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November 4, 1974

Fallacy and Hazard: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin/500-Calorie Diet and Weight Reduction

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Drugs and the Department of Foods and Nutrition, American Medical Association, Chicago.

JAMA. 1974;230(5):693-694. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240050021017

MORE than two decades ago, A. T. W. Simeons began using human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity. Simeons, a British-trained physician practicing in Rome, postulated that HCG injections might lead to better adherence to a calorie-restricted diet, fewer symptoms during the period of food restriction, and more rapid mobilization and loss of what he called "abnormal" fat. He described a slower return to obesity in the posttreatment period. The "Simeons regimen" consists of daily intramuscular injections of 125 international units (IU) of HCG six times a week until a total of 40 injections have been given. The drug regimen is accompanied by a 500-calorie diet given in two daily meals. Daily interviews with the patient are designed to review the program and to encourage progress. The Simeons Clinic in Rome has gained international attention, and the "regimen" is now being used in a rapidly expanding chain of