Over-the-counter and out-of-control: Legal strategies to protect youths from abusing products for weight control

Jennifer L. Pomeranz, Lisa M. Taylor, S. Bryn Austin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Abuse of widely available, over-the-counter drugs and supplements such as laxatives and diet pills forweight control by youths is well documented in the epidemiological literature. Many such products are not medically recommended for healthyweight control or are especially susceptible to abuse, and their misuse can result in serious health consequences. We analyzed the government's role in regulating these products to protect public health. We examined federal and state regulatory authority, and referred to international examples to inform our analysis. Several legal interventions are indicated to protect youths, including increased warnings and restrictions on access through behindthe- counter placement or age verification. We suggest future directions for governments internationally to address this pervasive public health problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-225
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume103
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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