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Is taking diet pills a waste money?

A new Consumer Reports survey shows that people are misinformed about the safety and effectiveness of weight-loss supplements.

YONKERS, NY – "Lose weight fast." "Burn more calories, burn more fat." "Designed to help you LOSE 1 1b. a day." "Super Thermogenic." Promises like those on weight-loss supplement packaging make it tempting to pick up a bottle of diet pills. And nearly one in four consumers do, according to a new national survey of nearly 3,000 Americans from the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

More than one-quarter of the supplement users in the survey tried the products because they felt they were safe and would help them drop more pounds than other weight loss methods. But unlike prescription and over the counter drugs, supplements don’t have to be proved effective and safe before they hit store shelves.

Not only are people confused about whether supplements are effective, but many are also unaware of their risks. One-quarter of the people in the survey believe the products have fewer side effects than over-the-counter or prescription medications, and nearly 20 percent believe the supplements are safer than prescription drugs because they’re “natural.” The survey found that the majority of people who take supplements don’t tell their primary care doctors. (SOURCE: Consumer Reports)

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