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Availability and composition of weight-loss supplements in Sri Lanka

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 00:35 authored by Jayawardena, R, Sooriyaarachchi, P, Ranasinghe, P, Perera, A, Andrew HillsAndrew Hills

Aim: The present study aims to investigate the composition and availability of weight-loss supplements in Sri Lanka and explore the evidence for their effectiveness.

Methods: Data were collected by visiting drug stores, searching the Internet for websites and referring to advertisements in national newspapers and magazines from August to October 2017.

Results: A total of 100 weight-loss products were identified of which the majority (n = 57) were available from drug stores. Most commonly, products were available in capsule form (36.0%). The number of active ingredients in products varied from 1 to a maximum of 22 with a total of 155 different active ingredients distinguished. The ingredients mainly originated from plants (77.4%) while green tea (Camellia sinensis), garcinia (Garcinia cambogia) and caffeine anhydrous were the three most common. At least one of the top 10 ingredients was included in 75 of the products sourced. Directions for use were specified in only 72 products, while a further 6 products lacked any information on ingredients. Literature predicted positive weight-loss effects for green tea and ginger while garcinia was reported for both positive and negative effects.

Conclusions: The ingredients are reported to have both beneficial and adverse effects. Many consumers may find it challenging to make informed purchase decisions as a number of products failed to provide adequate nutritional information and safety measures. Government regulatory authorities should pay closer attention to the availability and provision of products sold to the general public.


Publication title

Nutrition and Dietetics




College Office - College of Health and Medicine


The Association

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Copyright 2018 Dietitians Association of Australia

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Socio-economic Objectives

Health related to specific ethnic groups

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