The Skinny Pill for Kids is a diet pill for children specifically marketed over the Internet. It was featured in a segment on CNN. The marketer of the "Skinny Pill for Kids" said her company had not done safety tests on children. The pill is being marketed to children age 6 to 12, and contains vitamins, minerals and herbs.
Pediatric experts are concerned about three herbs in the "Skinny Pill" that are diuretics. Uva ursi, juniper berry, and buchu leaf that all cause the body to lose water. The Physicians Desk Reference states the uva ursi should not be given to children under age 12.
Dr. Alison Hoppin, chief of the pediatric obesity clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital states, "Diuretics in children can cause kidney problems and electrolyte imbalances if taken long term."
In addition, the Physicians Desk Reference states that the herbs could potentially cause liver damage in children. Niacin, another ingredient, can be toxic to the liver. The National Academy of Sciences sets limits for niacin consumption. The recommended dose in the "skinny pill for kids" contains four times the upper limit of what an 8-year-old child is supposed to take. Experts also warn that there's no data showing this pill helps children lose weight.
The director of the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health emphasizes that none of the ingredients contained in this pill have been studied in children.
"It's absolutely outrageous," said Keith Ayoob, a pediatric nutritionist and a member of the American Dietetic Association, speaking about Skinny Pill for Kids on CNN. "It's junk science," he goes on to say.
Edita Kaye, whose Web site markets the "Skinny Pill for Kids" says she's been assured by those who manufacture the pill that it is perfectly safe for children.
Kaye, who is not licensed as a dietitian, said she came up with the idea to offer something for kids because she gets e-mails from parents asking advice for their overweight kids and she hears from kids wanting to know if it's OK for them to take their parent's "skinny pill." Kaye said a "Skinny Pill for Teens" is on its' way. A 30-day supply of the pills costs $39.99.
It is essential for children to be taught good habits, especially the fundamentals of balanced nutrition and exercise. Starting them off in life by teaching them to take short-cuts will only lead to a lifetime of heartache over their weight.