Mom is always looking for some way to get me to lose weight. Now, I don't think I'm that much overweight; I think I'm about right for a woman my age (plus or minus a bit), but apparently she doesn't think so. Today, she took me to the mall and bought me herbal diet pills. Okay, I think, I could stand to lose a bit of my tummy, and if not now, then when? After all, losing weight only gets tougher as you get older, and I'm gaining about ten pounds a year. And my two younger sisters are quite a bit thinner than I am, and I would like to borrow their clothes now and then.

But diet pills? They are herbal, but it seems a little weird to me. Isn't that like buying your daughter speed? However, I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. I learned a long time ago (during my freshman year in college) that anytime you can get something for nothing - a meal, some clothes, disk space - you shouldn't ask questions. So I'll try the herbal diet pill thing for a while and see what happens. I think I can handle it; I won't abuse them or anything. So stay tuned for a real life testimonial; let's see if these things really work.

Added Later: I know that "herbal" does not mean "safe" (see Does "All Natural" Mean "No Side Effects"?) I don't want you all to think that I'm a complete idiot. However, I know enough people who've taken this particular pill over a period of years, and they are still perfectly healthy human beings (and a bit thinner, to boot). Yes, I know, I know, "long-term effects" can exist, but hey, do you know what the "long-term effects" of obesity are? Heart disease, high cholesterol, asthma, cancer, and, ultimately, death. I'll take my chances.

Herbal diet pills usually contain ephedrine, called Ma Huang in its herbal form. Read the ephedrine node, and, like ailie says, tread carefully.

Apologetic note:
Sorry, I'm a father of two seven-year-old girls, and these things just terrify me. So please, read the warnings first and exercise caution so I can sleep tonight without worrying about all of you.

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