The FDA has approved Belviq (Lorcaserin)- the US’s 1st weight loss drug in 13 years. Belviq is thought to work by decreasing the appetite via serotonin levels. Belviq is approved for people who are obese or overweight with a BMI >27 and a related health condition (including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes).
In a country where only one third of the population are able to maintain a healthy weight, it’s hard to turn a blind eye to possible use of medications to promote weight loss for health. But I simply have too many apprehensions to see Belviq as a healthy solution to weight loss. In 2010 Belviq was rejected due to possible heart problems as a side effect, however the manufacture submitted further studies ans the drug was passed. It is also important to note that Belviq works in the same way as 1 of the ingredients in Fen-Fen did which was pulled from the market in the 90s due to health complications.
From my standpoint on weight management and healthy eating, if a person is taking a drug short-term to suppress their appetite, what will be the result when they stop taking the drug? The true measure of success in weight management is not losing weight, it is maintaining the weight losss for life. In order to maintain something for life, you need to develop the habit for life not as a short term fix. So, if the person is not able to learn hunger and fullness during the course of their weight loss because their appetite is suppressed by a short-term fix (Belviq), how will they switch to eating and trusting their hunger/fullness cues once they have lost weight and are off the drug?