The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
Instagram

Orlistat isn’t the weight-loss answer

Got weight issues? Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved an over-the-counter diet pill. Those marketing the pill will call it “alli” because apparently they’re our “allies” in our weight-loss efforts.

The pill, also known as orlistat, isn’t the answer to weight loss. Its side effects are nauseating. The FDA said the most common side effects include changes in bowel habits like loose stool and oily spotting.

And those who fail to follow a strict regime of exercise paired with a low-calorie, low-fat diet will experience more intense side effects. That’s because, when taken correctly with meals, the pill blocks the absorption of about one-quarter of fat consumed. So if you make the mistake of eating a cheeseburger, you’ll face the consequences in the bathroom.

Although the drug would contain half the dose of the prescription version, Xenical, evidence has shown there’s more to worry about than side effects. In April, 2006, a group called Public Citizen asked the FDA to pull the prescription because the “fat blocker” could contribute to colon cancer. The group cites a Brazilian study indicating the drug caused “aberrant crypt foci” in rats and that ACF are a critical part of finding colon cancer in humans.

According to Public Citizen, the FDA released a review of orlistat in 1997 indicating concern with “colonic cell proliferation.” The FDA also initially failed to approve the prescription based on clinical trials that found the risk of getting breast cancer increased by four to seven times while taking the pill.

The risk for cancer alone should be enough to convince anyone not to take this new pill. Trading well-being for weight shouldn’t be a trend anymore. Whatever happened to simply eating healthy and staying fit as a weight-loss plan?

If people stop messing with their bodies by introducing strange diet pills and starvation, they might find some healthier, more affordable ways to look and feel good.

About the writer:

Emery Davis is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at [email protected].

More to Discover