weight loss drugs

  1. Newsflash: Diet leads to weight loss

    Here's a real head-smacker: Researchers have "discovered" that you can lose weight by going on a diet.

    Isn't it remarkable what passes for scientific discovery these days?

    Researchers put 130 severely obese people between the ages of 30 and 55 on two different versions of the diet-and-exercise routine: Packaged meal replacements and an hour of walking, five days a week.

    One set began walking at the start of the yearlong study, while the other didn't hit the pavement until six months in.

    After six months, the walkers lost 24 pounds, versus 18 pounds in the other group. After a year, they had lost 27 pounds -- versus 22 pounds among those who started walking six months in.

    They also improved in most major risk factors: waist size, liver and abdominal fat, blood pressure and insulin resistance, according to the study in Journal of the American Medical Association.

    In another study also published in JAMA, 442 overweight or obese women between the ages of 18 and 69 were given either free diet meals, or free diet advice. Those who ate the meals lost 16 pounds, while those who got lip service lost just 4.4 pounds.

    Let's not kid ourselves: No one in either of these studies was put on a good diet... and they STILL managed to lose weight without drugs. But some people still insist that, without drugs, there's just no way to lose weight.

    Boo-hoo-hoo.

    "We desperately need safe new drugs so we can begin to have something effective against this public health epidemic," Jennifer Lovejoy, incoming president of something called the Obesity Society, whined in the Washington Post.

    I got a message for the society, sister -- you DO have something effective. It's called cutting the crap and eating right for a change... and as the new studies show, it really works.

    I'll even do you one better: Walking is fine, but forget any "real" exercise. Forget the tasteless meal replacements, too.

    If obese people just ditched the carbs and ate only fresh meats and veggies, there wouldn't be enough left to form their own society.

  2. Diet drug Meridia pulled off the shelves

    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

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