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‘Skinny Pill’ for Kids Draws Critics

Adults have long been swallowing supplements and appetite suppressors trying to waste away unwanted pounds. Now, thanks to Edita Kaye, a self-proclaimed nutritionist, chunky six- to 12-year-olds have the option of taking pills to fight fat.

Adults have long been swallowing supplements and appetite suppressors trying to waste away unwanted pounds. Now, thanks to Edita Kaye, a self-proclaimed nutritionist, chunky six- to 12-year-olds have the option of taking pills to fight fat.
“It offers very real weight-loss help through supplements that metabolically assist children to burn more fat pounds and inches, block new fat deposits and help regulate insulin levels to help mitigate fat factors,” according to Kaye’s Web site.
But experts are concerned about health risks associated with the pill.
According to CNN.com, experts are especially concerned about three herbs in the “Skinny Pill” that are diuretics-uva ursi, juniper berry and buchu leaf.
The Physicians Desk Reference, a doctor’s guide to drugs and alternative remedies, states the uva ursi should not be given children under the age of 12,” CNN.com reported. It can also cause liver damage in children.
“Diuretics in children can cause kidney problems and electrolyte imbalances if taken long term,” Dr. Alison Hoppin, chief of the pediatric obesity clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital, told CNN.com.
The pill also contains four times the limit of niacin recommended for children by the National Academy of Sciences. Too much niacin can also be toxic to the liver, CNN.com reported.
There is also no data proving the pill’s thinning power.
Kaye claims on her site that the pill helps kids burn fat and boosts their self-esteem because it gives them hope in their battle against fat.
“I think it sets a dangerous precedent-that pills are a solution to all our problems,” Dr. Kerry Sulkowicz, who heads the Public Information Committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association, told the NYPOST.com. “Clearly there are risks, psychologically and physically, to obesity at any age, but obesity is not a simply physical matter. You’re just putting a Band-Aid on a deeper problem.”
But since the pills are marketed as a supplement, not a drug, they are not subject to FDA trials, NYPOST.com reported.
The negative press on the pills isn’t stopping Kaye. In fact, the “Skinny Pill for Teens” is already in the works.Jodi Mathews is BCE’s communications director.