables.

How can a pill accomplish all this? The write-up on Stimulife 750 is vague, mostly relating background history and making promises about how the customers will look and feel. A close look at the list of ingredients, with a little logical deduction, will reveal where Stimulife 750 draws its power.

A complete list of information on the active ingredients in Stimulife 750 can be found at http://www.triple20.com/nutritional_supplements.htm. The list provided here was drawn directly from this source, which is the WebPages of an independent distributor of Stimulife 750.

But does it work? After all who wouldn’t like to look like this:

 

With these exact pictures headlining various websites for the drug Stimulife 750 one would get the impression that using the product holds the hope of achieving this kind of ideal body. Certainly it plays on the emotions of the potential customer who is likely struggling with their own obesity and has decided to do something about it. The methods for use vary slightly in the text of the articles on Stimulife 750. In the advertising section at the website http://www.dieterssupport.com/stimustory.html a passage reads "Stimulife 750 actually has vitamins and supplements your body needs that you will no longer be acquiring from the food you no longer desire. Stimulife 750 is truly the best of all worlds. Stimulife 750 increases metabolism, while suppressing appetite, and simultaneously provides energy and nutrition." Conversely, a subsection of the same website offers a paragraph on suggested use reveals that a little more work must be done to gain satisfactory results. Users are advised to refrain from refined sugars and white flour products. They are instructed to eat a healthy, well balanced diet in moderation, and most importantly, exercise for 30 minutes at a time 4-5 times a week.

It is interesting to note that Stimulife 750 prides itself on being quality controlled by a FDA-registered laboratory and pharmaceutical facility.

However, an article published by the same U.S. Food and Drug Administration criticizes diet products and stresses that healthy diet and regular exercise are the best and proven method for losing weight. A direct quote from Lori Love, M.D., Ph.D. of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition states: "There are no shortcuts—no magic pills." The article goes on to state that "Appetite suppressants (diet pills) or other products may help some people over the short term, but they are not a substitute for adopting healthful eating habits over the long term." A full text of this article can be found at http://www.abetterliving.com/win.htm.

This article examines many factors of the battle against weight and also cites several recent studies. More money is being spent on weight loss products than ever before, more than $33 billion annually. Ironically obesity is ever increasingly on the rise as well. Approximately 35% of women and 31% of men are considered obese. This means that these men and women are composed of more then 25% and 30% body fat respectively.

Why aren’t products like Stimulife 750 providing a miracle cure? It seems like it should be so easy to shed unwanted pounds that nobody should have to suffer from obesity. One of the main problems is that initial weight loss through this type of diet product is quickly regained. The FDA argues that consistent weight loss demands a substantial lifestyle change. The basic idea of this change is to burn more calories than consumed. This involves reducing caloric intake while maintaining a healthy balance and initiating a sustained program of exercise.

Physicians and dieticians now take the viewpoint that obesity is a complex health problem. There is even evidence that it may be linked to genetic makeup, but this is still controversial. What are clear are the devastating effects on one’s health if they are obese. Obese people have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke and a higher incidence of diabetes. Cholesterol and blood pressure are usually too high. They stand at a risk to develop osteoarthritis of the weight bearing joints. They also can suffer from depression and low self-esteem.

Most doctors and nutritionists maintain that in order for weight to be lost safely no more than 1-2 pounds per week should be lost. To lose one pound a week requires cutting caloric intake by 500 calories a day. The key to being successful is a revised diet. It should reflect moderation, variety, and balance. Victor Herbert M.D., J.D. a member of the board of directors of the National Council Against Health Fraud stresses that "Balance refers to the balance calories and instructed to eat from the five food groups in accordance with the Food Guide Pyramid.

The Food and Drug Administration specifically address the issue of over the counter diet pills. Stimulife 750 falls into this category since you do not need a prescription to obtain it. A weight loss survey conducted by the FDA and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute found that between 2-5% of the population is trying to lose weight with the aid of these diet drugs. Most contain the drug phenylpropanolamine (PPA) as an active ingredient. This drug is controversial in larger doses because it has been shown to increase the risk of stroke. However, Stimulife 750 does not use this ingredient. It relies on other ingredients previously listed to boost the metabolism.

There are stringent guidelines recommending the use of diet drugs. Doctors stress that they cannot work without calorie-restricted diets and increases in exercise. The problem lies in the fact that many dieters consider these pills cure-alls and fail to make other lifestyle changes. The attention grabbing advertising that touts these pills can feed this misconception. Statements like "After only 7 days of taking Stimulife 750, I have lost four pounds!" and "I can eat my favorite foods…and still lose weight and inches!" can be misleading to the consumer and instill them with false hope. Consumers are instructed to scrutinize the success claims of such products. "If it is absent or consists primarily of testimonials or other anecdotal evidence, the program should be viewed with suspicion," says Paula Kurtzweil, a member of the FDA’s public affairs staff. It should be noted that the only evidence I could find of Stimulife 750’s results were testimonials.

Unfortunately, diet drugs can be an easy medium to abuse. A survey done in Connecticut questioned high school students about their eating and dieting behaviors. Abuse of diet pills, laxatives, diuretics, and vomiting had a prevalence of 7.4% among females and 3.1% among boys. The rise of products, such as Stimulife 750, reveals a problem with society as a whole. Obesity has become a widespread disease, and one that is ever increasing in awareness. The Center for Disease control said to the Associated Press in 1994 that it would rather stress exercise as a means of weight loss as opposed to dieting, particularly for teenagers. It seems that a lifestyle switch can only overcome a lifetime of obesity. Drugs that promise to make such switches occur easily, in a short amount of time, can only be viewed with skepticism.

Works Cited

Fabrey, William J. Big News. Radiance-The magazine for Large Women, Summer 1995.

Neumark-Sztainer, D. Sociodemographic and personal characteristics of adolescents engaged in weight loss and weight/muscle gain behavior: who is doing what? University of Minnesota. Preventative Medicine: Jan 1999

 

Psychology Department

The Health Psychology Home Page is produced and maintained by David Schlundt, PhD.
  


Vanderbilt Homepage | Introduction to Vanderbilt | Admissions | Colleges & Schools | Research Centers | News & Media Information | People at Vanderbilt | Libraries | Administrative Departments | Medical 

  Return to the Health Psychology Home Page
  Send E-mail comments or questions to Dr. Schlundt

Search

Search: Vanderbilt University
the Internet

  Help  Advanced

Tip: You can refine your last query by searching only the results by clicking on the tab above the search box

Having Trouble Reading this Page?  Download Microsoft Internet Explorer.