Weight loss product usage and advice in community pharmacies in North Queensland

Knott, Gillian J., and Chaudhary, Swapna (2017) Weight loss product usage and advice in community pharmacies in North Queensland. In: [Presented at the APSA-ASCEPT Joint Scientific Meeting]. From: APSA-ASCEPT Joint Scientific Meeting, 5-8 December 2017, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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Introduction. Obesity is currently one of the greatest health challenges in Australia, particularly in North Queensland, where in 2011-12, 75% of people living in the Townsville Mackay Region were either overweight or obese.1 Community Pharmacies play a significant role in the management of obesity through the provision of weight management programs and products as well as by providing weight loss advice to consumers. However, there is limited information available regarding the weight loss products that are recommended by pharmacies, whether they are providing evidenced based advice and whether consumers are making appropriate weight loss product choices.

Aims. To identify trends in weight loss product recommendations and advice provided by pharmacies to consumers, to ascertain consumer usage patterns and to investigate the reasons for consumer choices of weight loss products.

Methods. This project involved the distribution of a questionnaire to North Queensland Pharmacies. Responding pharmacies were then asked to distribute a brief survey to their consumers on the purchase of a weight loss product.

Results. 78 different products were listed among the top 10 weight loss products sold by the respondent pharmacies. Both the pharmacist and consumer surveys indicated that the most popular weight loss products were meal replacements, with complementary medicines also being used by a significant number of consumers. Consumers were found to be predominantly female between the age of 26 and 45 years. Information sources used by community pharmacies for the provision of weight loss advice showed potential for bias as they were mainly from company weight loss product or program resources.

Discussion. There is a need for more evidence based weight management training resources for community pharmacies. There is also a need for increased consumer awareness of the available evidence or lack of evidence for many weight loss products. Meal replacement products are a popular choice of product with some evidence of short-term benefits, however further studies to determine the long term efficacy of these products may be warranted. Given the higher obesity levels of males compared to females,1 consideration should also be given to increasing the promotion of weight loss services to the male population.

Item ID: 56475
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2018 00:35
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine > 110499 Complementary and Alternative Medicine not elsewhere classified @ 10%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences > 111503 Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice @ 80%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 10%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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