Apr 05, 2011 News
In recognition of the fact that there is no easy way for overweight persons to lose extra weight fast, Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, has issued a statement decrying any product that has been professed to have such qualities.
Such a product simply does not exist, the Minister noted, adding that “we are very concerned that many persons are now promoting easy, no effort and fast weight loss programmes.
“We are…extremely concerned about advertisements and services which claim that a person can lose weight fast without any effort, other than paying for certain commodities.”
Such health claims, he said, are not backed by any evidence and therefore are misleading. The Food and Drugs Analyst Act, he noted, is clear in its declaration that “no health claims can be made unless there is verifiable evidence.”
According to Minister Ramsammy, the Ministry of Health is not aware of any method to lose weight easy, without any effort, without any physical activity and dieting and to achieve this objective fast.
“We are unequivocal – there is no evidence of any cream, any gadget that would promote weight loss fast, without physical activity and without adherence to a proper diet and without giving up smoking and misusing alcohol.”
He pointed out though that the sale of supplements and the provision of services are not illegal if they do not make claims of health gains. However, once health claims are made these services become illegal, unless the claims can be verified, the statement added. Such products according to the Minister must be licensed by the FDA and such services must be licensed by the Health Facilities Licensing Act.
“As Minister of Health, I am asking that consumers should be aware that the services and supplements being marketed in Guyana for fast, easy weight loss are not consistent with evidence and as such they ought to be aware that they may be paying for supplies and services that will not allow them to achieve their desired goals.”
“The persons responsible for the provision of such supplies and services ought to know that the Ministry of Health would want them to provide the evidence and they ought to know they must be licensed for these purposes.”
The Minister’s disclosure was premised on the fact that many people have become interested in a recent programme launched by the Ministry of Health ‘Weight No More’ which highlights the importance of having a healthy weight.
The televised programme is characterised by the struggles of 12 young people, who through their efforts to attain a healthy weight have been helping to raise awareness. The programme was kicked into action about one month ago, but according to Minister Ramsammy each of the women have lost weight and are feeling much better about themselves.
The Ministry of Health has been promoting weight control and has been accelerating its campaign for every Guyanese to know their Body Mass Indes (BMI). The campaign known as ‘What am I without my BMI’ seeks to ensure that all Guyanese are aware of their body weight and that they try to control body weight to maintain normal BMI of between 18 and 25.
According to the Minister, the response of the Guyanese people to the campaign, has been laudable as there has been an increase in the number of persons getting involved in physical activity.
However, the Ministry will continue to encourage others to join the physical activity revolution emerging, Minister Ramsammy noted.
“We are pleased that many other institutions and even businesses have joined us in promoting the message about body weight and control.
However, he stressed that neither proper nutrition nor diet by itself or physical activity alone will work to maintain the recommended body weight and BMI.
For persons to maintain body weight within the recommended BMI, a number of conditions must be met including: proper diet, balanced with an awareness of portion and caloric content; regular and sustained physical activity such as jogging, walking, playing sports, swimming, dancing etc; no smoking and no misuse of alcohol.
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