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Helping patients lose weight can mitigate their risk of chronic disease and improve their quality of life. Over-the-counter dietary supplements for weight loss, however, are not reviewed or approved for safety or efficacy, nor does evidence support their clinical use. This commentary on a case suggests 3 reasons why clinicians cannot ethically recommend these supplements to patients: these products' safety and efficacy are unknown, ingredient lists might not be complete, and advertising could be misleading. This article reviews facts clinicians should know regarding over-the-counter weight loss products and explains how they can support, educate, and promote culturally and individually sensitive weight-management strategies. Copyright 2022 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.


Melinda M Manore, Megan Patton-Lopez. Should Clinicians Ever Recommend Supplements to Patients Trying to Lose Weight? AMA journal of ethics. 2022 May 01;24(5):E345-352

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PMID: 35575564

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