In 2006, the number of obese individuals in the United States reached a staggering 97 million. And with the fast and furious lifestyle (read: fast food, instant food) showing no signs of letting up, that number will increase alarmingly.

In comes weight loss patches that promise weight loss quickly, easily and permanently. For those new to the idea, these are simply transdermal patches applied on hairless body parts like the shoulder and ankle, changed on a daily basis for most brands, and provide even doses of the weight loss-inducing ingredients for 24 hours.

The ingredients used are usually found to encourage weight loss when taken orally and may include any or all of the following: forskolin, bladder wrack seaweed, various herbs, lecithin, L-carnitine, and green tea, among others. All weight loss patches claim to boost metabolism or reduce appetite or both.

Advantages of the Product

With legitimate weight loss patches, the following are the advantages:

* Ease of application — Just peel off the protective covering, place it on the appropriate area as recommended by the manufacturer, forget about it and let it work its magic for the 24-hour period, and replace the next day. It can even be strategically placed such that others will not know of its presence.

* 100% natural — The ingredients used are often natural such that side effects are minimal.

* No weight loss pressure — Unlike fad diets and exercise programs, manufacturers often advise a sensible eating and exercising habit to complement the fat-burning properties of these transdermal patches. No crash diets, no intense exercise programs.

* Safe Application — Because of transdermal technology, the ingredients are slowly, safely, and directly introduced into the bloodstream. This way, only the vital components for weight loss are circulated throughout the body without overtaxing the kidney and the liver.

* Relative affordability — With 30-day trial packs at affordable prices, the products are easy on the pocket and easy on the conscience. After all, withdrawal from the program can be had immediately since these are removable skin patches.

Ultimately, weight loss is made possible in a faster and easier manner. However, as with all good things, bad things will come up.

Disadvantages of the Product

Unfortunately, weight loss patches have its share of issues that confound ordinary consumers, thanks in no small part to false advertising. These are part of the marketing ploys to increase product sales but it pays to be vigilant, to be aware of ridiculous claims, and to listen to the news.

The most disturbing in the list of cons for the product is the absence of clinical proof of efficacy. Sure, some of the ingredients contained in the products have indeed been proven to aid in weight loss. However, it must be noted that oral dosages were in much greater levels than those contained in the transdermal products. Thus, it would be next to impossible to get the necessary amounts into the bloodstream in a short amount of time with the skin patches.

In conclusion, weight loss patches must be used with caution. These are only a small part of the bigger weight loss picture, pun intended. The consumer must complement the product with healthy eating and moderate exercise, consult the physician for advice, and set realistic weight loss goals. Ultimately, being healthy is a conscious decision of adapting a healthy lifestyle!

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