Call for California Advocates
California advocates- we need your help! Email or call members of the CA Judiciary Committee and urge them to support AB-1341. Below is a brief script you can follow. Please make sure to edit the bits [in brackets]:
Dear [Assembly Member’s Name],
I am writing to register my strong support for AB-1341, “Dietary supplements for weight loss and over-the-counter diet pills,” introduced by Assembly Member Cristina Garcia. It is critical to support this to protect children from the unsafe effects of these largely underregulated products. This can be done by simply restricting their sale to those 18 or older.
AB-1341 will be heard by the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, April 27. As a California resident, [if you live in the Assembly Member’s district, please instead write “As your constituent”] I’m asking you to vote in favor of this legislation (AB-1341).
Unfortunately, our culture’s intense focus on weight can lead far too many young people to use diet pills or supplements in attempts to lose weight. Not only are these products underregulated, unproven, and laced with dangerous chemicals, they can contribute to a lifetime of eating disorders and other serious health problems.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has released reports stating that teens should never use diet pills. I agree and hope that you will support this common-sense measure to keep these deceptive products out of the hands of California kids.
We are excited to announce Massachusetts, New York, and California all have pieces of state legislation introduced to protect young people from dangerous weight loss and muscle-building products. Thank you Rep. Khan (MA), Senator Rush (MA), Assemblymember Garcia (CA), Assemblymember Rozic (NY), and Senator Mayer (NY) for being champions of these bills and leading the charge to protect young people in your states. Check out more details on these bills below.
- New York
- An act to amend the general business law, in relation to establishing restrictions on the sale of over-the-counter diet pills and dietary supplements for weight loss or muscle building and increasing civil penalties for the sale or promotional distribution of dietary supplements containing ephedra (S16A/A431A)
Protecting young people in MA from dangerous weight loss and muscle-building products
Supplements sold to induce weight loss or muscle growth are common and widely available to consumers of all ages. They also rarely work as advertised; although they are marketed as being herbal in origin, they often contain unlisted chemical ingredients. Stimulants, anti-depressants, and the active ingredient in failed weight-loss drug Meridia (sibutramine) have all been found in these products, and young people have died from their use. That’s why eating disorders clinicians and researchers consider their use an “unhealthy weight control behavior” (abbreviated UWCB). UWCBs are risk factors for eating disorders that can become symptoms as a disorder develops. From pills and powders on pharmacy shelves to teas and lollipops advertised on billboards and Instagram, these products are widely available and heavily promoted. The FDA can test these products once there is evidence of a problem, and can issue recalls when contaminants are found. But for the most part, the purchase of these products is unrestricted and young people may not be aware of the risks.
Here in Massachusetts, a group of advocates is trying to change that. An Act Protecting Children From Harmful Diet Pills and Muscle-Building Supplements, H.2331 (introduced by Representative Kay Khan) and S.1525 (introduced by Senator Michael Rush) would restrict the sale of these products to adults ages 18 and over in order to keep these dangerous products #OutOfKidsHands.
Want to get involved with the Out of Kids’ Hands Campaign?
- Keep track of the latest activity and read the full text of the bill at https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H4783/BillHistory
- Post to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtags #outofkidshands (reflecting this specific campaign) and #mapoli (which will help people interested in Massachusetts politics find your posts)
- Read our health inequities fact sheet, policy brief , MA fact sheet, dietary supplements regulation fact sheet, supplement stories, MA talking points, CA talking points, policy action videos, and science summaries to learn more – then share it with a friend or colleague!
- Sign up for the STRIPED email list for campaign updates and eating disorders prevention news and resources by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Don’t miss STRIPED’s 6-video training series on how providers can discuss dietary supplements to keep patients safe.
More reading about the dangers of dietary supplements for weight loss and muscle-building and other resources:
- Massachusetts youth surveyed nearly 500 of their peers across the state about weight-loss and muscle-building supplements. The youth uncovered alarming information on use of weight-loss and muscle-building supplements by minors. See the full results of the Massachusetts Youth Survey on Weight Loss and Muscle-building Supplements here.
- Check out the press release about this youth-led survey here.
- See similar bills that have recently been filed:
- New York State’s Assemblymember Nily Rozic filed A431A and Senator Shelley Mayer filed S16A a similar bill to ban the sale of diet pills and muscle-building supplements to minors in New York state.
- Assemblymember Cristina Garcia in California has introduced AB-1341, a similar bill to ban the sale of weight loss supplements and pills to those under the age of 18 in California.
- New York Times article on the risks of muscle-building supplements: “When Teen Boys Use Supplements”
- Boston Globe article on the importance of this bill: “Dietary supplements, largely unregulated, deserve the state’s skepticism”
- New York 1 news piece and interview with Iman Hariri-Kia on dangerous dietary supplements
- American Academy of Pediatrics Report: Preventing Obesity and Eating Disorders in Adolescents
- American Academy of Pediatrics Report: Use of Performance-Enhancing Substances
- Paper co-authored by STRIPED Director S. Bryn Austin: The Dangerous Mix of Adolescents and Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss and Muscle Building: Legal Strategies for State Action
- Paper co-authored by STRIPED Director S. Bryn Austin: Over-the-Counter and Out-of-Control: Legal Strategies to Protect Youths from Abusing Products for Weight Control
- News article from the Harvard Public Health Review: How America’s Flawed Supplement Law Creates the Mirage of Weight Loss Cures
- Attorneys General Letter on Dietary Supplements, sent by several state Attorneys General to the bipartisan leaders of the House Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, & Data Security and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health in 2015.
- Supplements and Health: Sorting the Facts Forum and Live Facebook Pre-Event Q&A, presented on May 11, 2017.
- WGBH Greater Boston segment on Rep. Khan’s bill and the dangers of dietary supplements sold for weight loss and muscle building dated September 28, 2017.
- Article in the Harvard Public Health Review by S. Bryn Austin titled Odds, Arcs, and Policy Change: A Step-by-Step Look at a Public Health Campaign Taking on the Dietary Supplements Industry
- Article co-authored by STRIPED’s Jordan Levinson and STRIPED Director S. Bryn Austin: Diet Pill and Laxative Use for Weight Control and Subsequent Incident Eating Disorder in US Young Women: 2001–2016
If you have questions, please contact Julia Vitagliano at email@example.com.