Famous Anorexic Identical Twins Killed in Fire, Fulfilling Prophecy That They Would Die Together

Famous Anorexic Identical Twins Killed in Fire, Fulfilling Prophecy That They Would Die Together

A pair of identical twin sisters from Australia, who became famous through their battle with anorexia, appeared to have fulfilled their prophecy that their lives would end together, with both dying as a result of a house fire Monday night.

Clare and Rachel Wallmeyer, 42, were killed after a fire consumed their home in Geelong, about 47 miles southwest of Melbourne, according to News.com.au.

Firefighters said that they found the twins on the living-room floor of their home and that the blaze was contained in the living room. Authorities are still investigating the fire but they say that preliminary reports of the fire did not indicate of anything suspicious and was possibly caused by a cigarette, according to The Australian newspaper.

Neighbors had alerted the authorities after noticing smoke coming from the twins’ apartment in Grovedale, a suburb of Geelong.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire quickly, but found that one of the twins was already dead while the other was taken to the hospital, but succumbed to her injuries on Tuesday morning, The Australian reported.

It was a tragic end for the sisters, who have for years publicly said on Australian TV that anorexia would kill them, once even making a pact to waste away to just 55 pounds.

“We live to die,” one of the sisters, Rachel, told Australia’s “60 Minutes” program in 2004.

“Clare’s the only person that remains by my side. And at least we’ll die together,” said Rachel, who was then at the time of the interview 34 and weighed 71 pounds.

“Being with Rachel … makes it somewhat easier to die,” Clare added.

On the show, the sisters admitted to taking laxatives to lose weight and eating nothing more than a slice of watermelon or a Diet Coke in a day.

The twins, who were compulsive long-distance runners, described themselves as perfectionists in biomedical science and physical education, subjects they studied zealously, side by side.

The twins had developed a severe eating disorder in their early teens, weighing only 61 pounds at the age of 14, and lost even more weight when they became addicted to long-distance running,

They were so obsessed with marathons that they had both suffered stress fractures in their feet, and as they became thinner and frailer over time, so were their bones, according to doctors who said that they had the bone structure of women aged between 70 and 100.

The troubled twins also experienced problems with the law. They had been charged in several cases of drug use and theft, and in 2010 Rachel was charged with attempted murder when she allegedly tried to kill Clare in a fight.

According to News.com.au, both sisters were described as being intoxicated during the fight.

However, the murder charge against Rachel was eventually withdrawn.

When they were asked if anything in life gave them pleasure in the 2004 “60 Minutes” interview, Clare had initially said no.

“A hug,” Rachel responded.

“A hug from my sister,” Clare had responded.

7News : Anorexic twins die in house fire

30 Minutes of Exercise Sheds More Pounds Than 1 Hour of Training

30 Minutes of Exercise Sheds More Pounds Than 1 Hour of Training

Scientists concluded that 30 minutes of daily exercise was as “equally effective” at losing weight as 60 minutes of training.

In fact, researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that sweating for half an hour a day actually helped men lose more weight than those who worked out for twice as long.

The study, published in the American Journal of Physiology, found those who ran, rowed or bicycled for half an hour a day lost on average eight pounds over a three month period, while men trained daily for half an hour more lost two pounds less.

While it is unclear as to why then men who exercised longer did not lose more weight, researchers suggest that it may be because the men ended up eating more or participants assigned to the 30-minute sessions may have had more energy to remain active for the rest of the day.

Researchers followed the progress of 60 Danish men considered moderately overweight but healthy and who wanted to get in “better shape” over three months.

Half of the men were assigned to the 60 minute group and the other half was assigned to the 30 minute group.

“The participants in our study trained every day for three months. All training sessions were planned to produce a light sweat, but participants were expected to increase the intensity and give it gas three times a week ,” lead researcher Mads Rosenkilde said in a statement.

Researchers concluded that just “30 minutes of exercise hard enough to produce a sweat was enough to turn the tide on an unhealthy body mass index.”

“Another interesting scenario is to study exercise as a form of transport. Training is fantastic for your physical and mental health. The problem is that it takes time. If we can get people to exercise along the way – to work, for example – we will have won half the battle,” said Rosenkilde.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults to an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise like running or playing football or two and a half hours of moderate intense aerobic activity like brisk walking.

The health agency also recommends that people should do muscle-strengthening exercises that work out all the major muscle groups twice a week.

Weight-loss Surgery Cuts Diabetes Risk By 87 Percent

 

Weight-loss Surgery Cuts Diabetes Risk By 87 Percent

Though someone of any size can develop type 2 diabetes, individuals who are obese or overweight are at a higher risk. However, new research suggests weight-loss surgery may be able to combat and even prevent diabetes.

In a study that involved more than 1,600 patients, researchers discovered bariatric surgery not only sustained weight loss in obese men and women, but also lowered their rate of developing type 2 diabetes.

Patients who participated in the study underwent two kinds of bariatric surgery. Several patients underwent banding procedures that limited their food intake, but did not affect their digestive process. Other patients participated in gastric bypass, which is a surgery that involves shrinking the stomach and rearranging the bowels. Researchers compared this group with another group of 1,771 obese patients who were getting non-surgical treatment.

Doctors followed the patients for 15 years and found those who had bariatric surgery lost nearly 45 pounds, while the control group lost significantly less.

Dr. Claude Bouchard, an author of the study and a professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, found 10 out of 13 patients managed to avoid being diagnosed with diabetes after 10 years.  According to The New York Times, this number was more than double than what an obese individual who made lifestyle changes would see in regards to diabetes risk reduction.

But do the results outweigh the risk?

The surgical procedure alone can cause serious risk such excessive bleeding, infection, adverse reactions to anesthesia, blood clots and even at times death- but it doesn’t stop there. Following the surgery an individual can be at risk for hernias, hypoglycemia, ulcers, gallstones, bowel obstruction and again-death. A study conducted in 2009 by researchers from the University of Washington, found that one in 50 people will die in less than one month after gastric bypass surgery.

As with any surgery, make sure you take the necessary time to make an informed decision. Discuss the procedure, your concerns or your questions with any potential surgeon. For bariatric surgery choosing institutions, and surgeons, with a strong background in the procedure will give you the best results, and care, possible.

 This study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The Top 5 Fat Burning Foods

The Top 5 Fat Burning Foods

Many foods exist that will provide you with a great jump start to losing fat and inches. Below are the top five – they were integral in my journey to losing 20 pounds!

Avocados

Often, avocados are mistaken to be a fatty food, but the fat in avocados is nothing but the healthy kind. Avocados are actually fruit, and they are loaded with mono-unsaturated fat. The best part? They are also full of great antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and nutrients. A mashed up avocado is one of the healthiest foods you can add on top of your sandwiches or burgers. Sliced avocados are great for salads or mixed up in scrambled eggs. The amount of healthy fat in the avocados helps the body to maintain the right amount of hormones that it needs in order to stay at a consistent weight. Because they are so filling, they also reduce your appetite for a long time after eating!

Nuts

Another food that is seen as being fatty but actually helps you burn fat is nuts. Walnuts, macadamia nuts, almond nuts and pecans are full of healthy fats and are also loaded up with vitamins, nutrients, minerals and antioxidants. They provide a hefty amount of protein and fiber, which helps the body control blood sugar and helps in the weight loss process. Raw nuts are best, but any type of nut is going to be good for you.

Broccoli

Broccoli is packed full of fiber. Fiber is going to keep you feeling fuller much longer, and it also works to keep the digestive system regular. Broccoli is loaded with Calcium, vitamin C and Beta Carotene. It contains so many components that will help lower the risk of many diseases and sickness, and is one of the best ways to get your greens in!

Berries

Berries are a powerhouse when it comes down to good nutrition. Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and even the goji berry are all packed full of good vitamins and minerals. They contain many antioxidants that will help to ward off disease. Furthermore, the fiber in them slows the absorption of carbs and controls blood sugar as well, which stimulates fat gain. Adding berries to the diet is simple. Toss some in your morning yogurt, cottage cheese or even oatmeal. Berries are great on salads too, or just bring a bag of berries with you through your daily routine.

Apples

Not only are apples are packed with loads of fiber, the pectin in the apples is great for lowering LDL blood cholesterol levels. Besides, apples are some of the most affordable foods out there, and there are so many kinds, they never get old.

Eating these foods frequently will help you lose that belly fat fast! Make sure to add all of these to your shopping list and get in frequent exercise. Then, watch the weight drop off!

 

Jordan Maltas writes about nutrition, health and wellness.  Jordan enjoys traveling and seeking adventure when not writing.  He uses http://www.lifeinsurancequotes.org so he can live to the fullest while protecting his family.

Could Stimulating the Brain Provide the Cure for Obesity?

Could Stimulating the Brain Provide the Cure for Obesity?

Researchers from Ohio State University and the University of Southern California think that they may have a reason as to why the obesity epidemic seems so intractable – we are just not treating it correctly. By stimulating certain areas of the brain, they theorize, we can prompt the body to combat obesity on its own.

Obesity is a huge problem for the United States, and a growing one worldwide. Colorado, supposedly the fittest state, counts 20 percent of its residents as obese. In Mississippi, which is currently the state with the most obesity, nearly 35 percent of residents are obese. In total, two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. The World Health Organization reports that 1.5 billion adults are overweight and 500 million are obese. As many as 300,000 deaths in the United States can be attributed to obesity.

Science, and common sense, states that weight gain or loss is impacted by the amount of calories you take in, minus the amount of calories you give out. In other words, if you eat 100 calories, and then burn those 100 calories via exercise, you will gain no weight. But in studies that attempted to modify diet or exercise, weight loss was extremely limited – 6 to 30 pounds for diet, and 1 to 9 pounds for exercise. Considering that an extremely obese man would have 280 pounds on a 5 foot-10 inch frame, a difference of 9 pounds is underwhelming. Pharmacological attempts at reducing obesity have been disappointing as well.

The majority of pills sold to combat obesity’s underlying problems have been taken off the shelves (although the FDA has approved two drugs this year in an attempt to stem the tide). Bariatric surgeries, too – like the lap band and gastric bypass – come with a load of complications and a significant portion of people who get them relapse.

Dr. Alexander Taghva and his colleagues point to brain research for help. Previous research has come to the conclusion that the reward circuitry in brains of obese people is wired differently than in people who are not obese. In addition, obese people are also more impulsive, similar to the behavior of people with drug, alcohol, and gambling addictions. Researchers have also found that the insula may play a role in obesity which impacts the perception of taste.

In the 1970s, an experiment provided high-frequency deep brain stimulation to mice and found that it led to weight loss and decreased appetite but the results were mixed. Low-frequency stimulation was found to lead to weight gain and increased appetite. A later study, recreated with human subjects, in 1974 found that people regained any lost weight.

But the paper’s authors still have faith in it. Deep-brain stimulation is currently in use for people with Parkinson’s disease, as well as OCD and severe depression. The researchers believe that stimulation at just the right frequency could provide the answer and that the treatment should be more clearly explored.

Study: Yo-Yo Dieting Does Not Affect Future Weight Loss, Metabolism

Study: Yo-Yo Dieting Does Not Affect Future Weight Loss, Metabolism

Over one-third of Americans are obese, according to a recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is no surprise, then, that the weight-loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, as many people struggle to maintain weight loss after diets. For many people, they find that their attempts to lose weight backfire as, once they stop dieting, they regain the weight.

Researchers had previously reported that yo-yo dieting affected people’s metabolism but a recent study conducted by researchers in Seattle, Chicago, Vancouver, Bethesda, Maryland, Boston and Germany has cast doubt on that theory. The new findings indicate that women who’d had a history with yo-yo dieting did not suffer from slower metabolism and an inability to lose weight as compared to their peers.

Caitlin Mason, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and her colleagues conducted a study with 439 women. All were overweight or obese, postmenopausal (aged, in this trial, between 50 and 75), inactive, and 42 percent of the women had had a history of yo-yo dieting, which was defined as the loss of the same 10 pounds at least three times.

Of the women, 77 had a history of severe “weight cycling,” which was defined as the loss of 20 pounds at least three times. The women were separated into four groups, with the goal of losing 10 percent of their original body weight. The first dieted only, the second dieted and exercised, the third exercised, and the fourth had no intervention. The trial occurred over the course of a year.

While the women who had been yo-yo dieters weighed more than their peers before the start of the study, investigators found that they adhered just as well to the methods assigned to them. The women who only dieted lost an average of 16 pounds, while the women who dieted and exercised lost an average of 20 pounds. Researchers found that the women with a history of yo-yo dieting lost the same amount of weight as their counterparts and, in fact, when using just exercise to lose weight, lost even more.

The study, published in the journal Metabolism, highlights two things: that it is never too late to start the trek back to a healthy weight, and that healthy weight maintenance cannot occur with a diet but with a change in lifestyle. As Anne McTiernan, the study’s senior author said to USA Today, diets do work if you use a structure and stick with it.

Fruit Fly Research to Inspire Drugs for Diabetes, Weight Loss

Fruit Fly Research to Inspire Drugs for Diabetes, Weight Loss

New research conducted on fruit flies promises a kind of drug that can fight diabetes and help people lose weight without exercising.

Researchers studied how fruit flies (Drosophila) react to starvation. They found that fruit flies get hyperactive when food is unavailable. The hyperactivity occurs because an enzyme known as AMP-activated kinase stimulates the secretion of a hormone called adipokinetic hormone. This hormone tells the body to use its stored energy.

When this enzyme is stopped, the fly doesn’t show any hyperactivity even if it is starved.

Researchers hypothesize that the equivalent of the adipokinetic hormone, called glucagon, is present in humans and can be used to get the body release its stored energy. They say that a drug that directs glucagon to tell the body to release glucose in the blood can help diabetics manage blood-sugar levels without the need of insulin.

Researchers say that the body can be tricked into thinking that it is exercising by activating AMP-activated kinase.

“Exercise stimulates AMP-activated kinase, so manipulation of this molecule may lead to getting the benefits of exercise without exercising,” said Erik Johnson, an associate professor of biology at Wake Forest University and lead investigator of the study.

Researchers say that the present study can be applied to humans because humans and the tiny fruit flies share many genes.

“Since fruit flies and humans share 30 percent of the same genes and our brains are essentially wired the same way, it suggests that this discovery could inform metabolic research in general and diabetes research specifically. The basic biophysical, biochemical makeup is the same,” said Johnson.

Despite our genetic similarities, Johnson says that the fruit flies have about 100,000 neurons compared to about 11 billion in humans.

Children of Overweight and Obese Mothers Have Delayed Physical Growth

Children of Overweight and Obese Mothers Have Delayed Physical Growth

Children born to overweight or obese women are shorter and lighter than those born to mothers of normal weight months after birth, according to a new study showing that a woman’s weight affects not only her health by the development of their children.

Researchers said that surprisingly, babies born to overweight and obese mothers gained less weight and grew less in height compared to babies of normal-weight women from just after birth to three months.

Researchers found that infants of overweight mothers on average gained 11 ounces less weight and 0.3 ounces less in fat mass and grew nearly a half-inch less than those born to normal-weight mothers from two weeks to three months.

The new study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, also found that babies with overweight mothers gained less essential fat mass, which is thought to play an important role in brain development, than those born to normal weight mothers.

“We’ve found these children are not growing normally,” study author Katie Larson Ode, assistant clinical professor in pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at the University of Iowa, said in a news release.

“If what we have found is true, it implies that the obesity epidemic is harming children while they are still in utero and increases the importance of addressing the risk of obesity before females enter the child-bearing years, where the negative effects can affect the next generation,” she added.

A 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that six in 10 American women of childbearing age are overweight or obese, and while children of overweight or obese mothers generally catch up to their peers with normal-weight mothers, they also have a significantly higher risk of continuing to rapidly gain weight in adolescence to become overweight themselves, which would trigger a host of health problems throughout their lives.

“A message from this study is, ‘Don’t panic,'” Larson Ode noted. “Pediatricians see a lack of (initial) growth, and they assume the child is not getting enough nutrition. But we believe the baby is in fact getting plenty.”

Researchers believe that there are two main reasons why babies of overweight and obese women physically develop at a slower pace in early life: inflammation and womb environment.

Scientists say that previous studies have shown that fat cells that normally help suppress a person’s immune system actually flare up in overweight adults, and researchers believe that the struggle between fat cells and inflammation in an overweight pregnant mother’s immune system may also inflame the babies developing immune system in the womb, taking away energy that would otherwise go to the baby’s development.

“These (fat tissue-derived) hormones and inflammatory factors tend to have appetite/satiety regulating effects early on, and may exert their negative effects on growth both during gestation and through passage into the breast milk during postnatal development as well,” co-author Ellen Demerath of University of Minnesota, explained in a news release.

Another reason why babies of overweight women may have stunted growth is because free fatty acid-derived growth hormones secreted by the overweight mother and growth hormones produced by the pituitary gland in the baby’s brain act together to slow down the production of the growth generating pituitary gland responsible for the fetus’ physical growth.

Therefore, after the baby is born and cut off from the mother’s growth line, their pituitary gland is not developed enough to pick up the slack, researchers hypothesize.

“It’s just not mature yet,” explained Larson Ode.

The results were based on 97 mothers, of which 38 were overweight or obese and none of the participants were diabetic.

Researchers noted that because the sample size of the new study was small, the latest findings should be confirmed by a study with a larger sample size.

Building The Perfect iPod Workout Playlist Can Improve Your Workouts

Building The Perfect iPod Workout Playlist Can Improve Your Workouts

Sometimes, in order to give you a boost to start running or to give you the last ounces of energy for the final leg of your brutal workout, the only thing you need is some music. Dr. Coastas Karageorghis, preeminent expert on the psychophysical and ergogenic effects of music at London’s Brunel University, who has created custom-made playlists for many US athletes for the Olympics this year, told Time magazine that music can elevate positive effects of exercise, like vigor and enthusiasm, and alleviate negative ones, like fatigue and tension. Music can also reduce the perception of effort.

Karageorghis gives the following guidelines for a perfect playlist:

Choose songs with high-tempo beats

Upbeat music increases energy in the part of the brain that makes you more excited, the ascending reticular activating system. The optimal range is 120 to 140 beats per minute. You can also find a song that matches the exact heart rhythm that you want to achieve. For example, if you want your heart to beat 130 beats per minute, you should choose a song that progressively matches that.  For ways on how to determine a song’s beat per minute, try looking here.

Stick with songs you know

A song’s cultural significance is part of what makes them motivational. If you associate a song with a motivational moment in a movie or in your life, it will in turn motivate you more. We tend to prefer songs that we have heard before, so you should stick with songs that are in your library.

Don’t play the same music over and over again

The motivational effect of a song will decrease the more you hear it, so don’t be afraid to revamp the playlist every few weeks. For people who are less excited about music selection for working out, it might be a good idea to have a long playlist of uptempo songs and then to hit shuffle on the iPod before starting. You may run the risk of hearing a few songs over and over again, but hopefully the other songs that you have not heard in a while will balance that out.

Digitally alter songs

When making playlists for other Olympic athletes, Karageorghis sometimes will digitally alter songs to make athletes work even harder. Increasing a temp up to four beats per minute is indistinguishable to the human ear, so the technique is great for a short burst of energy.

Don’t forget the lyrics

Lyrics can hold extreme weight for an athlete. It is important to choose songs with motivational words as well. For example, Michael Phelps likes to listen to Lil Wayne’s “I’m Me” before a race, which is well-known for its affirmative words.

Starter Playlist:

Karageorghis and some Time magazine staff give their own preferred songs for exercise playlists. We at Medical Daily have added some of our favorites as well, and maybe you already have some on your workout playlist or your music library. In no particular order:

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Beat It – Michael Jackson

Push It – Salt-N-Pepa

All of the Lights – Kanye West

Paper Planes – M.I.A.

Lights – Ellie Goulding

What Is Love 2K9 (Klaas Meets Haddaway) – Klaas & Haddaway

C’Mon, C’Mon – The Von Bondies

Luxury – Azealia Banks

Danza Kuduro – Don Omar & Lucenzo

Feel free to add other songs that energize your workouts in the comments.

ABSI: A New, Better Way to Measure Obesity?

ABSI: A New, Better Way to Measure Obesity?

In the fight to determine overweight and obesity, there is one predominant measure to indicate body composition. Body mass index, or BMI, measures body size, and it is very easy to get an estimate – just give your height, your weight, and a number pops out that is hopefully between 18.5 and 24.9. But BMI has been controversial – for example, even though many body builders’ frames have only 10 percent fat, putting their height and weight into a BMI calculator would often turn up a number that would identify them as overweight.

So, in recent years, waist circumference, which measures the amount of belly fat on a person, has gained prominence – but that too has its problems. For example, a proportional waist of a woman who is 5’11” would seem large on a woman who is 5’2.”

One group of scientists, Nir Y. Krakauer and Jesse C. Krakauer, have endeavored to take the best components of BMI and waist circumference and make a new method of measuring obesity – what they call A Body Shape Index, or ABSI. Their system takes into account height, weight, and waist circumference, to develop a metric that measures body roundness (an apple shape) instead of bigness. When used on 14,100 people, they found that ABSI was more successful in predicting premature death than BMI.

Their findings found the ABSI was a good predictor of obesity and premature death, but follow-up studies would need to be done to determine whether the tool could be used clinically.

The tool has already been welcomed by nutritionists, who found that, for BMI, body composition was its failing.

However, BMI will not be abandoned right away, if ever. Nutritionists and physicians alike still find the tool immensely helpful. After all, a simple calculator can turn up a number right away.

Researchers admit that it is a bit soon to determine whether reducing ABSI would be a good way to lower risk for premature death. Either way, though, experts remain in agreement that loss of weight – and consequently whittling away of the waist – will help people in their fight against premature death.

The results of the study were published in PLoS ONE.

Woman’s Pen Still Works After Being Lodged in Stomach for 25 Years

Woman's Pen Still Works After Being Lodged in Stomach for 25 Years

In news that reminds us once again to leave tonsillectomies to medical professionals, doctors from the Exter, England, report the story of a woman who spent the past quarter-century with a pen lodged in her stomach. Report the physicians in a recently published case study,

“A 76-year-old female, with a blameless medical history other than well-controlled depression, was referred for urgent investigation due to weight loss and [diarrhea]. A flexible sigmoidoscopy demonstrated severe diverticulosis and a subsequent CT abdomen showed a linear foreign body in the stomach but no other abnormality. Her symptoms resolved spontaneously. On subsequent questioning, she recalled unintentionally swallowing a pen 25 years earlier. While she was interrogating a spot on her tonsil with the pen she slipped, fell and swallowed the pen by mistake. Her husband and general practitioner dismissed her story and plain abdominal films done at the time were reported as normal. A gastroscopy demonstrated a plastic felt-tip pen sitting in the lumen of the stomach without evidence of any gastric damage. The case was discussed at the gastrointestinal multi-disciplinary meeting and the consensus of opinion was that despite being there for 25 years without causing any problems, the pen should be removed as there has been at least one case report of a duodenal perforation caused by an ingested ballpoint pen. It was subsequently removed in a combined endoscopic and ear, nose and throat procedure under general [anesthetic]. The pen was still in working order. This case highlights that plain abdominal x-rays may not identify ingested plastic objects and occasionally it may be worth believing the patient’s account however unlikely it may be.”

Despite the surgery, and the case report, doctors have given no indication that the pen was, in fact, the cause of this woman’s stomach problems

FDA Approves Second Drug Targeting Obesity

FDA Approves Second Drug Targeting Obesity

For the second time in a month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a diet pill in a redoubled effort to target obesity in America. The approval of Qsymia, as well as Belviq before it, comes at the end of a 13-year dry spell in which the FDA did not approve any long-term drugs that sought to promote weight loss due to previous drugs’ safety concerns.

Qsymia is made up of the drugs phentermine and topimarate, which are used to promote short-term weight loss and to treat certain types of seizures in people with epilepsy, respectively.

Qsymia was due to be approved first by the FDA, but it was delayed so that the government agency could review the company’s plan to address side effects once the drug is sold, such as birth defects and elevated heart rate. Both Qsymia and Belviq were initially denied by the FDA in 2010 because of potential side effects. Belviq was associated with tumor growth in mice.

According to analysts, Qsymia’s delayed approval will have no bearing on its success. In fact, it was more successful than Belviq in trials. While participants in Belviq’s trials lost 5 percent of their body weight, Qsymia’s participants lost an average of 10 percent after a year. Qsymia’s participants lost an average of 22 pounds, and lowered their cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Qsymia is meant to be used in collaboration with diet and exercise, and has been approved for obese patients and overweight patients with at least one weight-related condition, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes.

The advisory panel voted 20 to 2 in favor of the drug, saying that its benefits outweighed the risks. The FDA said in a statement that women should avoid getting pregnant while on Qsymia, due to “increased risk of oral clefts,” like cleft palate or cleft lip. Women who can become pregnant will need to take a pregnancy test before starting the regiment.

The drug is also not recommended for people with glaucoma or hyperthyroidism or for people who have had a stroke or unstable heart disease in the past six months. Qsymia can only be sold and dispensed in specially certified drugstores.

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