Every year around this time, college students start finalizing their plans for spring break—and every year, young women and girls decide they want to lose weight. This can mean just shedding a pound or two, but more often than not, this means losing a significant amount of weight in a period of time in which it is not healthy to do so. A popular term used around this time is ‘skinny b***h season’, which is when some girls try to lose a lot of weight.
According to Do Something a website that educates and promotes body positivity, 91 percent of women are unhappy with their current weight and body appearance, but rather than losing weight the healthy way, many people try to find health “short-cuts”. These “short-cuts” can come in the form of dietary pills, special teas or other drinks, laxatives, waist trainers, extreme binge dieting, hunger restricting lollipops and so much more. Of all the methods out there, the most common route young women use to lose weight is extreme binge dieting.
There are many methods across the spectrum of dieting that people use when trying to lose weight, among some of the most common includes: eating only fruits or vegetables in very small quantities for weeks; using laxatives regularly (and even daily during times when they are trying to lose the most weight); downing two to three dietary ‘weight-loss’ pills everyday; having ‘fasting days’ where they simply do not consume anything except water or dietary tea; even chewing food and spitting it out without swallowing anything. All of these methods have one thing in common: while they might help in losing weight, none of them are healthy nor are any of them safe.
Certain methods, such as dietary lollipops, have become especially popular since celebrities including Kim Kardashian have endorsed them on their social media. Kardashian’s post reads “#ad You guys… @flattummyco just dropped a new product. They’re Appetite Suppressant Lollipops and they’re literally unreal. They’re giving the first 500 people on their website 15% OFF so if you want to get your hands on some…you need to do it quick! #suckit.” Endorsing products like these dietary lollipops gives people the idea that these products will help them lose weight and get a flat stomach, but how do they work?
What exactly is in these special teas, lollipops and dietary pills? Senna glycoside (senna for short) is an FDA-approved mild laxative that is found most commonly in these types of products. Senna, and other laxatives like this, are not supposed to be used every day, however, the companies that make them market their product as something you take almost like a vitamin: every day as a routine. Senna is a medication that is supposed to be taken spread out and not back-to-back as most consumers use it. Senna is a medication that is not meant to be used as a dietary supplement, but rather as a way to treat constipation.
The companies that promote these products try to market them as weight loss supplements, and because they are using a product that is technically “FDA approved”, most people view them as a safe alternative to actual healthy weight-loss routes. But since the use of these products has almost become a trend within the past couple of years, nutritionists from all across the country have expressed their fears surrounding the dangers of using these products. Before starting a new diet, be aware and research what you are putting into your body, because a lot of the products out right now that market themselves as ‘weight-loss’ aren’t the healthiest or most effective ways of losing weight.