jamie goode's wine blog: Losing weight with drugs: new research

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Losing weight with drugs: new research

New research has uncovered a potential drug that can help with weight loss (reported on the BBC here). The chemical involved is SRT1720, which is related to resveratrol, found in red wine, and targets the SIRT1 protein. This is a member of a chemical group called the Sirtuins, which are involved in metabolic choices between living longer (in environments with fewer resources) and living shorter but brighter (a sort of 'candle in the wind' effect where you sow as many oats as possible before exiting early when things are good).

This sort of drug could allow people to eat a high fat diet, yet not put on weight or suffer other ill-effects of too-high calorific intake. You could do 'supersize me' and eat as much fast food as you like, pop a couple of pills, and not face the consequences of your poor dietary choices.

Yes, we need a solution to the obesity epidemic. But is this it? I fear not, for two reasons. First, it separates people from the consequences of their choices. Not a good idea. Self-control is difficult, but it is an essential life skill. We should instead teach people to use food properly, just as we should be teaching people to use alcohol properly (not taking it away from them).

Second, there are many people who are unhappy with their weight. There are people with addictive personalities. They may well start off overweight, but because they are unhappy with themselves 'inside their skin', they will never arrive at a level of weight loss that satisfies them. Such a drug could cause severe ill-effects in those who have a poor self-image, and result in severe medical problems.

So, IMO, we should be cautious about going down this road.


At 3:54 AM, Blogger weight loss mm said...

Please try to use the lortab weight loss,it is good.You can research it on the site www.lortab-weight-loss.org

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Gabriella Opaz said...

Well stated Jamie! I have major issues will the theory that popping a pill should solve your issues within a matter of seconds. This is a far cry from the survival skills we should be teaching to humanity. Moderation is a beautiful life skill that at times may try the best of us, is an integral part of knowing and understanding our limitations. Additionally, we are prone to overeat out of fear, convenience, boredom, etc. To suggest that a pill can curve the consequences of this choice will only justify the action in the future. My suggestion, focus on education and prevention. The Catalan government here in Spain has recently launched a free meditation program. Their intention is to "help us learn when our fears, obsessions, ignorance and negativity take hold, so that we may find equilibrium again". Nice campaign to help people take responsibility for their choices!

At 9:53 AM, Blogger HamishWM said...

The French paradox of reduced coronary heart disease for people who eat a diet with more saturated fats and far more red wine surely disproves any element of doubt for the benefit of red wine and resveratrol.....but I agree with Gabrielle too....it is all about self control and finding your own balance. Maybe a global recession will re focus minds for core values and reduce excess! But then again people might resort to more comfort food!

At 11:01 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Gabriella - a good point. What is it that makes people eat too much? Is it biology, or is it an inner malaise? Or both?

Hamish, it's making us think more carefully about how we spend our food budget, and issues such as waste.

At 5:58 AM, Blogger michael said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



At 11:22 PM, Anonymous Asri said...

Well done on a reasoned disscussion on what may or may not be the top diet pills for those who want to lose weight.Many will be worried by the prospect of pills while many will want the relativley easy option.Plenty for all of us to think about.


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