Diet Pill Sales to Youth Banned in New York

by Ella

A new law taking effect in New York state is set to restrict the sale of over-the-counter dietary pills and supplements to minors, aiming to safeguard the health of young individuals amid concerns about the potential risks associated with these products.

Starting Monday, the law prohibits the sale of dietary supplements to anyone under the age of 18, citing the lack of regulation and potential health hazards posed by these substances, especially to adolescents.


According to Harvard professor Bryn Austin, who specializes in public health, dietary pills and supplements undergo less stringent regulation compared to prescription drugs, raising concerns about their safety and efficacy. Studies published by the JAMA Network and the National Library of Medicine have highlighted the presence of steroids, banned stimulants, and other harmful chemicals in these products, posing risks such as stroke, heart attack, and liver injury.


Austin emphasized the particular vulnerability of young individuals to the dangers of these supplements, which are often marketed to adolescents grappling with body image issues. As the director of Harvard’s eating disorder prevention group, STRIPED, Austin welcomed the new legislation, emphasizing its potential to protect youth from the adverse effects of these products.


The law mandates age-verification protocols for retailers and delivery sellers, aiming to enforce compliance with the prohibition on sales to minors. Austin stressed the importance of raising awareness among parents about the potential harm posed by diet pills and supplements, emphasizing that these products offer no benefits in terms of weight loss or muscle building for adolescents.


Despite opposition from industry groups like the Council for Responsible Nutrition, which mounted an unsuccessful legal challenge against the law, proponents remain steadfast in their commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of New York’s youth.

As the law comes into effect, it represents a significant step forward in addressing the risks associated with unregulated dietary supplements, signaling a commitment to prioritizing the health and safety of young individuals in the state.



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