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FDA black box warning

The Malingerer - The FDA placed a black box warning on diet and exercise today, cautioning providers that both therapies are unlikely to be effective since most patients won't do either. The warning applies to any medical condition that may be treated with weight loss and conditioning, including diabetes, back pain, hypertension, and sleep apnea, to name a few. The FDA decided to apply its most extreme warning after years of research and practical experience showed that prescribing diet and exercise almost never works.

"The evidence couldn't be more clear," FDA commissioner Robert Califf said in a phone interview with The Malingerer. "Prescribing diet and exercise is completely ineffective and should be abandoned." When asked what providers should do instead, Commissioner Califf recommended that they use clinical judgment. "If you told a diabetic to lose weight, you should prescribe metformin or insulin instead. If you told someone with back pain to exercise and strengthen their core, you should call in some Norco or refer them to pain management." He went on to say that "patients who were prescribed diet and exercise should continue to do what they are doing - which is probably nothing - and contact their doctor as soon as possible."