Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Spare Trousers

I thought all the laughing commentary about 'wear dark pants' when you use Alli, the new diet-drug, was just that -- commentary. But no! The site itself actually warns you about something they are calling "treatment effects" (which the rest of the world call side-effects, I guess, except that these are pretty much guaranteed to happen. )

This is the same stuff as Xenical, and is supposed to prevent you from absorbing fat from the food you eat. But, eat just a smidge too much of the forbidden fat and...well, the warnings aren't pretty. Anal leakage? Eeeuuu.

So I checked the website for Alli ( here are some of the lovely side effects (which, while rather disgusting, aren't dangerous at all):
  • gas with oily spotting
  • loose stools
  • more frequent stools that may be hard to control
And yes, their suggestions actually do say, "wear dark pants". I bet Marketing is having fits.
You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it's probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work

You may not usually get gassy, but it's a possibility when you take alli. The bathroom is really the best place to go when that happens
    Methinks that this is not going to leap off the shelves, with warnings like that! Although, you know? It might work -- albeit in a completely different way than they intended.

    I think that Alli works more like electric-shock treatment -- you know how they convinced rats not to eat by zapping them every time they touched the food? If it's so absolutely awful and possibly grossly embarassing to eat even a middling-fat mean (say nothing of high-fat), you will eventually avoid them automatically -- negative reinforcement works really, really well. Alfredo sauce? Cheese? Big mac? Well, be prepared to change your underpants (after an extended period of IBS-like symptoms. From someone who has weekly attacks of The Claw (serious intestinal distress!), it definitely makes me think seriously about what I eat.

    It might actually work, if viewed like that -- not as a "I can eat anythign I want because I won't absorb fat!", but instead as "oh, shit, that's high fat and I'm waring white pants" -- it's quite possible that Alli will be very successful in helping people lose weight and keep it off. It will definitely change people's behavior, which is the only way that you can ever keep the weight off.

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