HONG KONG, January 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study that used state of the art Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology reveals that taking alli(R) (orlistat 60 mg) while following a reduced calorie, lower-fat diet can lead to a significant reduction not only in weight but also in dangerous visceral fat.(1) Visceral fat surrounds the vital organs in the abdomen and, in excess, increases the risk of life threatening diseases.(2)

The research, carried out over three months at Europe's largest imaging centre, illustrates the changes taking place inside someone's body as they take alli plus diet. It supports that overweight adults (with a BMI of 28 or over) using alli in conjunction with a reduced calorie, lower-fat diet can not only lose 5 per cent of their body weight but importantly, 10 per cent of dangerous visceral fat versus baseline.(1) Results also showed that at week 12 waist circumference, the best practical marker for visceral fat, could also be significantly reduced.(1)

These latest findings, when considered with existing data, suggest that adding alli to diet not only helps overweight adults lose 50 per cent more weight than dieting alone, but this weight loss also helps improve health. For every two pounds they lose through their own efforts, adding alli can help them lose one more.

Rexford Newbould, GSK study investigator said: While it's well-known that overall weight loss of 5-10 per cent is beneficial, what is not so well-known is that many of the health benefits occur because visceral fat, the fat stored deep within the abdomen, is lost. This new research shows that when people lose weight using orlistat 60 mg in conjunction with diet, they lose visceral fat.

The real burden - visceral fat

Visceral fat is metabolically active fat which, in excess, can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, two of the leading causes of death worldwide.(3) It is these health complications that have a big impact on the personal and public burden of the obesity epidemic.

James Hallatt, General Manager GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare UK, says, These results show that by losing weight with alli plus diet, people can not only look better on the outside, they can be healthier on the inside too. We know that most people lose weight to look better on the outside, but losing excess fat on the inside is just as important.

Waistline and cholesterol reductions

Not only has adding alli to diet been shown to significantly reduce weight compared with dieting alone, but it also reduces waist size. Additional data presented today show that alli was significantly more effective than placebo in reducing waist size, with an average loss of 4.5 cm (1.8 inches), over 6 months of treatment.(4) Levels of total and LDL cholesterol were also significantly lower in those people taking alli compared with placebo.(5)

Leading UK obesity expert, Professor David Haslam of the National Obesity Forum, comments, The size of your waistline is a good way to tell if you have excess visceral fat. People who have too much weight around their middle have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease than those who carry weight around the hips. Losing weight - and specifically visceral fat - can help reduce the likelihood of serious health problems.

The MRI study follows a recent report in which leading obesity experts called for greater public awareness of visceral fat. It included results from a European survey of over 12,000 people which showed that 88 per cent of them do not know what visceral fat is but, after hearing about the associated risks, 61 per cent said they were more motivated to lose weight.(6)

Notes to editors

alli is a non-prescription weight loss aid, containing orlistat 60 mg, for overweight adults (18 years or over) with a body mass index (BMI) of 28 or more. It should be used with a reduced calorie, lower fat diet. Always read the label.

Also presented at the Congress were the results from a six-month, placebo-controlled study on the effect of alli on visceral fat. The study included people with a BMI of 25 or over, in line with alli's US licence. In Europe, alli is licensed for people with a BMI of 28 or over. For the group who had a BMI of 28 or more, there was a trend in favour of alli but the study wasn't designed to show a statistical significance in this group.

Professor David Haslam is a paid consultant for GSK, but the opinions expressed here are his own.

Waist measurements

Men are at increased health risk if they have a waist circumference of 94 cm or more. Women are at increased health risk if they have a waist circumference of 80 cm or more.(7)


1. Beaver J et al. Orlistat 60 mg in conjunction with diet provides significant reduction in visceral adipose tissue, Poster presented at the 1st International Congress on Abdominal Obesity, 28 January 2010, Hong Kong.

2. World Health Organisation. Challenges of Obesity of the WHO European Region. Strategies for response. 2007

3. World Health Organisation. Fact Sheet - The top ten causes of death. http://www.who.int/entity/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310_2008.pdf. Last accessed 19.01.10.

4. Savastano D et al. Orlistat 60 mg provides significant reductions in body weight and waist circumference. Poster presented at the 1st International Congress on Abdominal Obesity, 28 January 2010, Hong Kong.

5. Schwartz S et al. Orlistat 60 mg provides significant reductions in total and LDL cholesterol, independent of weight loss. Poster presented at the 1st International Congress on Abdominal Obesity, 28 January 2010, Hong Kong.

6. ICM Research interviewed a sample of 12,161 adults aged 30-59 years old who want to lose weight, across 21 European markets using a mixed approach of online and telephone research in October 2009. Respondents were contacted on a nationally representative basis and qualified for the survey if they were looking to lose at least 2lbs in weight. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at http://www.icmresearch.co.uk

7. Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Practice Guidance: Obesity. 2005.

About GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

- GSK Consumer Healthcare is one of the world's largest over-the-counter consumer healthcare products companies. Its more than 30 well-known brands include Panadol(R), Aquafresh(R) and Sensodyne(R).

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

Under the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, GSK cautions investors that any forward- looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect GSK's operations are described under 'Risk Factors' in the 'Business Review' in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2007.

SOURCE: GSK Consumer Healthcare

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