There is clear and convincing evidence that modern appetite-suppressant drugs are effective and safe. However, there are several barriers to the proper use of these drugs and other treatments. These barriers include the public perception that obesity is a disease resulting from a lack of willpower, the professional expectation that appetite-suppressant drugs should cure obesity, hindrance by state licensing agencies, regulatory rigidity, limited research funding, and legislative grandstanding.
Clinical and experimental data suggest that modern appetite-suppressant drugs have little risk (1, 2). Drug abuse with amphetamine, methamphetamine, and phenmetrazine is well recognized, and these drugs have no place in the