It seems that there is big money in pathologizing body size and then selling a bunch of things to “cure” this “problem” all of which fail spectacularly.
Like Qysmia, a diet pill which in two separate trials, when combined with diet and exercise, lead to weight loss of 6.7% and 8.9% respectively after a year. It should be noted that for someone with a BMI of 30, an 8.9% weight loss would leave them in the overweight category which they were only barely out of to begin with. For someone with a BMI of 35, an 8.9% weight loss would leave them still obese (and therefore, even by the mistaken definition of obesity as an illness, the best case scenario for this pill hasn’t really “improved” the users’ health at all).
Also, no news on what happens after year one (which one might think is significant since the vast majority of dieters gain their weight back between years two and five), and no news on what happens if you go off the pill (which one might think is significant because in the past the effects of the diet pill only continued while people continued to take the pill.)
The FDA did acknowledge that it appears to cause heart issues, but don’t worry – after approving it they’ve insisted that Vivus Inc. conduct a long-term cardiovascular outcomes trial to assess the effect of Qsymia on the risk for heart attack and stroke. I’m sure that comes as a great comfort to people whose doctors prescribe them this medication without benefit of the results of that assessment. But think of how much money they’ll make before they might find out that it kills people. Really you don’t have to think about it – just google what happened with Fen-phen (phentermine by the way – the Phen in fen-phen – is half of this new drug) Sure, people might die, but what’s a few deaths when there’s so much money to be had, a few dead people is acceptable damage considering the amount of profit they stand to make.
Ok, so here’s my idea to make us all rich. Americans are getting taller – just imagine the profits to be made if we declare tallness a disease. We’ll start doing studies to figure out what is correlated to tallness (it won’t matter that it’s not actually caused by the tallness, because the media doesn’t seem to know the difference.) Then we’ll use that information to make tall people terrified of their tallness, willing to pay billions every year on products to get shorter. Sure it’s pesky that nobody actually gets shorter, but I’ve got us covered – we’ll just say they aren’t trying hard enough to get shorter – the products didn’t fail, the people did…they lack personal responsibility. Americans love to bully people who are accused of lacking personal responsibility, soon it spins itself! Of course we’ll have to learn to live with the fact that we are profiting off lies and fear mongering but we’ll be rich.
Meanwhile in the real world not only are fat people scapegoats, used for everything from punching bags to political cover, we also get to be a commodity and profit center for people who work very hard to keep the systems by which we are stigmatized and oppressed in place. Isn’t that great? Aren’t you just, like, so happy right now?
And they are still trying to convince us that everyone is just concerned about our health? Sell bullshit somewhere else, we’re all stocked up here.
Check Out My New Book. The E-Book is “Name Your Own Price”!
I wanted everyone to be able to afford Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Surviving a Thin-Obsessed World with your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact so it is now available in soft cover and e-book which is “name your own price”
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This month’s member deals come from More of Me to Love, Jodee Rose, The Fat Nutritionist, Golda Poretsky, Jeanette DePatie and of course me. If you are a member and haven’t received the e-mail with details and passwords just let me know!
I do HAES and SA activism, speaking and writing full time, and I don’t believe in putting corporate ads on my blog and making my readers a commodity. So if you find value in my work, want to support it, and you can afford it, you can become a member (you get extra stuff, discounts, and you’re always the first to know about things) or you can support my work with a one-time contribution. The regular e-mail blog subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free. If you’re curious about this policy, you might want to check out this post. Thanks for reading! ~Ragen