Offering pharmacy support behind VLCDs

Oct 2012

Not all Very Low Calorie Diets (VLCDs) are the same, and not all VLCD programmes are the same. Customers need to be made aware that some online VLCDs come without the proper formulations or essential support of a healthcare professional.
VLCDs should use nutritionally complete food formulas designed to replace all regular meals with no additions. The professional weight management programmes are especially valuable for the obese where the excess weight has led to co-morbidities such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and mobility problems. They are not for the casual dieter who wants to shed a few pounds before going on holiday, but can help prevent overweight from progressing to obesity.
but weight loss can have an impact on existing medical conditions. Real weight loss should be managed in a healthcare setting where knowledgeable screening and weekly monitoring are routine.
Lipotrim is a professional VLCD programme that is only available from pharmacies and GP surgeries. The initial consultation involves screening for suitability and taking a careful medical and drug history. In some cases GP involvement is required, e.g. for stopping drugs in patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients are required to return to the pharmacy weekly for monitoring, counselling if necessary and to collect the next week’s supplies. People nearing their target weight are given lifestyle advice on
maintaining their weight and offered the followon maintenance programme.
Online VLCDs cannot replace the comprehensive care, support and expertise provided by a pharmacy‘s professional weight
management service. And importantly, online purchases cannot guarantee the compositional integrity of products that have at times been known to violate international standards for total food replacement products and programmes. Caveat emptor!