Dietary supplements and alternative therapies for obesity: A Perspective from The Obesity Society's Clinical Committee

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2021 Jul;29(7):1095-1098. doi: 10.1002/oby.23189.


In this Perspective Statement from The Obesity Society, the Clinical Committee discusses the use of weight loss supplements in the United States and the lack of regulatory oversight and rigorous testing of their efficacy and safety. A number of products and services claiming to promote weight loss are directly marketed to individuals with obesity and those wanting to lose weight. These products are not regulated as "drugs" by the Federal Drug Administration but, rather, are treated as dietary supplements if ingredients are "generally regarded as safe," requiring little or no testing to show efficacy or safety. Health care providers should be aware of the lack of evidence and deficiencies in regulatory oversight of dietary supplements marketed for weight loss. Regulatory authorities should protect consumers by ensuring accurate and safe marketing claims and preventing promotion of unproven and potentially unsafe products and claims.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration
  • Weight Loss