Fat Trends

by | Jul 1, 2004 | Archives

Nothing enhances investments and business profits like spotting hot trends before they are hot. One trend in this modern world is, “too many people are too fat!”

This is why I wrote in our affiliated site at http://www.naturalawakenings.com/archives/daily.html?date=2453178 about Chemo for fat.

An article in U.S. News & World Report stated that cancer researchers have found a new way to eliminate obesity without altering eating habits. The new therapy is called “molecular liposuction” that causes fat cells to die.

The technology is similar to cancer therapy that restricts blood supply to cancer cells. This new approach to fighting the flab, is a drug that kills blood vessels only in white fat. In a study, which appears in the June 2004 issue of Nature Medicine, mice were plumped up to double their normal weight on a high calorie diet and then given the drug. They returned to normal weight in just four weeks. More on this is at http://www.nature.com (search the June 2004 issue searching the words chemo fat).

I wondered if this drug be good for society as a whole.

One clever reader did not think so and wrote:

“No, Gary, I do not think it is a good idea. That doesn't mean it won't be marketed, however. As you know, I have lost quite a bit of weight, and more since you saw me in Delray Beach, just eating healthy and exercising very moderately. The Chemo reminds me too much of how people in earlier centuries would gorge and then force themselves to regurgitate. Also, there is no way to know when a new drug comes out whether or not it will have dangerous or bad side effects. Even the three stages of the FDA trials do not necessarily catch everything. It often takes quite a few years for problems to develop.”

I thought this idea hit an important theme, showing how modern society is trending much like successful ancient societies such as Greece and Rome where they had feasts, gorged themselves and then threw up. What might this suggest about ways our society moves ahead.

I by the way agree with our reader. I do not like this idea but believe it will sell like hotcakes! And perhaps this is better than obesity, stomach stapling and liposuction. Time will tell. In the meantime if a company comes out with this drug I suspect it will enjoy great success.

Another reader agrees as she wrote:

“My initial reaction to the concept of chemo for fat was negative. Chemo itself is so toxic! After I read the research, my view is more positive. While still far from a first line of defense, such a treatment for entrenched obesity that is resistant to gentler and more natural methods could be a good thing. Obesity is, after all, a cause or precursor of all kinds of other ills. So I reserve judgment on that, pending further research.”

Another reader also thinks it's bad stuff but will sell when he added,

“My first reaction is to question how the body disposes of the residue. Does it shrink enough to not block areas with a microvasculature (i.e. the kidneys)? Is the drug specific enough to target JUST fat cells? Are there not good and bad fat cells? Will the drug know the difference?

“My second reaction is that Wall Street will load up the truck over this company. Look out when the 'side effects' become known to the masses.

“My third (and thankfully final) reaction is that the introduction of the drug will only substantiate the current thinking of obesity as an illness, as if the obese are sufferers. Victims deserving the good works of big pharma, the sympathy and (financial) support that the rest of society will underwrite thru increased Medicare and private health care fees.

“The whole obesity deal is a sham. People are too idle, too lazy and are allowing themselves to acquire morbidity in the same vein as cigarette smokers. Gone are the days when smokers were unaware of the dangers and the documentation of health risks are there for obesity. It's time that all citizens with health insurance were hauled in once yearly for physical exams and simple measures, eg body mass indexation, were used to determine the insurance premium due in light of the associated risks.

“I note your and Merri's photos on some of the adverts. You have an abundance of physical and material resources beyond most people's dreams yet you're being responsible to yourselves by maintaining the stature you had when you finished school (ok, it might sag a bit more but you get my point).”

I agree that any company marketing this product will have a big quick run up and this will be a successful product to begin. But watch out if this does not work.

What do you think?

Until next message, good investing.