Weight-Loss Files: Revealing The Industry’s Dark Side

Slimming treatments are a multimillion-rand operation in this country alone. Here is what you need to take into consideration when planning to undergo a weight-loss journey.

South Africans are getting more overweight and obese with time, due to their genetics and their food and lifestyle choices. A lack of exercise or a sedentary lifestyle, with vehicles to take them everywhere, also contributes to this issue. All of this increases the risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and eventually cancers and death. Patients going to a slimming clinic are often desperate and are looking for a “quick fix” for weight-loss, whether that entails a diet plan, medication, injections or slimming treatments may lead to people injecting pharmacological agents that are not approved by the MCC (Medicines Control Council). These can have severe side effects, causing complications and even disfigurement due to infections, abscess formation or scarring (just to name a few).

These companies and the people they “train” give the weight-loss, slimming and aesthetic fraternity a bad name. If anything goes wrong (such as abscess formation), there is no recourse for patients, as the injectors are not affiliated to any council overseeing their medication or protocols. This leaves the patient with no choice but to turn to doctors to sort out the mess. The resulting complications may scar patients for life, and the only way to take these rogue traders on is to open a criminal case against them. They often inject out of hotel rooms and makeshift salons, and their labs are usually in a kitchen or an inappropriate, non-sterile laboratory, not dissimilar to those of illegal drug laboratories. They often move their premises, and change their phone numbers and their companies’ names, or even the way the product is applied, to prevent prosecution.

AAMSSA urges patients to stay away from these operators, who can ruin their lives, and to report these cases to us (info@aestheticdoctors.co.za) and the police (Crime Stop 08600 10111).

Do not step into this massive money-making trap. Visit the following link at Aesthetic Doctors to find a reputable, vetted, well-qualified doctor to assist with weight los and slimming.

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By Dr Cobus van Niekerk, AAMSSA President