Many teenagers feel pressured to lose weight and maintain a trim physique. While peer pressure and social media may be partly responsible, there are also health benefits to having a healthy body weight. Therefore, it’s unsurprising that many young people want to find weight loss pills for teens.
However, we never recommend over-the-counter diet pills for teens because they can cause various health problems, which may be severe in some cases. However, there are plenty of safe weight loss options available for children and teenagers, including the FDA-approved best weight loss pills for teens. This article will explain why weight loss products for teenagers are so unsafe and suggest some healthy, expert-approved alternatives.
What are Teenage Weight Loss Pills?
There are very few safe weight loss pills for teens. While there are various over-the-counter supplements that adults can take to lose weight, most state that they are only suitable for people over the age of 18 because their effects on young, developing bodies are unclear.
Over-the-counter weight-loss pills usually work in one of the following ways:
- Reducing appetite to help the user eat fewer calories overall
- Increasing thermogenesis in the body to speed up fat burning
- Improving energy levels to encourage more physical activity, often due to a high stimulant content
- Boosting mood to combat the emotional root causes of overeating
If you’ve read some of our other weight loss content, you’ll notice that we often recommend fat-burning supplements to readers who want to speed up their weight loss alongside a healthy diet and lifestyle changes. However, we haven’t found any non-prescription fat burning pills for teens that are guaranteed safe to take.
Are Diet Pills Safe for Teenagers?
In a word, no. While you may see recommendations for weight loss pills for teenage guys or the best weight loss pills for teenage girls online, the truth is that no scrupulous doctor or website would suggest taking them.
While many diet supplement companies test their products extensively for safety, these studies tend only to include adult participants. That’s why the most popular weight loss products state that they should only be used by people over 18 on the packaging.
A recent study discovered that taking dietary supplements for weight loss is associated with severe medical problems in teenagers. While the study didn’t look in detail at how diet pills for kids under 18 pose a danger, it found that using them could lead to disability, hospitalization, life-threatening incidents, or even death.
According to another study, the use of teenage weight loss supplements increases the likelihood of a child or young person developing an eating disorder such as anorexia and bulimia. These severe mental health conditions have a relatively high mortality rate and could lead to other severe physical health problems.
Research also suggests that diet pills could cause vitamin and nutrient deficiencies in teenagers, especially iron and calcium. These nutrients are crucial for normal growth and physical development in adolescents. Fat burning pills for teens can also interrupt various bodily systems. The use of weight loss pills for teenage girls was found to have a more negative effect than for boys. However, that’s not to say that it is safe for male teenagers to take weight loss pills for kids.
Alternatives to Weight Loss Pills for Teens
There is no magic bullet for teenagers to lose weight and keep it off. Even if a doctor prescribes a teenager Xenical, it will work best combined with healthy lifestyle changes.
The best place to get advice about weight loss for children and teenagers is from your family doctor. We always recommend seeking guidance from a healthcare professional before embarking on a weight loss program for teenagers. Your doctor may recommend sensible changes, such as:
- Following a calorie-controlled, balanced, and nutritious diet plan
- Increasing physical activity by joining a gym or taking part in competitive sports
- Setting short-term and long-term achievable, safe goals
- Learning how to prepare and cook healthy meals at home
- Educating teens about food labels
- Seeking psychological support to help deal with any emotional causes of overeating
- Reducing high-fat and sugary snacks and drinks
By following medically-approved, safe guidance from your healthcare service, teens can lose weight without resorting to potentially dangerous diet pills for kids.
What to Do if Your Teenager is Using Diet Pills
If you discover that your teen is taking pills or supplements, it’s essential to try and get them to stop as soon as possible. The sooner your child stops taking them, the less likely they are to experience any of the adverse effects described in this article.
If your child finds it difficult to stop or you are worried about their weight, your child’s doctor can offer help and advice. It’s crucial to seek help if you think your child may have an eating disorder.
Side Effects of Teenage Weight Loss Supplements
While there are no over-the-counter weight loss pills specifically targeted at teens, adult versions may cause various mild to severe side effects. These effects have not been studied in under-18s, but it’s sensible to assume that children and teenagers may experience similar issues to adults.
Weight loss pill side effects depend on the ingredients of a particular supplement. However, the typical side effects of many over-the-counter fat loss pills include:
- High blood pressure
- Sleep difficulties
- Rapid heart rate
- Upset stomach
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
Serious side effects are more likely to occur in people with certain pre-existing health conditions, including diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure). Some ingredients of diet pills may also interact with other medications, causing potentially serious health problems. While we never recommend weight loss pills for teens, it’s essential for teenagers with known health problems to exercise caution.
Xenical Weight Loss Medication for Teens
Although most weight loss pills for teens are unsafe, the FDA approved Xenical as a weight loss aid for adolescents between 12 and 16 in 2003. However, it is only recommended for teenagers who are obese.
Xenical makes it easier to lose weight by preventing dietary fat absorption in the gut. This reduces the total number of calories consumed in food that pass into the bloodstream. It is known to help obese teenagers lose more weight than diet and exercise alone.
\Xenical is generally considered to be safe and easily-tolerated by teens. However, Xenical does have some side effects that may affect teenage users. It can cause an oily discharge from the anus, increased urgency to visit the restroom and bowel movement frequency, and flatulence. These symptoms are usually more severe after eating a high-fat meal.
Xenical can also cause certain nutrient deficiencies. A full range of vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients is vital for healthy growth during the teenage years. Therefore, a doctor will most likely recommend taking nutritional supplements alongside Xenical to ensure that teens get everything they need to stay healthy.
That said, Xenical could be a good solution for obese teenagers struggling to lose weight in more conventional ways. It’s essential to consult a healthcare provider to check that Xenical is safe for the individual child and for support and advice about healthy eating and exercise habits.
Q: What pills can a teenager take to lose weight?
A: We never recommend over-the-counter weight loss pills for teens because they can cause health problems. However, Xenical is FDA-approved for teenagers between 12-16 years old as long as a doctor prescribes it. Please note that this medication is only suitable for teens and children who are overweight or obese.
Q: How can a teenager lose weight?
A: Fast weight loss isn’t usually healthy for children and teenagers. Instead, aim for slow and steady weight loss over time. Eating a reduced-calorie diet high in essential nutrients and regular exercise is the healthiest and safest way to lose weight for teens (but don’t restrict calories too low). Reducing the number of sugary and fatty ‘junk’ drinks and snacks can also help. A doctor can give help and advice to teens who are struggling to maintain a healthy weight.
Q: Can teenagers take phentermine?
A: The prescription-only diet pill phentermine is unsuitable for teens younger than 16.
Q: Are diet pills safe for teenagers?
A: Most diet pills are unsafe for teenagers because they can have serious side effects. There is also an association between diet pill use and eating disorders in teenagers. However, doctors may prescribe Xenical for overweight or obese teenagers as this drug is safe for children aged 12-16.
Q: What should a 16-year-old eat daily?
A: Teenagers should eat a nutritious diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, iron, and protein. While healthy fats are essential for normal adolescent development, try to limit the daily intake to 25-35% of the total calories eaten. It’s OK to have a few treats now and then, but try to reduce fatty and sugary snacks and drinks day-to-day. If you are a teen or a parent of a teen who is overweight or obese, you should get advice from your doctor about how to lose weight safely.
Q: Why am I so fat as a teenager?
A: Overweight and obesity in teenagers and children are usually the results of unhealthy food habits and insufficient physical activity. Some teenagers are also more genetically predisposed to be overweight than others.
Q: How much weight can a teenager lose in a month?
A: A healthy weight loss rate for teenagers is around 1-2 pounds each week. Therefore, losing 4-8 pounds each month is a realistic and healthy goal.
Q: Is dieting good for a teenager?
A: You should approach dieting for teenagers with caution. Severely restricting calories can cause nutritional deficiencies and other health problems. Teens who already have a healthy BMI don’t need to diet. However, eating a healthy, balanced diet and increasing physical activity can help overweight and obese teenagers slim down safely.
Q: Is the keto diet safe for teenagers?
A: While the keto diet is an excellent way for adults to lose weight, we don’t recommend it for kids and teenagers. Eating a keto diet severely restricts carbohydrates, which are essential for children and young people to remain healthy and active and support normal growth.
The Bottom Line
While we don’t recommend over-the-counter fat burning pills for teens, the good news is that there are plenty of safe ways for teenagers to lose weight. The healthiest way is to focus on eating a healthy, nutritionally-balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Keep an eye on portion sizes, but avoid restricting calories too low. Increasing daily physical activity also burns calories and can help with weight loss.
If you’re a teen struggling to lose weight through diet and exercise, or you’re worried about your teen son or daughter’s weight, try asking your family doctor for help. They can give safe and healthy advice and may prescribe Xenical, the only safe weight loss supplement for teenagers. Please bear in mind that children aged 12-16 should only take Xenical under a doctor’s supervision.