The Ministry of Health is informing the public that there is no proof of weight loss benefits as a result of using Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced by the??placenta??during pregnancy.

It has become apparent to Ministry officials that the product was available locally and was being marketed to obese or overweight persons who were trying to lose weight. However, information from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on the Rational Use of Medicine, based at the National University of La Plata in Argentina, showed that hCG "was of no value in the treatment of obesity… and had no action on weight loss, fat distribution, reducing hunger or inducing a feeling of wellbeing."

Most hCG diet plans restrict persons to just 500 calories per day along with the hCG injections or serum drops given under the tongue. However, diet and nutrition experts agree that although persons on this diet were likely to lose weight, it would result from a very low-calorie or starvation-like diet and not the hCG.?? The average caloric intake for a healthy young female from 20 to 30 years old ranges from about 2,000 to 2,400 calories, while for males of a similar age, the range is around 2,400 to 3,000 calories.??

Experts warn of potential health risks associated with extremely low calorie diets, that include loss of muscle mass and damage to vital organs. In contrast, it is noted that a healthier approach to weight management may be achieved by balancing sufficient levels of physical activity with a nutritious diet.

The National Nutrition Centre’s Food Based Dietary Guidelines for Barbados advises members of the Barbadian public to eat a variety of foods daily, while taking care to include fruits, vegetables and high fibre food and to select items that are low in fat, salt and sugar.??


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