According to The Huffington Post, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Arena Pharmaceutical’s weight-loss pill called Belviq. This is the first new prescription drug used for long-term weight loss to enter the market for over 10 years in the US.
Belviq has been cleared for use by adults who are obese or overweight with at least one medical complication such as high cholesterol and diabetes. The drug needs to be used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise.
Registered dietician Lila Bruk says that, “There is definitely a need for long-term weight-loss interventions, but I personally don't think a pill is the answer. People still need to learn to make sustainable lifestyle changes to lose weight rather than relying on pills. There are no quick-fixes.”
Bruk says that her clients are generally successful in their weight-loss efforts simply by changing their diet and exercising regularly. She feels that there is no need for a pill to help her clients get to their goal.
Yet, experts say that this drug is an important step in the development of new treatments that attack the underlying causes of obesity, according to The Huffington Post.
“The only benefit may be that it may help to mobilise the individual into making positive health choices if they are motivated by an accelerated weight loss,” says Bruk.
When trying to achieve successful weight loss, Bruk advises that the best way is to reduce calorie intake (such as choosing lower fat and lower GI foods), as well as exercising more regularly.