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Weight Loss

Pharmacists dispute health warnings over meal replacement products

The Irish Pharmacy Union has disputed claims that over-the-counter meal replacement products can encouarge “a cycle of failure” in people attempting to manage their weight.

THE IRISH PHARMACY Union has strongly disputed health warnings issued about over-the-counter meal replacement products, saying such products can help people to lose weight.

Yesterday, the Irish Heart Foundation said that meal replacement products “do not work” as a method for obtaining permanent weight loss, and advised people seeking to slim down to construct long-term goals when losing weight.

Chair of the Irish Heart Foundation, Dr Donal O’Shea, warned the public about ‘shortcuts’ on the road to weight loss, and asserted that meal replacement products encouraged “a cycle of failure” in people attempting to manage their weight.

However, IPU’s vice-president Rory O’Donnell today said that, with proper guidance and advice, over-the-counter meal replacements can work for individuals attempting to lose weight:

The reality is that individuals have used meal replacement products as part of a sensibly controlled balanced diet, which has resulted in long lasting weight loss.

O’Donnell insisted that every pharmacist’s “primary concern” was the wellbeing of his or her patients. “It is too flippant to claim that pharmacists are promoting meal replacement products without taking into account the impact on their patients,” he said.

“Pharmacists are ideally placed to advise the public and to provide them with information in finding solutions to obesity. Obesity is a major problem in our society and the pharmacy sector continuously supports and promotes sensible weight loss,” he added.

O’Donnell reminded individuals to take advice from their pharmacist or GP before embarking on a weight loss programme.

Irish Heart Foundation warns public over ‘quick-fix’ diets>

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