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Obesity Drugs Work — Modestly [news]

You probably don't need a scientific study to tell you there's no such thing as a magic weight-loss pill. Taking federally approved anti-obesity medications, such as Xenical and Acomplia, leads only to modest weight loss — an extra 6 lbs. to 10 lbs. (2.7 kg to 4.7 kg) a year — and it's not likely to radically trim down bulging waistlines.

 "People have to understand it's very difficult to lose weight," says lead author Raj Padwal, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta.

But that's not to say the drugs aren't successful. "There's a disconnect between what medical practitioners seek and what patients seek," says Padwal. Obese patients might go to their doctor looking to lose 100 pounds or more — they want to look the way they looked in high school. But doctors usually have more modest goals, tempered by their patients' experience — and by concerns about health over vanity.