No wonder America is fat

This seems like a no-brainer. If we know–as this latest study says we now do–people tend to eat more (cookies, candy, etc.) and buy more (unnecessary spending) when they’ve seen something that reminds them of death, how could Americans not tend toward fat when everywhere you turn the news is about death and danger–fire, stabbing, rape, murder, and so on?

Add to that the fact that when people don’t feel good about themselves, this tendency to eat and spend more when faced with death thoughts is even more pronounced, and you’ve got a recipe for an overweight society. Here it is in a nutshell:

    • We idolize thinness. (see earlier posts on self-image and beauty)
    • We have easy access to unlimited quantities of unhealthy but appetizing food choices.
    • We eat more when faced with thoughts of death.
    • We are exposed to death on a daily, sometimes an hourly, basis in our news coverage.
    • We feel depressed that we aren’t thin enough.
    • We eat more to compensate for the death and the depression.
    • We get fat. And then the news does stories about how fat America is–and how it’s leading to more death.
    • We eat more because we’re depressed about dying from eating too much.
    • And round and round.

And so goes the unending death spiral (bad pun intended).

A weight loss pill that works? Ask who says so

Yes, Virginia, at last there is a weight loss aid that really helps–even if you’re not grossly overweight. At least that’s what a researcher at the University of Kentucky says about a new weight loss pill you can buy in stores in the U.S. as of today.

It’s called Alli and works not by curbing your appetite, but by blocking your body’s absorption of fat. Of course, the catch is you have to be on a low-fat, weight-loss type of diet for it to help. For 16 weeks they compared a group of mildly to moderately overweight (as opposed to obese) patients who took a placebo and dieted with a similar group that took Alli and dieted.

My only issue with this report is that, although they say how much weight the Alli patients lost (7 to 15 pounds), they don’t say how much more that was than what the control group lost. Now when I see an important statistic like that missing from a report, it gets me wondering about who paid for the study. This especially after studying a press release the other day from the Better Sleep Council that was supposed to be about getting better sleep, I concluded it had to have been funded by the National Mattress Council or somebody–because it kept harping on “get a new mattress more often” as a big solution for sleep problems.

So if you’ve got a friend who’s looking for any kind of help to lose weight, suggest she try this pill. That way you can see how it works for her and find out how much money you have to spend before you try it yourself.