"Skinny Pill For Kids" Called Dangerous By Doctors - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/10/02 - Tyler

"Skinny Pill For Kids" Called Dangerous By Doctors

Kids feel the pressure to be thin.

One East Texas teenager says, "I've heard girls saying I don't want to eat anything, to be thin and they don't eat anything."  Another says, "They say maybe that you're fat, and it's not right." 

It can be an obsession.  Now, one website tells them, just pop a "Skinny Pill".  The creator says the pill helps kids slim. A chorus of medical professionals say it won't work.

"It appears that someone that's untrained in medicine and untrained in nutrition, [and they] threw a concoction together," says Dr. Hope Short of ETMC Physicians Clinic in Tyler

Dr. Jonathan MacClements of UT Health Center in Tyler agrees.

"I do find that incredibly disturbing."

The "Skinny Pill for Kids" website lists many ingredients -- including what doctors say are diuretics. Experts say it's dangerous, especially for growing kids. 

"It hasn't been tested on kids. There are no safety trials, and there are some things in it that have been shown to cause liver damage and possible kidney damage," adds Dr. Short.

"Skinny Pill" creator Edita Kaye says she stands behind the product.

"I have all the ingredients my chemists have told me are safe and effective.  I think that I have done everything in the safest possible way that I could."

Doctors warn parents if their kids ask for this pill, they should look for what could be behind it.

Dr. MacClements says, "If the child has gone to the internet and is looking up this information, there is a bigger self-esteem issue behind it."

Those are issues that can come from the way kids are teased. 

One student says her friends often ask questions that can lead to humiliation.

"'How much do you weigh?' or 'what size are your pants?'  If they're big, or they're not the size that they wear, then they make fun of you," she says.

Doctors say diet, exercise, and positive reinforcement are the only ways to turn around a weight problem.

Reported by Morgan Palmer

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