Laura Kettel Khan, PhD; Mary K. Serdula, MD; Barbara A. Bowman, PhD; David F. Williamson, PhD
Requests for Single Reprints:Laura Kettel Khan, PhD, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Mailstop K26, Atlanta, GA 30341; e-mail, LDK7@cdc.gov.
Current Author Addresses:Drs. Khan, Serdula, and Bowman: Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Mailstop K26, Atlanta, GA 30341.
Dr. Williamson: Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Mailstop K26, Atlanta, GA 30341.
Author Contributions:Conception and design: L.K. Khan, M.K. Serdula, B.A. Bowman, D.F. Williamson.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: L.K. Khan, M.K. Serdula, B.A. Bowman, D.F. Williamson.
Drafting of the article: L.K. Khan, M.K. Serdula, B.A. Bowman, D.F. Williamson.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: L.K. Khan, M.K. Serdula, B.A. Bowman, D.F. Williamson.
Final approval of the article: L.K. Khan, M.K. Serdula, B.A. Bowman, D.F. Williamson.
Provision of study materials or patients: L.K. Khan, M.K. Serdula, B.A. Bowman, D.F. Williamson.
Statistical expertise: L.K. Khan.
Pharmacotherapy is recommended for the treatment of obese persons with a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher or a body mass index of at least 27 kg/m2 plus an obesity-related comorbid condition.
To estimate the prevalence of use of prescription weight loss pills in the United States in 1996–1998.
1998 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a nationally representative telephone survey.
139 779 adults 18 years of age and older.
Self-reported pill use for 1996–1998, body mass index (current and before pill use), age, sex, and race or ethnicity.
The 2-year prevalence of pill use was 2.5% (95% CI, 2.1% to 2.9%), or 4.6 million U.S. adults. Use was higher in women than in men (4.0% vs. 0.9%, respectively) and highest among Hispanic respondents (3.2%). Of pill users, 25% were not overweight (body mass index < 27 kg/m2 before using pills.
Nearly 5 million U.S. adults used prescription weight loss pills in 1996–1998. However, one quarter of users were not overweight, suggesting that weight loss pills may be inappropriately used, especially among women, white persons, and Hispanic persons.
Table 1. Two-Year Prevalence of Use of Prescription Weight Loss Pills among U.S. Adults
Table 2. U.S. Adults Who Used Prescription Weight Loss Pills, according to Body Mass Index before Pill Use
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Khan LK, Serdula MK, Bowman BA, Williamson DF. Use of Prescription Weight Loss Pills among U.S. Adults in 1996–1998. Ann Intern Med. ;134:282–286. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-134-4-200102200-00011
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2001;134(4):282-286.
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