So long, sibutramine.
The notoriously bad weight loss drug, sold here under the name Meridia, has finally been given the heave-ho.
It's technically the victim of a "voluntary recall," but don't be fooled by the press releases -- this was about as voluntary as a shotgun wedding.
The final straw was a study published last month that found dieters who took the drug faced a 16 percent overall increase in the risk of serious heart problems, including heart attack, stroke and death.
Get down to the nitty-gritty, and the numbers are even uglier: The study also found that patients who took Meridia had a 28 percent higher risk of a nonfatal heart attack, and a 36 percent increased risk of a nonfatal stroke, when compared to those taking placebos.
But maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way.
After all, a few weeks of hospital food after a heart attack or stroke will cause anyone to lose weight.
I'm not even kidding here, because that might be the only time Meridia dieters shed pounds for real -- because the same study found that patients who took the drug lost an average of just 9.5 pounds each.
Show me an obese person who loses 9.5 pounds, and I'll show you an obese person.
Pulling this med was a no-brainer, yet the mainstream media is weeping as if it suffered the loss of a close friend.
"What now for weight loss?" was the teary headline in the Los Angeles Times. The headline at the Washington Post went even further: "Weight-loss drug withdrawal latest blow to obesity fight."
Who are they kidding? Here's what's now for weight loss: The withdrawal of this drug isn't the latest blow to the obesity fight -- it's the best thing that ever could have happened to it!
The more dangerous gimmicks are pulled from the market, the more overweight people will realize that there are no shortcuts