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New Diet Sensation, or Horrible Stomach Sensation?


So you want to lose weight, but don’t feel like giving yourself that extra push on the treadmill or saying goodbye to your weekly dose of pepperoni pizza? Feeling your pain—and wanting your money—pharmaceutical companies have finally discovered a way to make everyone thin and happy.

Alli, the first FDA approved over-the-counter weight loss drug has just hit stores, and people are coming out in droves to snatch the product that claims to help users lose “50 percent more weight for the same effort than traditional diet and exercise plans”.

The new diet sensation is not completely novel—it’s prescription only predecessor was 50% stronger—but it’s the first time the advantages of taking a weight loss supplement seem to outweigh the disadvantages.

And what are those disadvantages? “Gas, oily discharge and an inability to control bowel movements”, to name a few. Plus, researchers warn that Alli is not a long-term solution to maintaining one’s ideal weight. Sidney Wolfe, MD, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group in Washington, explains that “there are demonstrable short-term risks and no possibility of long-term benefit”.

Personally, I’m afraid of anything that’s going to chemically strip fat out of my body and then force it out in an oily discharge—but I’m sure I’m in the minority here. People adore quick fixes in this country, and don’t seem to mind a little discomfort in the wake of a new, beautiful body.

Remember Olestra?