Dietary Supplement Use and Regulation

One of MyVoice’s co-founders, research assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health (and proud Instagram dog mom), Kendrin Sonneville, ScD, RD, provided written testimony to the Massachusetts state legislature on House Bill, 1195: An Act Protecting Children From Harmful Diet Pills and Muscle-Building Supplements  (HB1195) , which was introduced as legislation prohibiting the sale of dietary supplements for weight loss or muscle building to minors under the age of 18.

In her testimony, Kendrin 100% name drops MyVoice! Part of the testimony reads,

While the opinions of health professionals like myself should factor into health-related policy decisions, the youth perspective cannot be overlooked. Policies and practices that affect young people rarely take into account the youth they are designed to benefit. Kendrin includes a synthesis of MyVoice participants’ viewpoints on restricting access to weight loss and muscle-building products for minors, Most adolescents supported restricting access to weight loss products (71%) and muscle-building products (79%) to individuals under 18 years of age for reasons including risk of addiction, disruption of development, and bod image-related concerns. She included several direct quotes from MyVoice participants, including, “It should be illegal to sell to minors since they don’t often understand what is in these drugs. Also, it’s easier to seduce a child into buying such products as opposed to an adult” “There haven’t been enough tests done on people under 18” “Their bodies are still developing and the side effects can be very harmful to this age group. They also might not be informed about the side effects”

Dr. Sonneville’s testimony was one of several expert written statements, assembled by the Out of Kids’ Hands Campaign, organized by the Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorder at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where Sonneville serves as a collaborating mentor. Their statements were submitted to each member of the Joint Committee on Public Health during the H.1195 hearing on Oct. 17, 2017.

Way to go Kendrin and thank you to all the youth who contributed their viewpoints on this important public health legislation!

    Presentations and Publications

    Youth Perspectives on Effectiveness, Safety, and Regulation of Products to Control Weight/Shape

    Sonneville KR, Nichols LP, Chang T. Eating Disorders Research Society Annual Meeting, Leipzig, Germany. September 2017.

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