Enough is enough. I am having a real “Network” moment, you know, where I want to go to my window and scream “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more!” Today, this is why:
There is a new drug on the market, Alli, that blocks fat absorption in order to promote weight loss. One of the side effects is loss of bowel control. What does it mean when it is seemingly acceptable for a pharmaceutical company to recommend that, when taking this drug “it’s probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work.” Really, this is on the company website. Check it out.
It seems to me that anything that makes you lose control of your bowels has to be bad for you. It’s alarming, and unhealthy. People are willing to do anything to lose weight, anything but eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, and corporations are willing to capitalize on this, and indeed perpetuate it.
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Americans are “drowning in sugar.” The average American consumes 2-3 pounds of sugar each week, and this has been steadily increasing over the last 20 years. Twenty years ago, the average American consumed 26 pounds of sugar per year. Now the average is 135 pounds of sugar a year. In much the same way that I find the loss of bowel control alarming, so is this statistic. And disgusting.
A cultural shift has created this insane increase in sugar consumption. Are pharmaceutical companies and the junk food, and diet industries to blame in conspiring to create a society of obese people who crave junk food like heroine, feel terrible about themselves and feel compelled to take poison like Alli in spite of the fact that they will be required to use adult diapers? Or do we only have ourselves to blame for becoming a nation of couch potatoes who will stay inside all day consuming bags of chips (made with Olestra, of course….read the warning on the bag!), playing video games and watching cable.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about games and videos. One of my favorite weekend activities is keeping up with my video list from Netflix, or playing Sims with my wife. But I also like to practice yoga, read, write, go to museums, take walks in my neighborhood. I struggle to find balance in my life because I’m as vulnerable as anyone else to getting sucked into obsessively trying to get my Sims character’s next promotion. It’s addictive! As I write this, I am having such a weekend, blogging, surfing, playing video games. But I digress.
I guess my opinion is clear: The pharmaceutical, junk food and diet (and perhaps adult diaper) companies don’t want us to have healthy active lives because if more of us did, they would lose a lot of money. It has become a revolutionary and subversive act for people to take responsibility for their own health, to actively practice self-love and self care.