Friday, July 16, 2004

Too Good to Be True?

Science Comes a Step Closer to a Workout in a Pill

If this magic pill pans out, the level of popularity and use it would have in the United States and around the world is almost impossible to overstate. Other than those miraculous few who enjoy spending their evenings in a gym, or people who are paid to exercise all day, who wouldn't want a pill that stops their body from adding fat without all that annoying running?

Of course, if no one is fat anymore, the standards will only go up. I pity the folks whose claim to beauty is merely being thin. When it takes a six-pack and bulging biceps to stand out at all from the crowd, they'll lose their heretofore privileged position. But the health benefits and cost savings this pill could create for an overweight population such as ours would be remarkable; heart disease rates would likely plummet, for one thing. This could prove to be a magic pill for trimming not just our waistline but our national health care budget...

3 comments:

McKenzie said...

Is it really a workout in a pill or weight loss in a pill. With exercise, particularly cardio, there is the effects that will be replicated by the pill, but there is also the muscular development aka 'toning' that occurs as well from particular muscles functioning. So this pill will help you burn calories and simulate the weight loss/control you get from exercise, but not the benefits from the actual exercise on other parts of the body. It may decrease heart disease in that there are less obese, but their hearts aren't going to be in better shape, just less stress on it. Exercise will still be necessary to make advances in health and maintain a healthy body into later years. The pill will just let you look better while you are exercising.

Richard said...

The pill will also let you look better while you're not exercising. No, it won't tone your muscles; for a vast swath of America, that's not even close to being the issue. But it will help people to be thinner than they otherwise would be, reducing the strain on not only the heart but on other organs as well. Obesity can be a self-perpetuating problem--if you're so heavy it hurts to walk, you're not likely to start an exercise program to shed those pounds. This should help people avoid that situation. Yes, it will help people who DO exercise look even better. But I think it's more important that it will help people who DON'T exercise--and they are legion--to both look and feel better than they do now.

Paul Allen said...

I tend to think something will go wrong before this pill ever reaches the masses, but it is fun to think about a completely thin society. You'd like to think people would start judging one another on personality, but remember, there is still fashion and money and power left to muck up the process!