February 1, 2009 -- Question: What are diet patches, how do they work and how effective are they in reducing weight?
Answer: Diet patches have been around for many, many years. They don't actually have any therapeutic value whatsoever. They're not an FDA-approved drug. They're just really something marketed by the popular diet industry.
They trade on the idea that there are some drugs for various conditions that are delivered through patches, which can be very effective. Nicotine patches, for example. But in the case of diet patches, they typically contain herbs and teas and all sorts of compounds that have no proven effectiveness or value for weight loss.
It's best to just not bother using those types of things. We don't know of any studies that have shown them to be effective. But they do sound really good when they're being promoted because they might take a grain of truth, the health benefits of green tea for example is one I've seen. And they talk about that being useful. But there's really no evidence that these things work.