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Dear Representative/Senator ____________,
I am writing to urge you to support An Act Protecting Children From Harmful Diet Pills and Muscle-Building Supplements (Massachusetts HB1195), which was filed by Representative Kay Khan on January 18, 2017. This bill addresses a vital public health issue: the use and abuse of diet pills and muscle-building supplements by Massachusetts youth.
Dietary supplements for weight loss and muscle-building are not evaluated for safety and efficacy by the FDA before entering the market. Years of mounting research shows that these products often carry immense health risks, including stroke, heart attack, seizure, testicular cancer, organ failure, and even death. Moreover, no over-the-counter drugs for weight loss have been approved by the FDA for use by minors, and people with eating disorders are at particular risk for abusing diet pills. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the nation’s preeminent organization of pediatricians, strongly cautions against teens using any diet pills or muscle-building supplements. Despite these dangers, there are currently no protections in place to stop minors from purchasing diet pills and muscle-building supplements. These products too often get into the hands of our children and teenagers. More than 30 percent of children and adolescents take dietary supplements on a regular basis, and 11% of teens report ever using dietary supplements for weight loss. As a constituent, I am deeply concerned about this vital public health issue.
If passed, Massachusetts HB1195 would limit the sale of diet pills and muscle-building supplements to adults over the age of 18 only, and would require stores and pharmacies to keep these products behind the counter. Adults 18 years and older would be free to purchase these products by asking pharmacy staff or a store supervisor for help. In doing so, this bill would help to keep these potentially dangerous products out of the hands of our youth.
Please join our coalition of concerned community and university groups, along with Representative Khan, by supporting Massachusetts HB1195. For more information, please contact Representative Khan’s office at (617) 722-2011 and visit tinyurl.com/outofkidshandsMA.
Thank you for your leadership on this important child health issue in the Commonwealth.
Contact information, including Senatorial/State Representative District
(e.g. resident, 5th Bristol Massachusetts House of Representatives district)