Grown adults, embarrassing toilet mishaps of early childhood long behind them, are now so desperate to lose weight they are prepared to pay $2 a day for something that could make them shit in their pants.
Yep. The OTC drug alli (a lower dose version of Xenical) gives those wishing to lose weight the unique experience of excreting 25% of the fat they eat. While other weight loss pills suppress appetite, alli’s novel feature is that it prevents the body from absorbing fat in the first instance.
What does it do? If you eat 3000 calories a day, alli’s fat blocking action will remove approximately 225 of those calories. It may also give you loose stools or bowel movements that are hard to control. So effective is the mechanism of this drug, consumers are advised to “to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work”.
What else involves the consumption of unwanted calories and the swift expulsion of said calories? While I doubt you’ll see bulimia commercially promoted as a weight loss method, big pharma have no qualms about spending $150million annually on marketing encouraging us to take a diet pill that may give us fecal incontinence.
But then why not just shove your fingers down your throat? Chucking up may not be very attractive, but neither is crapping your pants, and you won’t have to pay anybody for the privilege.
And what of the economical implications? On top of the money spent on food consumption, consumers are spending an additional $60 per month to not consume the food they consumed. Got it? So go ahead, buy those small fries from McDonalds. It’ll cost you $1, but for another $2 you’ll be relieved of the burden of the 210 calories it carries. For a neat total of $3 you would have received a zero calorie snack. You would have eaten nothing.
For GlaxoSmithKline though, the economics are less funky. Their projected revenue for the first year? A ravenous $1.5billion.
They may not be the only ones to gain from peoples obsession to be thin, to hell with the consequences. The market in personal care products for adult incontinence could also receive an unexpected boost. Perhaps GlaxoSmithKline already have an adult nappy they can sell us?
Disconcertingly alli’s rather unpleasant (and antisocial) side effects has not deterred dieters. It quickly sold out in many shops when introduced last month. In a world of over consumption and vanity, a little bit of anal leakage is a small price to pay for having your (cheese)cake.