July 06, 2007

You Just Knew I'd Have To Post About This

Just when you thought it was going to be a slow news day, this appears:

Sometimes, you can’t stop your weight-loss secrets from leaking out.

Dieters have been flocking to drugstores to pick up Alli, the first over-the-counter weight-loss pill to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, despite the scary warning: Stray too far from your low-fat diet and you just might poop your pants.

This has officially become the best day in the history of the universe. 4.3 billion years of existence, and I was here for the one day that trumps all others in sheer awesomeness. I'm a little bit humbled, frankly.

The drug’s maker, GlaxoSmithKline, has been up front about the pill’s side effects, suggesting that first timers wear dark pants or bring a change of clothes to work until they get used to the diet pill’s potentially yucky consequences.

Seriously, from this moment on, I'm going to be on the lookout for people on this diet. It'll be kind of like a "Where's Waldo" exercise, except I'll be looking for people crying into their hands in front of a brown wet spot on the ground, like in "The Sims" when you don't let your Sim relieve itself.

Still, it seems there’s no shortage of people willing to risk public humiliation to shed a few pounds. At one Los Angeles-area Walgreens, pharmacist Susie Uyu’s seen customer after customer march directly through the store toward the prominent Alli display. “I think they’re excited that it’s an over-the-counter product,” Uyu says.

They'll be "marching directly" somewhere else by the end of the day. Or, maybe not marching, but sliding, cheeks clenched, to the nearest pound shedding depository.

And even though pharmacist Miyuki Anderson, who works at a Bartell Drugs in Seattle, warns everyone who eyes the Alli display about the messy side effects, it doesn’t stop most of them from buying the diet pill. (Anderson does, however, arm them with this helpful tip: “I tell the patients, try when you have a day off.”)

People! Do not listen to Miyuki's advice! That would spoil this joyous day for everyone! Rather, take my advice: Wear shorts and mini-skirts! Skip underwear entirely! Crap yourselves with pride!

“We know it’s selling very well — better than we expected,” says Brian Jones, a GlaxoSmithKline spokesman. Jones declined to share any specific numbers. “But we don’t know if it’s going to last — there was a lot of pent-up anticipation.”

Yeah, well, this new pill should deal with any remaining pent up anticipation. In fact, anything that's remotely pent-up should slide through the sluice gates with ease!

That anticipation refers to the origin of Alli; it’s the newly approved over-the-counter form of the prescription weight-loss drug Xenical. Now that it’s available in many major drugstores and grocery chains, it’s not just for the obese with a doctor’s prescription in hand — anyone who wants to lose a few can try it.

More importantly, anyone who want to slip a little poop-inducer into the food or drink of their unsuspecting victims can try it! To any of my friends or family reading this right now, consider this your warning.

“The pill offers the promise of convenience, that someone has done the job for you,” says Adam Drewnowski, director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington in Seattle. “People who don't live well, who stuff themselves with bags of snacks, in desperation they reach out for a pill.”

"That someone has done the job for you?" Technically, I think you'll still be responsible for "the job." Also, "in desperation they reach out for a pill?" In addition to sounding suspiciously like your typical addict or drug abuser, doesn't this sound kind of like abdicating personal responsibility? Don't get me wrong, a nation of pants crappers is still deliciously funny, but I'm just sayin'.

The drugmaker states very clearly that it’s no miracle drug, and only promises to help people toward moderate weight loss. For example, if someone were to lose 10 pounds from dieting, they’d lose 15 by combining their diet with Alli.

Five additional pounds. . . for them TO POOP ON! Sorry, I was channeling my inner Triumph The Insult Dog there.

The diet pill works by blocking 25 percent of fat from being digested. Alli users take one pill with every meal, and to avoid an “Alli oops,” they should eat less than 42 grams of fat a day, or about 15 grams per meal. But those fat grams can be sneaky. One grande Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino contains 15 grams of fat, and if an Alli user adds even a low-fat muffin to that meal, it could get icky.

An "Alli oops?" An "ALLI OOPS!" ROTFLMAO! Those fat grams can be sneaky! OMG! This is about the funniest unintentionally funny article ever filed!

“It’s so important to understand that you must adopt a low-fat, healthy lifestyle,” Jones says. “We call them treatment effects — that’s a signal for you that you’re not staying in the guidelines. What Alli will not do is make up for not living a healthy lifestyle.”

Treatment effects! Squirting oil out your ass is considered a treatment effect! This is seriously TEH AWESOME! The next time I take a dooger, I'm going to say I'm "going in for a treatment effect, so I better grab a magazine." People won't know whether to feel sorry for me, or remind me to hit the fan.

But we don’t always like to bother with directions.

Really? Do tell!

Those who haven’t completely followed instructions offer cautionary tales on the drug company’s Web site.

As if crapping yourself dry isn't embarrassing enough, you can write about it! Lord knows I've done that myself here countless times, without any help from Alli, even.

“(I)’ve pooped my pants 3 times today, and sorry to get descriptive but it even leaked onto the couch at one point!” writes one user.

No, no, no. You don't apologize for descriptive writing. You revel in it. You crap your couch and you write Shakespearian tomes about it. You don't just dump your drawers three times a day. . . you take PRIDE in it!

It can strike any time — even in the early hours of the morning. One user writes: “(Y)a know how when you start moving around in the morning ya pass a little gas. Well, I did and then went into the bathroom and to my horror I had an orange river of grease running down my leg.”

Or, what Harry Potter fans would refer to as "Pumpkin Juice." I love how it was "to their horror." What did they expect? A river in Greece? No, a river OF grease.

Fellow cheaters advise each other on the best clean-up methods, and some even suggest using panty liners or Depends. One frugal user noted, “I’m thinking that infant diapers might be a cheaper way to go, just use them as a large pad.”

Ladies and gentlemen, we've officially reached the end of the world. Please exit on the left. In my previous post, I mentioned being uncomfortable with the invective commentary on some blogs. Well, now I'm just plain wigged out at the thought of Alli cheaters sharing advice on how best to deal with the consequences of cheating rather than, you know, STOP CHEATING. Then again, that would mean an end to this hilarity, to which I'm adamantly opposed.

The gross side effects might scare away the less-committed, but some experts appreciate Alli’s very real, very immediate consequences of cheating on your diet.

And even some non-experts like, say, ME, appreciate the very real, very immediate consequences. They're the most super-funny awesome consequences the drug industry has ever come up with.

“It forces you to eat a lower-fat diet — if you don’t, you’re violently penalized for not doing so,” says David Sarwer, the director of clinical services at the Center for Weight Loss and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “When they eat a little too much fat, they’ll learn not to do it again.”

Orrrrrrrrr, they might just use Alli as an excuse to eat every fat saturated morsel they can get their hands on, because they're perfectly happy to act as human oil fountains if it means they can suck down a guilt-free Big Mac.

The drugmaker claims Alli is promoting healthier lifestyles by teaching users that weight loss involves eating healthy food and getting enough exercise — and Sarwer agrees.

"Healthier Living Through Anal Seepage" would be a great slogan.

“People who are struggling with their weight assume that thin people never think about what they eat,” Sarwer says. “I’ve always been impressed by patients who really rolled with the punches with some of these events. They say, ‘Well, I learned that I couldn’t do that. It taught me to eat differently.’ And that’s where I think Alli can be the greatest benefit.”

Packing on the pounds, heart disease and arterial clogging apparently aren't enough to convince people. No, they need to see a river of orange grease sliding into their shoes to get the point across. Stop the human race. . . I want to get off.

Some Alli enthusiasts have been conscientious enough to avoid any side effects. Carole McMahan, who’s trying to lose 10 pounds, started taking Alli the day the product hit drugstore shelves on June 15, and has been careful to follow the low-fat diet.

You can't just follow the rules. You HAVE to include the threat of random butt sludge.

“No pun intended, but I’m very anal about it,” says McMahan, who’s 44 and lives in Greensboro, N.C. She appreciates the way Alli holds her accountable to her eating habits.

“I started very cautiously, and I’ve just grown more and more comfortable with it,” McMahan says. “I just follow the diet. I knew I couldn’t go out and order hot fudge cake.”


But some Alli fans, like 25-year-old Rachelle Beaini, are just asking for it. Beaini, who lives in Henderson, Nev., and wants to lose 20 pounds, has lost 6 pounds in two weeks without a single side effect. Inspired by her success, last week she dared to eat a meal of chicken nuggets — while wearing white pants. (Still no unpleasant consequences, she swears.)

Look for a Rachelle Beaini ass explosion video to grace YouTube any day now.

Still, as some obesity experts point out, if you’ve made a change in your eating habits, why is a diet pill necessary? Drewnowski, the Seattle public-health researcher, says that hearing “Alli oops” stories frustrates him.

Why do Seattle public-health researchers always have to be such. . . such. . . oh, hell with it. . . SUCH PARTY POOPERS?

“I think it's utterly revolting, frankly,” Drewnowski says. “It controls your life — you focus on it all day. It’s like walking around with a colostomy bag.”

Note to self: "Walking Around with a Colostomy Bag" would make a great children's novel title.

Instead of investing money in a diet pill, he encourages people to take the money they would’ve spent on Alli and put it toward buying healthier food. (A 20-day supply of Alli costs about $45 to $55.)

Again, people, don't listen to this Seattle-based nincompoop. His common sense and logic are total impediments to a grand old greasy time.

“See how much money you are spending on food daily,” Drewnowski says. “Factor in the extra amount for this drug and spend the entire amount on better food. You'll be happier and better nourished — and not obese.”

But, but, but. . . the POOPING! There'd be a total lack of POOPING amusement! Why are so against amusement and hilarity, Mr. Seattle-Stick-in-the-Mud?

He adds, “I can't think that a healthy lifestyle requires carrying a spare pair of underpants.”

If a healthy lifestyle doesn't require a spare pair of underpants, well, let me just be the sickest man alive!


Posted by Ryan at July 6, 2007 11:42 AM | TrackBack

my mind is so overwhelmed by the idiocy of human nature that i can barely even form a complete response. that people would rather risk shitting their pants than not have their disgusting over-processed high fat foods is a sign of a severe cultural disorder. i mean, i agree this article is just plain funny, but it's also fucking SAD, yo.

Posted by: amy.leblanc at July 6, 2007 02:24 PM

I just take solace in the fact I, personally, am not one of these people.

Posted by: Ryan at July 6, 2007 03:24 PM

I wonder if an "Alli" will come with the Double Western Bacon Cheesburger combo?

Posted by: MojoMark at July 6, 2007 04:22 PM

You know, if you're overweight AND constipated then this new pill is the shiz-nizzle. Lose weight and crap like a race horse after a prune smoothie.

And, Amy, I think highly processed food has addictive qualities to it. People get addicted to nasty crap and then wholesome food is nasty to them. Nobody ever said our country wasn't twisted inside out (kind of like the users of Alli can get). Processed food is like smoking, you know its bad for you but its soooo hard to stop once you've started.

I wonder if the makers left the crap-your-pants part of the drug in to keep people from becoming overly dependent on it.

Posted by: Erik at July 6, 2007 09:26 PM

Actually, I've been noticing for a long time that eating healthy is _expensive_ -- I can go get a greaseball burger for a buck fifty, or a salad for five dollars. So the "save the money and use it to eat better advice is actually pretty good, I think.

But really, this whole thing reminds me of this YouTube video involving mentos. Check out the *ahem* end.

Posted by: Stephen Rider at July 10, 2007 08:48 AM
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