Fattened by pills

Psychiatric pills that is. An article by Paula Caplan in the Boston Globe:

It is striking that the weight of many Americans has ballooned just as the prescribing of psychiatric drugs has surged. The Obesity Society categorizes nearly two-thirds of adult Americans as overweight, the average weight of an adult having increased since 1960 by 25 pounds, and between 1996 and 2006 alone, prescriptions of psychiatric drugs for US adults increased 73 percent. The courageous Alaskan attorney James Gottstein in 2006 exposed drug company Eli Lilly’s concealment of its knowledge about the effects of its drug Zyprexa3 (approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder but also prescribed for other conditions) on weight gain, and subsequent reports have revealed such effects of a whole range of psychiatric drugs. But nearly all researchers and journalists who focus on obesity fail to mention the drug link…

…What’s worse is that the connection between psychiatric drugs and obesity involves children, too. Over the past two decades the number of obese adolescents has tripled, while the 10 years after 1996 saw prescriptions of psychiatric drugs for US children rise 50 percent. And a new federal study shows that poor children are more likely than other kids to be put on drugs marketed as antipsychotics, one of the greatest culprits for causing major weight gain as well as lifelong metabolic problems. Add the humiliation to which kids subject overweight peers, and the potential psychological damage is frightening. (read the rest here)

I’ve thought this for a long time. So glad someone is finally saying it in the mainstream media.

I’ve written about psych meds and fat many times. Here I talk about how it’s impossible for many people to lose weight on psych meds and yet those that gain are blamed as though it’s a personal defect. Here I talk about how the fat fell away as soon as I got off the offending drugs with no effort on my part. And here very early in the life of this blog I talk about how the thin athlete I was turned into a woman with 100 extra pounds as a direct result of taking psychiatric medications. I should add that the last post linked to last was written very early in the life of this blog. I have a more sophisticated understanding of fat now and I have to say, I don’t care about my weight. I only care about being healthy.

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