Weight Loss Drugs Increasingly Popular Among Children in Britain

Weight loss drug use is rising among British children, according to a new report. The problem? Many of these drugs are licensed for adult use only.


The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reports that in the UK, around 1,300 people younger than 18 take adult weight-loss drugs every year. Statistics showed this number is a vast increase over the past decade.

More than 75 percent of the kids in this study were taking Orlistat, which is approved for kids in America, but not in the UK. On average, most of the kids stopped taking the obesity drug after three months and saw no weight loss benefits. Study author Dr. Russell Viner said the decision to stop might be due to unpleasant side effects, or the wrong dosage. He also speculated that many kids might have expected immediate results, and then quit taking the pills when they didn’t see any.

The study’s researchers say the drugs don’t appear to be life-threatening or causing any serious harm. But they said that since youth in the UK are taking them now more than ever, research should continue.

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