Those of you that know the Angry Trainer are aware that I’m not a fan of short cuts and easy fixes when it comes to fitness and weight loss.
So I was especially interested when I read this story today on the Huffington Post concerning the weight loss drug Contravene which has now been banned by the FDA due to some side effects stemming from its use.
Now personally I don’t really care what the issues surrounding the drug are, as I think any drug used for weight loss in place of healthy eating and exercise is just absurd. And as we’ve seen with some famous diet drugs of the past (such as Phentermine), everything has a cost and the results are never long lasting. Whether they’re stimulants, appetite suppressants or fat absorbing medications, drugs clearly aren’t the answer as we’re fatter than ever as a nation.
The piece was authored by David Katz and I found the article refreshing, easily understandable and straight out of the Angry Trainer playbook. Katz says we eat too much and don’t move enough – yep, that’s about right! We came from an era where activity was high, and food was scarce, to today’s times where activity is scarce and food consumption is high. I totally agree and believe firmly in the “eat to live versus live to eat” philosophy. With a few cheats of course!
In related news Michelle Obama has just celebrated the one-year anniversary of her “Let’s Move” initiative in Washington, a program that’s geared towards lowering childhood obesity. Are the results miraculous? No, but the trend is undeniable – new USDA guidelines for school lunches, forward facing nutrition labels on food products, restaurants supplying nutrition facts, food and nutrition education in school including the removal of soda and other vending machines… finally we as a nation seem to be making the right steps…
Sure, I agree the government still doesn’t give enough money to states to offset the cost of healthier foods and education in schools, but it’s a start. Now how about we take the billions of dollars these greedy drug companies spend on research to develop drugs that shortcut accountability and responsibility and spend it on childhood nutrition and education instead? Now that would get results I’m sure.
I’m not sure why the American public is so obsessed with quick fixes. Weight loss pills are just embarrassing to me. And no pill can address the real issues of overeating? Is there a tiny therapist in each pill you take? A support group? How about a dietician, nutritionist or a trainer to guide you? NO, you just take the pill and lose weight (supposedly). That’s sick. One reason why Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and others do so well is that they support their participants and offer guidance and education. They’re not just handing out pills.
It really makes me angry that people just don’t see the truth right in front of them. If you’re overweight, 9 out of 10 times it’s because you eat too much food, period. And if you’re obese you obviously have an unhealthy relationship with food and should seek professional help. Most likely you don’t exercise enough either. Yet instead of taking the right path, people once again avoid what they know in their hearts they should be doing.
Just today I had a friend of mine write me a question asking what I thought of various over the counter fat burning pills. I’ve known her for years and she can never get her diet together, and fluctuates in weight and activity level. Yet she’s looking for a diet pill as a cure.
The bottom line is this – the right way to do things is generally not the easy way – but it’s still the right way. We KNOW eating a healthy, nutritious, calorically appropriate diet and exercising regularly helps to maintain health, extend longevity and improve the overall quality of life. And those are results no pill will ever give you.
Are we witnessing the death of the Diet Pill? I hope so…