Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weight Loss Quackery

Ok.  I couldn't resist.  Here is some recent weight loss quackery, much of which is still being propagated on the internet.

Magic Tights Weight Loss -
Embedding into the fabric of the "Slim fit 20 Caffeine Tights" are tiny capsules of caffeine.  When the caffeine comes into contact with the skin it is supposed to be absorbed and stimulates metabolism, burn fat, and tighten leg muscles.  The manufacturer, a British company called Palmer's, promises that if the tights (which cost about $50 for a three pack) are worn for a month, about an inch in diameter can be lost from each leg.  If this catches on (apparently over 50,000 units have already been sold - mainly to men) it may replace the phrase "Hey, you smell like pizza" with, "Hey, how come you smell like Starbucks?"

Spray-On Weight Loss -
CLAmor is sprayed onto food.  It contains a chemical called "clarinol" that's thought to shrink fat cells.  When clarinol-sprayed food is eaten, it reduces fat on the food and fat that's already inside the body.  It comes in four flavors: butter, olive oil, garlic and plain.  So what is clarinol?  CLAmor, the name of the product and the company , says it is a naturally occurring bacteria found in the stomach of cows.  It's "harvested" from fried ground beef. Clarinol is now sold as CLA and is essentially worthless as as weight loss medication, however, it has been show to have a minimal additive effects to muscle building. (And there's nothing like the taste of ground beef cultured bacteria!)

Alchemy Weight Loss -
A magic pill called Phena-Frene/MD sold in the mid-1990s claiming to turn fat into water, which was then flushed from the body forever by simply urinating it out.  Packaging claimed users could loose up to 10 inches off their waist in just two weeks.  Only one small problem: It is chemically impossible to turn fat into water!  The product bombed despite "medical school proof" from non-existent institutions such as the California Medical School and the U.S. Obesity Research Center.

Magic Pants -
Sold via the late night TV infomercial in the 1980's, "Slim Jeans" weren't actually jeans, and they probably didn't make anybody slim.  Slim Jeans were silver, futuristic-looking sweat pants made of "an amazing polymer material" that turned out to be a cheap rayon knockoff.  They were supposed to cause weight loss by trapping in body heat, making the wearer lose water weight by sweating. The makers of Slim Jeans said weight loss could occur if the pants were worn exercising, sleeping or even watching TV.  For a while, Slim Jeans were sold with a matching shiny sweatshirt to allow for even more good-looking weight loss.

Clip-On Weight Loss -
According to Ninzu, the manufacturers of a 1990s device called the B-Trim, weight loss could be attained by clamping this little object onto the ear.  Here's how it was supposed to have worked:  The clip put pressure on a nerve ending, which supposedly stopped stomach muscles from moving, signalling the brain that the stomach was full.  This was apparently supposed to control appetite leading to weight loss.  Ads for the B-Trim said these claims were proven by "scientific evidence."  The only problem: they didn't actually list any of that evidence.  The result was that the Federal Trade Commission made Ninzu stop selling the B-Trim in 1995. (Don't they call these "ear rings" now?)

Phrase of the Day: "The only thing I like better than a low fat diet are my Magic Pants!"

Our New Medicare Czar

Donald Berwick, our new Medicare Czar, was appointed by President Obama during Senate recess to avoid partisan voting.  Again, we see Obama's abuse of the "recess appointment" to push his agenda and install a Center for Medicare and Medicaid leader in place that firmly believes in "redistribution of wealth."

Donald Berwick will use Medicare to "redistribute wealth."