“Mystery Suspect in the “Obesity Epidemic””

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This article at The Icarus Project asserts that there may be an under examined link between psychotropic drugs and the “obesity epidemic.” Below is an excerpt:

… The increase in the average American’s weight has paralleled the warp speed increase in use of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and the drugs marketed as anti-psychotics. It seems astonishing in light of recent, high-profile media exposés of drug companies’ concealment of adverse effects of their products.

Psychologist David Cohen estimates that 50 million Americans — 1 in 6 Americans — take psychotropic medication, and it is unknown how many of these are taking more than one kind simultaneously. Polypharmacy, the addition of increasing numbers of such drugs in the hope that a patient’s symptoms will abate or the negative effects of earlier drugs will disappear, is increasingly common. What’s worse, a series of scandals in recent years has revealed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is charged with ensuring that only safe and effective drugs hit the market, has approved many drugs without holding the drug companies to good standards of research. One of the most common but least talked-about negative effects of a wide variety of psychotropic drugs – including many of those marketed to treat depression, anxiety, and psychosis – is weight gain, often tremendous weight gain.

–Ann Bartow

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1 Response to “Mystery Suspect in the “Obesity Epidemic””

  1. efink says:

    To offer one data point, I experienced substantial weight gain after I started taking anti-depressants (at the end of law school, not coincidentally). Of course, I also hit my 40s and wasn’t as physically active as I had been before. So am I better off crazy and thin, or (relatively) sane and paunchy? I’m really not sure.

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