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The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

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PHYE 2853

Savvy Research Paper

The Dangers of Rapid Weight Loss Supplements

Images of toned waft-like women bombard the media. Teenage girls tune in to MTV and other stations that portray a version of slender and unattainable figures that define what is "pretty" and "accepted" in society. Diet trends such as Weight Watchers, Adkins, and South Beach continue to dominate the economy. Individuals seeking a "quick fix" for weight loss management, and rapid weight loss turn to their favorite diet pills or supplements to drop a few pounds. Ephedra, a supplement banned in the United States, provided such promises. Consumers failed to consider risks associated with ephedra, and because of this faced unimagined consequences for such common plague in marketing.

A native herb of Asia, ephedra found itself on the band substance list in the United States after it caused numerous illnesses and in rare cases lead to the senseless deaths of consumers. Ephedra acts as a stimulant increasing the heart rate and providing an energy boost. Individuals with previous health problems such as high blood pressure, a history of heart disease, or pregnant women were warned not to take this supplement. This begs the question: What about the average American wanting to loose a couple of pounds?

Some side effects of the supplement ephedra include the following: hypertension, irregular heartbeat, strokes and seizures. Other people experimenting with this stimulant experienced dizziness, rapid heart beats, irritability, sensitivity to caffeine and gastrointestinal problems. The federal government along with the NCAA banned this performance enhancing substance after research and the unnecessary death of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler.

Despite the ban on ephedra, a similar stimulant in the same



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