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We’re developing a drug for that… 12 July 2009

Posted by The Inimitable M in Health Care, Research and the Industry.

BBC News reported this morning that new studies have shown a possible “cause” found for health risks connected to obesity.

The report states that researchers have found a link between a specific protein called pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) and the buildup of fats in the muscle and liver, which is known to contribute to type2 diabetes.  This same PEDF apparently transports fats through the blood stream, also known to increase risks of heart disease in people who are obese.

My first thought this morning was a very cynical one.  I can see the food industry and pharmaceutical companies salivating over this, ready to work together to create a phenomenon in which people gorge themselves on processed foods, take medication, and not have to worry that they’re killing themselves with their bad habits, because they won’t be.

Now, these tests have been conducted only on mice, and medications are a good five years away, but just think of it.  There’s the potential for a drug that will let people continue to eat everything their brains (and the food industry) says it wants them to eat, continue to gain weight, and they could avoid the risks of all those obesity-related diseases!

Of course, they will have to use TWO seats everywhere just to fit their fat bums, it will take them twice as long to walk – if they walk – anywhere, and small-sized cars just won’t cut it for them.  Someone else will have to tie their shoes, zip up their dresses/skirts, and pick up things off the floor for them.  If they have little children, they won’t be able to carry them anywhere they might lumber.  They’ll always need a cart, they’ll be more likely to require a Hoveround, and they’ll probably move north for the cooler weather to keep those fat cells happy.  Well, maybe not move north.  That would require some work.  They’ll probably extend the season in which they use their air conditioner, instead.

But hey.  They’re developing a drug, so there’s nothing to worry about.  What’s a little extra cost in food, utilities, special equipment, time, medication and convenience?

Sure, it makes sense.  I cannot imagine why anyone, once a drug has been developed, would want to eat healthy, get exercise, or take care of themselves.

I say go right ahead.  The rest of us will be glad for the extra space at the farmers markets and gyms, on the bike trails and tennis courts, and at the parks.  We’ll let then have the convenience and snack food aisles at the shops while we use the outer aisles.

Oh, and if they can roll that far, they should get to the ballpark and into one of the all-you-can-eat seats!  What a promotion for the concept of obesity!  Even hockey and basketball are doing it!



1. Marge - 12 July 2009

You know how I struggle with food. My sister’s issues are even worse. Even after the lap band, she is still morbidly obese. She still has to take oral medicine AND insulin. She has neuropathy. Even knowing that this will KILL her, she cannot get her eating under control.

Yes, we have issues with overeating in this country. We also have issues with an unavailability of fresh, non-processed, healthy foods that are readily available in some of the poorest neighborhoods. What they serve the children in schools is appalling.

If it means my sister gets to live for a long time without the pain, I want that new medication. If it means that while I struggle with my food issues and weight that I get to avoid a heart attack, I want that new medication.

The hardest thing about dealing with food “addiction” is that you cannot abstain from eating entirely.

So I’m of mixed feelings about this.

theinimitablem1 - 12 July 2009

I had that same addiction until I was told that it would kill me if I didn’t do something about it. I lost 80 pounds. I changed my eating habits. Fresh foods are indeed available everywhere. I didn’t go organic. I stopped eating junk.

Since I’ve changed my eating habits and kicked up my exercise, I am now off of all – I repeat all – of my heart medications. My family’s propensity toward heart disease is no longer an excuse for me. My blood pressure is in normal range, clogging of my arteries has begun an actual reversal, and the only issue I have with it is due to the radiation I had 23 years ago, not this.

My other “it runs in the family” disease is type 2 diabetes. My youngest sister has it. It is clearly food-related. This medication would help her, but so would doing what I did. I was borderline. I am no longer borderline.

If this medication can help people who cannot overcome their addictions – and I do understand this – then for them, it is a boon. I still see the food industry, the all-you-can-eat seating, and the pharmaceutical companies as a combined snake-oil force ready to pounce on everyone else.

2. Marge - 12 July 2009

There is one grocery store in Duarte. There are others in Azusa and Monrovia, of course, but if you don’t have a vehicle, it’s damned hard to get to them. The neighborhood liquor stores don’t stock meats and produce. Of course, the fast food restaurants manage to locate in those neighborhoods.

theinimitablem1 - 12 July 2009

That just amazes me. Around here, any plain old grocery store – even a small neighbourhood store – has produce and meats. Maybe there aren’t alot of varieties, but they’re there.

3. Origami Momi - 13 July 2009

On one hand, I love a short cut as much (if not more) than the next person.

On the other… I have found that I rarely reach my destination in an orderly fashion when I take them.

The drug sounds like a double edged sword, for sure. It could really help people who are trying to help themselves, but it could also be the perfect enabler for those who aren’t.

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