Saturday mornings are usually reserved for listening to NPR around the SkepticRD household, particularly Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and This American Life. The former was actually a rebroadcast and the celebrity on the Not My Job segment featured TV food personality and now diabetes drug Victoza spokesperson Paula Deen. Which reminds me of another article that popped up on my feed yesterday about how Paula is going to be discussing her weight loss again in a magazine next month. And I also remembered what annoyed me about that article.
First of all, I rarely take anything the Huffington Post posts seriously about nutrition or science because it has a a consistently poor evidence-based profile. Second of all, they touted that the main reasons that she is losing weight is because she is making little changes and practicing moderation (as well as giving up her sweet tea). And while I do say good for her, I think there is a very important thing they are leaving out, and that is that she is most likely taking and an advocate for a drug that is known to suppress the appetite.
Now, those of you have been reading this blog know that I am not anti-medicine when medicine is called for. I would love nothing more than for people to control all of their chronic health conditions with diet and exercise alone whenever possible, but for a multitude of reasons not everyone can or chooses to do that, particularly when they are having an acute phase or exacerbation of the disease. But I also think that we need to talk about those side effects. As stated in the above linked article, many people experience nausea when they first start on the drug, which likely takes away the desire for donut cheeseburgers right there. Even after the nausea passes many people are able to eat those smaller portions and stick with it because the drug helps them not want anymore.
Now, what do I see people complaining about when they try to lose weight? It is the hunger that they experience when they just try to cut back. It is the difficulty in not having the second helping of whatever that tasty food is. It is watching other people eat something while you breathe in the aroma of that fresh-made bread or whatever. It is also the humiliation that people experience when thin people sneer at them for their lack of impulse control. There are people who overcome these things through behavior modification and eating foods in proper ratios to satisfy hunger, but there are others that do get help from medication (or weight loss surgery) and I certainly applaud them for doing what they need to do.
So Paula, please share how you have cut back. But please do not withhold the evidence, OK?