1. Diet drug Meridia pulled off the shelves

    So long, sibutramine.

    The notoriously bad weight loss drug, sold here under the name Meridia, has finally been given the heave-ho.

    It's technically the victim of a "voluntary recall," but don't be fooled by the press releases -- this was about as voluntary as a shotgun wedding.

    The final straw was a study published last month that found dieters who took the drug faced a 16 percent overall increase in the risk of serious heart problems, including heart attack, stroke and death.

    Get down to the nitty-gritty, and the numbers are even uglier: The study also found that patients who took Meridia had a 28 percent higher risk of a nonfatal heart attack, and a 36 percent increased risk of a nonfatal stroke, when compared to those taking placebos.

    But maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way.

    After all, a few weeks of hospital food after a heart attack or stroke will cause anyone to lose weight.

    I'm not even kidding here, because that might be the only time Meridia dieters shed pounds for real -- because the same study found that patients who took the drug lost an average of just 9.5 pounds each.

    Show me an obese person who loses 9.5 pounds, and I'll show you an obese person.

    Pulling this med was a no-brainer, yet the mainstream media is weeping as if it suffered the loss of a close friend.

    "What now for weight loss?" was the teary headline in the Los Angeles Times. The headline at the Washington Post went even further: "Weight-loss drug withdrawal latest blow to obesity fight."

    Who are they kidding? Here's what's now for weight loss: The withdrawal of this drug isn't the latest blow to the obesity fight -- it's the best thing that ever could have happened to it!

    The more dangerous gimmicks are pulled from the market, the more overweight people will realize that there are no shortcuts

  2. Big fat diet pill trouble from China

    Big fat diet pill trouble from China

    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And when it comes to the promises made by the manufacturers of weight-loss pills, you bank on it.

    The FDA just issued a warning for U.S. residents to steer clear of as many as 30 "natural" fat busters - many of which are from China.

    Most consumers don't know what's in these drugs - which have names like "Imelda Perfect Slim" and "Zhen de Shou" - because most of the ingredients are unlisted.

    But here's what I do know… The key ingredient of many of these drugs is sibutramine - a chemical that's actually found in the prescription anti-obesity drug Meridia. The fact that it's in there at all is bad enough, but it's in there in whopping dosages - as much as THREE TIMES the recommended daily dosage.

    It gets worse. Some of the pills also contain phenolphthalein, a chemical that was once used as a laxative but has since been withdrawn from the market because it MIGHT CAUSE CANCER.

    Of course, you won't find either of these ingredients listed on the box. These pills are chock full of uppers and laxatives and that can leave you chained to the john for hours at a time. But the worst part is that ingesting high dosages of these drugs (especially sibutramine) could actually trigger stroke or heart attacks in people with a history of heart issues or high blood pressure.

    Click here for a list of the drugs on the FDA's warning list.

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