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"Drug shown to help curb childhood obesity"

Victoria Times Colonist

Source: Victoria Times Colonist

Published: 17 Jun 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (1 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

TORONTO - A drug that blocks fat absorption in the intestines can help some obese adolescents slim down when used in combination with diet, exercise and behavioural therapy, a Canadian-led international study has found.

The study of kids aged 12 to 16 found that those whose weight-loss strategy included the drug orlistat saw bigger drops in both body mass index (BMI) and their waistlines than participants given a placebo.

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 1 of 8
Availability of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Not Applicable
Disease Mongering Not Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Applicable

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This is a report of a clinical trial comparing the use of orlistat to reduce weight in obese adolescents, in combination with non-drug interventions (diet, exercise and behaviour therapy) to the same non-drug interventions plus placebo.

The article provides inadequate information on study design to effectively judge the reported outcomes. For example, the length of trial, number of participants, whether or not it was a double-blind randomized controlled trial, the proportion of participants completing the study, and whether or not results are based on the full intent-to-treat population or only on those who completed the study.

There was no mention of any adverse effects or withdrawals due to adverse effects. The title is also misleading, as the trial only included adolescents, not children. The article does not mention the availability of this drug in Canada or other available treatments for obesity.

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