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Reality Coalition applauds FDA alert on weight loss product safety


NEW YORK The Reality Coalition, a group of experts and organizations around overweight and obesity, on Tuesday applauded the Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to recall and warn consumers about dietary supplements that claim to provide weight loss and contain undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients.

“Consumers should avoid dietary weight loss products that pose serious health risks,” said Reality Coalition co-chair George Blackburn. “To the best of my knowledge, identifying 25 tainted weight loss products is the largest action by the FDA.”

“We have always argued that weight loss supplements are not effective and unregulated, and now that these products have been shown to contain undeclared ingredients [that] may endanger health, this action by the FDA is of great urgency,” added Reality’s other co-chair MRC Greenwood.

The announcement follows FDA action on Monday—the agency issued an alert to consumers not to purchase or consume more than 25 different products marketed for weight loss because they contain undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients that may put consumers’ health at risk.

The Reality Coalition is a group of experts and organizations on obesity, nutrition, diabetes and healthcare policy who share the common goal of advancing an agenda for realistic approaches to weight loss to achieve improved public health.  

The Reality Initiative was launched in 2006 and is supported by an educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, marketer of the over-the-counter weight loss drug alli (orlistat).  

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