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Fat Control Drug

Jennifer Shiels

What will be the implications of the fat control drug?

Thousands of people may finally be able to lose weight through injections after scientists in Baltimore, USA have discovered a fat busting drug that may work on humans. As obesity has now become one of western cultures major health problems, the new drug is hoped to help thousands who are clinically overweight.

Becoming overweight cannot only pose major health problems for an individual; it can mentally scar those who succumb to the western image of sliminess and beauty. Every year hundreds of men and women subscribe to weight losing programmes, which promise dramatic changes in a short time span. However, these plans tend only to have short-term effects. If you try to lose weight by starving or minimising food intake, your metabolism slows down after a few days, which sabotages the weight loss process. For there to be any dramatic weight loss, individuals must burn up more calories than they consume, but as portions get smaller our metabolism rate gets slower, leaving many feeling sluggish and hungry and achieving very little in their diet.

The new drug hopes to target those who have extreme difficulty in losing weight. The scientists believe that a chemical named C75 can stop the production of a hormone that makes people hungry. The drug has so far only been tested on mice, however they found that after twenty minutes of injecting the C75 chemical, their interest in food suddenly ceased. The effects last until a few days after the last injection, at which point the mice resume normal feeding.

The new compound works by triggering chemical reactions in the brain that are related to appetite. By the time the mice had began feeding normally they had lost as much as 30% of their body weight. Although the chemical is not thought to have any adverse side effects as yet, rigorous scientific testing will be in place before allowing the drug to be tested on humans.

So what will be the implications on society for a new fat busting drug? Although obesity is a life threatening condition that can dramatically reduce the life span of a person, are injections really the way forward? We already live in a society that condemns individuals to be overweight, and it is no secret that many are affected by images of unnaturally thin models and actresses in the media. Therefore, will the new drug be seen as a message for us all to be thin? There is no doubt that a fat controlling drug for those who are clinically obese can only bring benefits for the individuals who find any aspect of life difficult, enabling them to fulfil the quality of life which we take for granted. However, are scientists sending the wrong message to a new generation who already have to contend with the 'super-thin' image of the western culture. The thought of reducing fat simply by injecting may lead to individuals believing exercise and a controlled diet are a thing of the past, as we move into a technology orientated society where everything must be bigger, faster and more effective than the next product on the market.

It is a possibility that our society is obsessed with weight. However, although some are becoming thinner, the majority of the population are becoming larger, which is not necessarily a bad occurrence. Society is finally accepting that normal people do not look like the images portrayed in the media, yet we have to establish a happy medium that is safe for all individuals. Therefore it seems the new fat controlling drug can only bring improvements for those who will understand the benefits. It seems that the new chemical will have intended benefits for diabetics as well as fat control. All the modified mice used in the experiments had insulin resistant diabetes, and scientists found that their condition was reversed when the drug was applied. Therefore, many other people may be able to benefit from the new chemical. However, there is a danger that although the new drug may help those who genuinely cannot lose weight, it will become the easy way out for those addicted to having the perfect image.

Copyright 2001
Jennifer Shiels

 

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