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Home > News > Report

Lose weight but carefully, say experts

Vijay Singh in Mumbai | January 30, 2004 11:22 IST

To become slim within a few days is every overweight person's dream, and it is this dream that clinics like Health Total, run by Anjali Mukherjee, promise to make come true.

Many people join these clinics and are able to successfully reduce weight. But some face problems, like former Mumbai municipal commissioner K Nalinakshan.

The Food and Drug Administration raided Health Total clinics after it received information that Nalinakshan had developed complications after consuming some medicines prescribed by it. Nalinakshan had to be admitted to Bombay Hospital.

But Nalinakshan told "I didn't file any complain against Health Total clinic and I didn't say that I had been affected by the medicines they prescribed."

He said he had joined one of Mukherjee's slimming programmes and was given some Ayurvedic medicines. "But at the same time I was also taking some other medicines. I have no idea which medicine caused these complications."

The doctor who attended on him, P L Tiwari, said: "Nalinakshan had lost blood and haemoglobin. I don't have any idea which medicine affected him."

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Medicines that promise to reduce hunger, and thus weight, are freely available in the market.

Ayurvedic doctor Ketki Trivedi, who is a consultant with noted doctor Pankaj Naram's clinic, said, "There are many Ayurvedic medicine's for weight reduction. I don't know what medicines the slimming centres use."

She added that Ayurveda herbs, if purified and used in proper ratio, never cause side effects. "Many people use Rasawadhi herb for weight reduction, which can act negatively and affect kidneys if not taken in the proper ratio," she added.

Slimming clinics also give medicines to reduce hunger pangs.

"Weight reduction clinic give protein medicines to their customers and also suggest special diets," Krishna Kumar, who handles the Department of Occupation Therapy [to treat people who suffer from weak memory] at J J Hospital, told "But those medicines affect human body. A sudden change in food plan also affects the body negatively… you might loose some weight… but it won't last too long."

Then there are many who take protein powders for an energy boost. "Protein powders have no side effects as they are simply proteins required by the body," said Umesh Patwal, physician of the Bombay Under-17 cricket team.

"We take care of fitness by concentrating on meals and proteins required by the body. Medicines taken for weight reduction or energy have side effects and we never prescribe them."

What he suggests is something that is universally accepted: "The best thing to do in order to reduce weight is to exercise and eat properly.

"But taking medicines to reduce weight and at the same time cutting down on your diet is definitely bad."

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