Weight loss – there’s still no magic bullet

CMA supports the evidence-based research that underpins Australian weight loss supplements. Weight gain is multifactorial in nature, and so is weight loss. 

An onoing healthy diet and regular exericise are vital losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight – there is no silver bullet 

Complementing a healthy lifestyle

It is essential to acknowledge that complementary medicines for weight loss are just that – complementary to a healthy lifestyle. Where it comes to losing weight, there is no magic bullet. A determined mindset and a real commitment to adopting and maintaining a more nutritious reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise are essential. Advertisements for any therapeutic goods, including complementary medicines that contain any claim relating to weight management, must balance the claims with the need for a healthy energy‑controlled diet and regular physical activity.

Complementary and traditional medicines are wide-ranging and have been used globally to complement a healthy lifestyle for thousands of years and are backed by traditional and medical research. They play many beneficial roles when used to address specific deficiencies or health requirements when taken as recommended. An integrative approach to taking medicines, including complementary medicines, speaks to the fundamentals of the principles of quality use. 

Obesity – a growing health challenge

Most Australians – around two thirds –  are overweight, and people are keen to explore ways to aid weight loss. One such method may be complementary medicines.

Healthy eating, exercise, stress reduction and sleep

The complementary nature of these ingredients, which carry mild or low-level weight-loss claims, also speaks to their low level of side effects. When complementing physical activity and a healthy energy-controlled diet, these are substances whose ongoing safety profile permits them to be offered self-selection by consumers. Sometimes these ingredients offer additional positive effects to health and wellbeing, such as enhancing blood flow or feelings of energy and wellbeing. 

Ongoing care from a healthcare professional

Informed consumers will inevitably have questions; complementary medicines manufacturers are committed to responding with detailed, professional advice backed by sturdy evidence used to support formulations. For ongoing health and healthy weight, it is important to obtain regular care from a healthcare professional. Offering consumers a choice in a range of potential options is an important factor as a part of self-determined care.

Regulated to standards considered to be the global benchmark, manufacturers of natural health care products in Australia have a justified, respected reputation for quality and purity and do not promote them to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, including weight loss. The marketing and advertising of complementary medicines encourage the quality of products; it is socially responsible and does not mislead or deceive consumers.

Evidence-based research

Academics worldwide and the industry here in Australia are heavily involved in the practical application of evidence-based research to support the rational and effective use of ingredients. Robust evidence supports the use of single and multiple ingredients used in proprietary products. One of these is green tea; it contains caffeine found to aid fat burning and improve exercise performance.

Before exercise, men who consumed caffeine consumption burned 17% more fat than men who didn’t take the supplement, which suggest that it can boost the fat-burning effects of exercise. Again, this benefit is complementary to a healthy lifestyle – it does not claim to replace it. Labels may state that ingredients increase satiety, promote healthy weight, and more – these are not intended to be compared to or replaced by pharmaceutical, prescription weight loss medications, some of which directly affect the brain’s satiety centre.

Again, it must be stressed that these products are promoted as complementary medicines, i.e. they complement a healthy mixed weight-loss diet which remains the first line of weight reduction. They are not intended to be used alone and do not promise miraculous results without adopting lifestyle choices.

The Australian complementary medicine industry is thriving because of increasing demand from consumers at home and internationally. This growth is backed by a global reputation for quality and safety and supported by a robust regulatory system that benefits.

Committed to enhancing rigorous research

Australia’s complementary medicines industry is committed to increasing and enhancing more rigorous research translating into practical benefits for consumers looking for traditional and scientific evidence-based preventive health choices.  



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