The searing summer heat is now in full force, and coupled with heavy humidity, conditions are hardly bearable. Many beat the heat by heading to the beach or swimming pool. And in order to fit into that new swimsuit, adults and teens are turning to diet supplements to help shed those unwanted pounds. Dr. Elizabeth Mack of Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital says these supplements are definitely not for children, and even adults and teens should be very careful using these diet supplements while exercising and out in the heat.
“The herbal teas and weight loss products, many are not regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) though we know a lot of them contain stimulants such as caffeine.”
Mack says stimulants like caffeine cause the body to secrete water at a more rapid rate. Especially in the extreme heat, the body becomes dehydrated very quickly, rendering a person more susceptible to heat injuries, including the shutdown of vital organs that could prove fatal.
Mack says because of the stimulants contained in various diet supplements, a number of teens and adults “seeking a buzz” are using the over-the-counter supplements, but not for dieting. “Certainly teenagers use these as recreational drugs, but they have also been used as weight loss supplements intentionally or unintentionally, and this is definitely not safe for the young child and even, depending on the product, possibly the teenager or the adult.”