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34 Responses

  1. Thomas
    Thomas January 25, 2006 at 12:39 pm |

    Zuzu, I feel like I ought to add something, but you’ve covered it so well. They will let people take dangerous weight-loss drugs that do more harm than good because there is so much social support for getting thin by any means, but anything that decouples sex from pregnancy or disease is criticized as “dangerous” even when the “danger” is not medical at all but rather an affront to conservative views of social roles and sexual mores.

    About women and weight: one of my deepest frustrations in life is that my wife can’t be happy with her body. She’s a rubenesque woman. She beats herself up for it. She uses the F word, which I never use. She’s mean to herself and judgmental of other rounder women. She often asks rhetorically why she can’t just take a pill to be thin, and I remind her that the pill that works causes heart-valve damage. I’m fine with her just the way she is. If she wants to lose weight, I’ll support her (and I’ll go on weightwatchers with her and exercise with her), but I really just want her to be able to feel good and sexy and beautiful whatever weight she’s at.

  2. piny
    piny January 25, 2006 at 12:39 pm |

    This sounds like the chemical they were using to make chips a few years back–Olestra and Olean. Same mechanism, and same indigestibility problems, although IIRC those were actually indigestible fats.

    Six pounds. Oily anal leakage for six bloody pounds. Which won’t stay off unless you keep taking the drug that gives you greasy runs and wrecks your undies.

    I’m pretty sure that “obese” means more than six pounds overweight. And how does this affect your ability to absorb other parts of your food? Can long-term use damage your intestines?

    And people are going to buy it, and abuse it, mark my words. We live in a society where trolls like the ones who were posting about Jill can think of no graver insult to a woman than to call her fat, knowing that it stings no matter how secure she is in herself. Where one’s weight is subject to scrutiny and criticism and is used by health professionals as a proxy for health even in the absence of any other indicators of health — I know that if I went into my doctor 50 pounds thinner than I am now, he’d be happy and wouldn’t question how I’d lost it, even if it was all due to taking something that made oil leak from my ass or starving myself. But if I were running 10 miles a day and eating healthy but still the same weight, I’d get a lecture about my weight and no acknowledgement of my healthy habits.

    This is what worries me. I suspect that people will start taking this stuff precisely because it punishes the stomach. Laxative abuse is already common.

  3. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 January 25, 2006 at 1:04 pm |

    It ain’t natural. I don’t trust the FDA, nor do I trust doctors.

    If you need to lose weight, exercise more and eat less. There is no safe magic pill.

  4. piny
    piny January 25, 2006 at 1:17 pm |

    And did you notice, that was the amount over the six-month study? So a pound a month, or about half a pound a week. 250 calories a day.

    Oh, that’s just ridiculous.

  5. Bill from INDC
    Bill from INDC January 25, 2006 at 1:27 pm |

    How about the FDA approves both drugs for OTC, and individuals with a brain in their head get to decide what they’d like to take. It’s interesting that same argument that doesn’t wash for teenagers about plan B – “what if they think it gives them license to have risky sex?” – is used in your argument to slam Alli (“a high potential for abuse, especially by teenagers”). Teenagers can – and do – already abuse laxatives to achieve similar effects. Shall we “protect” them from those substances as well?

  6. Thomas
    Thomas January 25, 2006 at 1:36 pm |

    a pound a month would be a quarter pound a week. Meanwhile, I managed once to drop 45 lbs at better than a pound a week, gradually, just by reducing my caloric intake and getting regular exercise. No oily anal leakage.

    Of course, when work got crazy and I started stress-eating in the conference rooms again, I put it all back on. But that’s another issue.

  7. a nut
    a nut January 25, 2006 at 1:37 pm |

    The FDA also wants to ban some non-prescription inhalers because they are harmful to the environment. Why do they care about this now? Especially when most of the inhalers on the ban list have been around for decades?

    Yeah, I do think their priorities are a little screwy, the *fat* pill v. Plan B being a perfect example.

  8. Starla
    Starla January 25, 2006 at 1:48 pm |

    Things like this just bother me. We have a society that is so obsessed with body image that we promote possibly dangerous or even dangerous products to come out onto the market, but yet that same society is so puritan in its outlook on sex.

    Care about how you look, but don’t think twice about sex! Don’t those kind of go hand in hand? I mean, I like to think that looks don’t particularly matter, but we as a society, usually try to look our best to attract someone of the opposite or same sex, whether it be for a relationship or a one night stand or even just a friendship.

    So here you go folks, work really, really hard to get that killer body, but don’t share it with anyone but yourself, unless your married because then it’s okay.

    Sheesh.

    Oh, and as far as the word fat goes, I embrace it. I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum skinny/thin to chubby/fat. I use the word fat to describe myself because that is what I am. Just like someone is tall or short or tan or pale. Some people are fat, it’s a descriptive word, nothing more. The word fat is damaging to oneself only if you let it be.

  9. Shasta MacNasty
    Shasta MacNasty January 25, 2006 at 2:14 pm |

    I heard about this the other night. What kills me is that you go through all this drama for 6 pounds? Pfft.

    It would actually be better to stay fat, somewhat active, and stay at a consistent weight, than to get on this drug, suffer all the known (and god knows whatelse) side effects, to loose the weight, then just gain it back.

    I consider this as big as a scam as the BMI. Everyone KNOW that shit doesn’t work, but the insurance companies pushed for it, now everyone uses it…even though it’s completely useless.

  10. Lauren
    Lauren January 25, 2006 at 2:37 pm |

    I, for one, remember the Olean/Olestra trend. My poor bowels remember it as well.

  11. piny
    piny January 25, 2006 at 2:42 pm |

    I’m not sure if you misunderstand me or missed the snark. The advisory panel for Plan B endorsed the application for OTC status, but Dr. Galson swooped in and vetoed that on the grounds that it might encourage teenagers to have sex. That had nothing to do with the safety or efficacy of the drug, or of potential abuse of the drug. In fact, there was limited information available for assessing whether the availability of the drug OTC would in fact increase risky sexual behavior in young teenagers.

    By that standard, the FDA wouldn’t just have to ban this drug because of the potential for abuse. They’d have to ban all diet drugs because they might give people license to eat more.

  12. FatGrrl » The gift of anal discharge…soon available over-the-counter!

    […] wn for OTC sales amid concerns that it will encourage riskier sexual behavior among teens. Zuzu, over at Feministe, wrote a particularly cool post about Ally and […]

  13. Bring it On!  » Blog Archive   »  Preventable Death is not an Approriate Consequence

    […] ronic that the same people are not concerned over the fact that Monday…and this from Feministe the FDA advisory panel voted 11-3 late to re […]

  14. piny
    piny January 25, 2006 at 3:31 pm |

    I, for one, remember the Olean/Olestra trend. My poor bowels remember it as well

    .

    I don’t think my parents allowed that shit in the house.

    I remember reading about it, though. It’s just…why would you upset your stomach on purpose? Doesn’t that sound like it could cause problems? What about chronic irritation?

    Gah.

  15. Kyra
    Kyra January 25, 2006 at 3:41 pm |

    By that standard, the FDA wouldn’t just have to ban this drug because of the potential for abuse. They’d have to ban all diet drugs because they might give people license to eat more.

    Exactly. They ought to ban or approve things based on how well it does what it’s supposed to do, and how well it avoids causing harm in the way of severe side effects. Other than that, they shouldn’t screw it up for all of us based on how you worry that some people *might* use it, and they shouldn’t classify normal use as “abuse,” just because of their moral issues with the age of the people engaging in that normal use.

    It is supposed to prevent pregnancy up to three days after intercourse, and it does that very well. There are no significant side effects. And fucking while teenaged is not a crime. Having sex and then preventing pregnancy does NOT cause greater harm than having sex and then getting stuck an unwanted pregnancy.

    In any case, they need to approve it because the way in which it’s being distributed now is already causing widespread abuse, specifically by pharmacists who override doctors’ orders without having the authority to do so. Not having Plan B when you need it is FAR more harmful than having it when you don’t. In any case it doesn’t make you high or make you lose weight or do anything else that might lead people to want to take it even if they don’t need it. And if you’re going to need pregnancy prevention often, it’s much more cost-effective to use the Pill.

  16. Harshly Mellow
    Harshly Mellow January 25, 2006 at 4:00 pm |

    […] ernoon.
    ~~ Stingflower

    at 3:56 pm~~

    There’s really nothing I can add to this: Your priorities are showing. A snippet:

    Heres […]

  17. Chet
    Chet January 25, 2006 at 4:54 pm |

    Grrr…. Olestra.

    If the bag of damn Doritos had said “Warning – may cause you to crap yourself, with no warning, right in the middle of a Wal Mart”, I doubt I would have eaten them. How was there not an FDA warning on those things? I didn’t even draw the connection until years after the embarassing event in question.

  18. Lauren
    Lauren January 25, 2006 at 5:48 pm |

    “Warning – may cause you to crap yourself, with no warning, right in the middle of a Wal Mart”

    Oh my. I once blacked out in the chip aisle at the grocery store, but that doesn’t even compare. On the other hand, I know a guy that shat himself at a corporate lunch and managed to hide it from his coworkers.

  19. fattest
    fattest January 25, 2006 at 5:48 pm |

    is that alli=”ally” pronounced the same as “ally mcbeal”? How scarily appropriate, no? Maybe the FDA thinks us fat chicks are so dumb we’ll think a 6 pound weight loss will make us as thin as ally mcbeal.

  20. Helen
    Helen January 25, 2006 at 6:49 pm |

    Fattest Says: …
    is that alli=”ally” pronounced the same as “ally mcbeal”? How scarily appropriate, no? Maybe the FDA thinks us fat chicks are so dumb we’ll think a 6 pound weight loss will make us as thin as ally mcbeal.

    Yes, I thought that too… Also, “Kirstie Alli”?!

  21. laurie toby edison
    laurie toby edison January 26, 2006 at 12:55 am |

    We blogged about this on Body Impolitic today. I’m especially furious about the effects on teen age girls. This will be awful enough for girls with “body images issues”. I don’t even want to think about how this combines with anorexia and bulimia

    Since this hasn’t been approved for over the counter sale yet, this is a good time for a letter writing campaign to the FDA!

  22. Amanda
    Amanda January 26, 2006 at 1:09 am |

    Margaret Cho’s latest video has her doing a bit about taking pills that made her crap herself. Quite funny, highly recommended.

  23. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 January 26, 2006 at 2:05 am |

    Call me a skeptic.

    I won’t even use margarine or anything close to it, much less some drug the FDA approves on a whim.

    10 years from now when it starts to cause gastrointestinal cancer in 3% of the people who take OTC, I’ll say, “I told you so.”

  24. Peggy Nature
    Peggy Nature January 26, 2006 at 9:06 am |

    One thing that concerns me is the effect of this drug on the fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E, and K.)

    In fact, this abstract at PubMed indicates that the drug could complicate vitamin D absorption in adolescents.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12126214&dopt=Abstract

    Now, I don’t know if they are planning to market this widely to be used for young people, or if that’s just one small segment of the market they are targeting, but have any of y’all ever heard of RICKETS? That’s what vitamin D deficiency can do to people whose bones are still forming. This is more of a concern for younger children who are going through rapid bone growth, but bones continue to form in adolescents until the early 20s (approximately.) So, ostensibly, this could affect teenagers too, if not handled properly.

  25. VoirDire SubCulture » Feministe » Your priorities are showing

    […] iorities are showing
    Filed under: fat, links about town — M! @ 10:47 am

    Feministe » talks about the FDA approving a new weight loss drug […]

  26. piny
    piny January 26, 2006 at 9:59 am |

    Now, I don’t know if they are planning to market this widely to be used for young people, or if that’s just one small segment of the market they are targeting, but have any of y’all ever heard of RICKETS?

    Best class-action lawsuit ever.

    I’d be worried, as well, about chronically irritating your stomach lining and the lining of your intestines. That could definitely affect your ability to absorb nutrients.

  27. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth January 26, 2006 at 10:02 am |

    The key question is, when they did clinical trials, what fraction of the participants were teenagers?

  28. Courtney
    Courtney January 26, 2006 at 11:41 am |

    You know, if they sold these pills along with an adult diaper coupon maybe people would get the hint. It would be a lot more attention grabbing than the fine print on the back of the bottle. HeeHee!

    Great site!

  29. Peggy Nature
    Peggy Nature January 26, 2006 at 10:51 pm |

    Oooh Courtney…that’s a great idea for a bit of activism. Maybe people could hang around outside the door with a big sign that says,
    “ADULT DIAPERS – FREE SAMPLE UPON SHOWING YOUR RECEIPT FOR ALLI.” And anyone gutsy enough to show their receipt, well…free diapers!

  30. Jackie
    Jackie January 29, 2006 at 1:29 am |

    This sounds like the chemical they were using to make chips a few years back–Olestra and Olean. Same mechanism, and same indigestibility problems, although IIRC those were actually indigestible fats.

    Olean, NO THE HORROR, THE HORROR! Man, I hate Olestra, it’s like, the oil of Satan. Or something.

  31. Mary Garden
    Mary Garden January 30, 2006 at 7:26 pm |

    About Olean/Olestra – – -it didn’t die! Frito-Lay has put the old anal-dribble chips back on the shelf and labeled them “Light” in a deliberate ploy to sucker people into thinking they were buying something more benign. They are being sued by someone in Massachussetts.

    The story is online at the Center for Science in the Public Interest: http://www.cspinet.org/new/200601041.html

    Thanks for an excellent post, Zuzu! Though I rarely comment, I am a long-time reader, and I’ve always looked forward to reading your comments on subjects that interest me. I’m glad you’re getting a star turn here!

    MG

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