Singapore – Madam Ho Ching, the spouse of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has issued a stern warning against the use of dietary supplements as a means of achieving weight loss. In a Facebook post dated October 28, 2023, she shared her concerns, referring to an article from the United States-based health website WebMD, and emphasized that there is “no clear evidence of effectiveness for most of the supplements.” She further pointed out the potential for harm, urging individuals to exercise caution when considering these products.
Ho Ching highlighted caffeine, a naturally occurring chemical found in coffee, tea, cocoa, and various other sources, as an example. She acknowledged that caffeine has the capacity to increase metabolic rates and potentially aid in fat burning, but she cautioned against excessive consumption due to its associated side effects and health risks, such as a heightened risk of hypertension, heart problems, and stroke. She also emphasized the critical importance of being aware that certain supplements may even lead to fatal consequences.
The Office of Dietary Supplements, operating under the National Institute of Health in the USA, offers the most up-to-date research summaries and potential risks related to common supplement ingredients marketed for weight loss, fat reduction, appetite suppression, and other weight management processes.
Madam Ho advised individuals to consult medical websites for comprehensive information before resorting to readily available weight loss supplements. She further underlined the significance of consulting with a healthcare professional before embarking on any weight loss program.
However, she noted a crucial caveat, pointing out that, similar to fraudulent studies promoting supplements, there are unscrupulous medical practitioners who may endorse specific supplements for financial gain. Thus, she recommended cross-referencing even credible sources and seeking a second or third opinion from medical experts before choosing a weight loss supplement that claims to have no adverse effects.
In closing, Ho Ching reminded the public that dietary supplements are not rigorously regulated products in most markets, underscoring that there is no guarantee that their ingredients are devoid of harmful substances. She stressed the indispensable nature of a well-balanced diet and regular exercise, asserting that there is no shortcut to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Finally, she advised individuals not to overly concern themselves with appearances.
This recent warning from Madam Ho Ching is in line with her recent writings on health issues, where she praised the nutritional value and energy density of durians, referring to them as an excellent option for counteracting nutrient loss in the diets of the elderly.