American Society of Bariatric Physicians Discourages the Use of the "Pregnancy Hormone" in Weight Loss Regimens

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Medical society has found HCG hormone is ineffective at producing weight loss

The use of HCG hormone (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, also known as the "pregnancy hormone") has long been a controversial treatment for obese and overweight patients. The American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) is officially not recommending its use, pointing to numerous clinical trials showing HCG to be ineffective at producing weight loss.

Dr. A. Simeons first introduced the use of HCG in 1954 to help with weight loss. He prescribed a strict 500-calorie-a-day diet combined with injections of HCG. The Simeons method was very popular in the 1970s and advocates claimed that the method had numerous advantages including rapid weight loss with minimal hunger, no weakness, and dramatic loss of fat in the stomach, hips, thighs, and upper arms. While the program appeared to work, after numerous studies and clinical trials concluded that patients lost weight because of the strict diet and not because of HCG doses, the diet fell out of favor again.

In Americans' quest to lose weight, however, HCG has resurfaced and is available as part of treatment plans. Instead of pursuing a diet that clinical trials have shown to be ineffective, the ASBP advocates a medically supervised weight loss regimen that includes:

  • Diet modification based on safer caloric and nutrient guidelines
  • Exercise programs tailored to the capabilities and limitations of the patient
  • Behavioral counseling, including development of proper eating habits, how to deal with stress-related eating and how to address the diet and lifestyle of the whole family
  • Prescription medications if indicated.

Regardless of how much weight a patient has to lose, the ASBP encourages people to find a bariatric physician who follows the above guidelines and monitors the patient's care throughout his or her weight loss. Physician supervision is necessary to detect and treat weight-related medical conditions. A program supervised by a physician who is a member of the ASBP and who has completed specialized training in bariatric medicine, offers a comprehensive and effective approach to maximizing overall health and reversing co-morbidities.

About the ASBP
Founded in 1950, the ASBP is the oldest medical association focused on the education and training of medical professionals treating and managing obese patients and associated diseases. The ASBP is a collaborative organization that provides its members practical information and business tools to implement a successful medical bariatric practice. For more information about the ASBP, visit http://www.asbp.org.

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