Saturday, July 24, 2010


I found this article about weight loss drugs and the way the human animal responds to metabolic challenges interesting and very effective at putting the issues in good scientific context. I'm not entirely sure about the context from which Dr. Katz himself writes, though, from the conclusion, which reads:
When one considers that the problem we are asking weight control drugs to fix--a body turning surplus calories into an energy reserve--is normal human physiology, the conclusion that they may prove to be elusive not just now, but forever, is hard to avoid. And if so, there may be much lost in waiting for them, namely opportunities to turn what we already know about the power of feet and forks over weight into policies, programs, practices and resources that can do what drugs may not.

None of this is to deny the important insights that will doubtless derive from the scrupulous pursuit of scientific details relating to weight control. Rather, it is to note we miss the forest--the fundamentals of human metabolism in native context--for the densely clustered hormonal, neurochemical, and genetic trees--at our evident peril.

Stated differently, even as we analyze and attempt to compensate for the peculiarities of gills in a creature gasping at the air--we should not fail to see the fish. And just maybe devote our best putting it back in the water.

...which sounds rather as if it is advocating in turn taking all of these issues--trees, forests and all--and dumping them in the individual's lap.

But still--interesting. The information about the weight loss drug that caused increased rates of depression and suicide was especially scary. I agree very much that most medical developments that have weight loss as a goal fuck with human and environmental biology to no avail.

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