A reporter wrote me yesterday to ask about the first weight loss drug approved by the FDA for over-the-counter use–Alli (a version of Xenical, which prevents absorption of fat). Glaxo, he says, “has mounted a large campaign ($150m) to tell people to exercise and eat low fat if they use Alli. They are touting Alli as safe and more proven than the herbal diet concoctions out there. The…drug, Alli, promises to have a modest weight loss (6-10 pounds) and it causes some uncomfortable side effects. (You my soil yourself if you eat too much fat). [Glaxo is] very upfront about the side effects if you use Alli and eat too much fat. For ex, the drug’s marketing effort makes an impression by telling users to wear dark pants and carry extra clothes in case they soil themselves. I’m wondering if it is worth it…. Do you think people will buy it? Should they?”
I’m wondering exactly the same thing. Do you know anyone who has tried it? What do they say about it?
Next public appearance
New Directions in the Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition: A Festschrift in Honor of Per Pinstrup-Andersen. Cornell University, Statler Hotel Amphitheater. The conference begins at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast and ends with a reception the following day with remarks by professor Pinstrup-Andersen at 2:25 p.m. For the schedule and details, click here.
My joint contribution with Malden Nesheim is from 1:40-2:00 p.m. on “the internationalization of the obesity epidemic: the case of sugar-sweetened sodas.”