[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 September, 2003, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Is the new fat pill the answer?
British scientists believe they have found two substances which could help cure obesity.

The first hormone tells the body to stop eating, the second is a fatty acid which regulates hunger. Combined together they could create a new diet drug.

Research has shown that obese people have lower than average levels of a hormone that regulates appetite. When volunteers were given injections of the hormone - their appetites shrank dramatically.

But experts believe that the best way to lose weight is to eat sensibly and exercise regularly.

Is the cure that obese people have been waiting for? Would you go for it?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

I have found that a meat and potato pie regulates appetite just as well as a pill, let's just eat sensibly.
Terry, UK

I think it's terrible to see people saying that all obese people eat too much and don't exercise. My own sister goes to the gym seven days a week (she does kickboxing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. She does aerobics on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and Sundays she does yoga.) She eats small portions of steamed vegetables or salads with fat free dressing, a little bit of lean baked chicken here and there... and still she does not lose weight. Anyone who wants to say that all obese people have no control should actually go out and talk to obese people and learn a thing or two!
Annika, Denmark

When I go to my office canteen I see loads of slim people buying crisps, mars bars and fizzy drinks. Bad eating and lifestyle habits are by no means confined to fat people, but they are the ones society picks on because they do not conform to its ideals in terms of body shape.
Jane, Wales, UK

A pill that would help people eat less would be a great benefit not only to overweight individuals but also to society in general. Obesity has many associated health problems such as diabetes and heart disease, and the public health costs are huge.
Alex, US

Nothing makes you fat except eating more
Robert, UK
No medication makes you fat. No bereavement makes you fat. Nothing makes you fat except eating more. It's about time these self-deluders face up to it.
Robert, UK

Robert, UK. Ummm.. have you heard of steroids in medication? Anti convulsants, chemotherapy, etc..? I put on 5 stone when on a specific anti-convulsant. Not through eating. Through medication. When they changed my medication I lost 6 stone. It was excruciatingly painful. I would not wish a fast loss, fat reduction fat pill on anyone as this is the same theory. You lose weight RAPIDLY, painfully and you look vile. White, shaky and a bit like a lollipop. Or any Spice Girl you care to choose. The point being medication can make you disgusting fat or thin. So please don't generalise.
Mel

I have been a size 8 all my life and have no problem with weight. I am however an alcoholic who cannot fight my addiction without support, understanding and love. Give overweight people the same change as other addicts have after all an addiction is what they have.
Anon, UK

My goodness. What a lot of good advice from slim people - every one an expert on diet, exercise and obesity. I'm six stone overweight, walk briskly for three hours five days per week delivering leaflets and follow the Slimming World diet religiously. The weight should be falling off! I wish that it were. I've lost half a stone in six weeks. I have never eaten vast amounts of food but I have been guilty of eating the occasional ice cream, chocolate or biscuit as any average person would. I loathe fatty foods and have always eaten fruit and veg in preference to starchy food. Could one of you "obesity experts" out there please tell me what more I can do? Don't advise Atkins - I need fruit and variety.
Maureen, London, UK

To Maureen: You are doing great! Half a stone in six weeks is a good pace - about a pound a week. Losing weight any faster is just not healthy, and it would be easier to regain it if you lost it so effortlessly. It may take a while, but you're well on your way. Good luck!
Chris, US

For those self-righteous people who say that it is just a matter of healthy eating, self-control and more exercise please explain this: My husband and daughter are thin, my son and I are fat. We ALL eat the same and, because we enjoy cooking, we eat very little processed foods, preferring to use fresh ingredients and making meals from scratch. We all take more or less the same exercise - in fact my son and I probably do more - yet he and I are fat and my husband and daughter are slim. What I would like to see is proper studies into families like ours and those who would benefit from a so-called fat pill identified and allowed to take it under strict supervision. To this add a "Prescription to Exercise" i.e. a personal trainer from the local authority's gym "prescribed" to you to keep you on track and chase you if you don't turn up for whatever reason. This would do far more for obese people and their esteem than any amount of pills/slimming regimes/wonder exercise routines etc.
Irene, Scotland

Overweight people are not all lazy idiots as many people posting on here seem to think
Anna, London, UK
The level of intolerance in this country, of people who are different is astounding. Overweight people are not all lazy idiots as many people posting on here seem to think. I am a size 20 and have been for at least the last three years - I eat a salad for lunch every day and a healthy low fat dinner. If I snack at all it is on nothing but fruit. I walk three miles a day to and from work and swim 50 lengths at least twice a week which is probably a lot more than a lot of skinny people out there do, and yet I do not lose weight. As yet my doctor has not found any medical reason for it and is as baffled as I am. If this pill provides a genuine solution without too many horrendous side-effects like some other weight lose pills then I am all for it. Perhaps also a pill to combat bigotry would be in order!
Anna, London, UK

I have been overweight for 50 years. I was a chubby child (Mum thought sugar was good for you as it gave you energy) with asthma so I never played much sport or got vigorous exercise. I was overweight as a teenager so I never played the dating game. As an overweight adult, I married someone as insecure as I was but the marriage didn't last as she despised me for being fat. I have spent my life worrying about sitting in flimsy chairs and having to be liked for my sense of humour because nobody would want me for my body. Fat has caused me more misery than I can tell. I have tried every diet known to man, and a few more. I have exercised myself almost to destruction. I have always wanted to be slim, but although I have achieved many goals in my life I have never been near this one.

Fat is ugly, unnatural and unhealthy, and anyone who says otherwise is kidding himself. Everyone should be slim and fit. All fat people know this. But losing it is very hard. We all know the "eat less than you use" formula is fundamentally correct, but it isn't simple. If you've never had a weight problem, it's easy to think that fat people are just lazy or greedy. All fat people eat more than they should. The question is why, when being fat is such a miserable existence. I wish I knew. For me, I'd take the pill tomorrow, even though I would know it was treating the symptoms, not the disease. But to be slim for a day, a week even - it would be nice to have experienced that just once.
David, Wales, UK

David, Wales, UK: I'm one of the people here who is very critical of fat people - mostly because I think it is a desperate waste of the capabilities that nature has given us with the human body, and also because of the excuses that are made. I would like to say though that your comment has been the most touching and well-argued comment supporting the taking of this pill that I have read. I still disagree with it because - as you say it is treating the symptoms, not the cause - but I genuinely hope you succeed in achieving the health and fitness level that you want.
Jane, UK

Why not save the money and give people passes to their local gym?
Peter, UK
This, and other drastic measures such as stomach stapling, should be considered as a last resort to those who have battled obesity throughout their life. Since there could be short or long term harm whilst taking this pill, there is no surprise in my saying that a good diet and regular exercise is important. If this pill is to be given out on the NHS, why not save the money and give people passes to their local gym?
Peter, UK

I wish someone would invent a pill that curbed the vicious outpourings of the health fascists.
Fiona, Scotland

No doubt you will receive many comments from the smug and superior along the lines of 'fat people are just lazy, stupid and greedy', but if obesity is to be taken seriously as a public health issue we need to address it properly instead of just insulting and looking down on those afflicted by it. If there's a genuine physiological reason why some people find it harder to regulate appetite than other, and that reason can be addressed, then that is good news. All that's needed now is for society as a whole to grow up a bit, leave behind adolescent superficiality and accept that not everyone is, or should be, the same shape and size
Linz, UK

There's no secret or miracle cure to maintaining a healthy weight
Alison, UK
A pill is not the answer - people still need to learn to eat healthily and exercise as losing weight is not the only benefit of a healthy lifestyle. I have a healthy appetite and need to exercise regularly to combat office-workers-bum. However, I can happily bound up a couple of flights of stairs much more comfortably than some thin friends who will stand panting at the top despite having hauled less weight!

Obesity drugs have a place in carefully controlled cases to help severely obese people get used to a healthy diet, and at a weight where they can exercise. There's no secret or miracle cure to maintaining a healthy weight - just hard work! For those with self-confessed self-inflicted obesity problems, perhaps counselling can help them face the problems that make them turn to food for comfort in the first place. Solve the real problem (unhappiness) not the symptom (obesity).
Alison, UK

I cannot believe the insensitivity shown by people here. Do you really think that obese people CHOOSE to be like that?
Dan C, England

Pills? eh? The equation is not a difficult one... Don't eat more that you burn... Why do fat people make this so complicated?
Paul Sealey, England

I was deeply unhappy and used food as a coping mechanism
Di, England
I've always been a size 12, but put on substantial weight two years ago when going through four family bereavements. I was almost binge eating, mainly because of the acute unhappiness I was experiencing. Like most overweight people, I was not a moron who was "lazy" or incapable of exercising. I was deeply unhappy and used food as a coping mechanism, as I'm sure numerous other people do. In my opinion, overweight people are far more attractive than slim people, particularly judging by the comments made here.
Di, England

If taking a pill is the answer I think we need to rephrase the question. A balanced diet and exercise is the answer I think people should hear...but are they too lazy for that?
Chris Moore, UK

I believe that 90% of obesity is self inflicted. I have very little sympathy for these people. I smoke and am well aware that 90% of lung cancer sufferers have inflicted it on themselves. The long term solution to self inflicted health problems is a change in lifestyle - Only the person affected can make that choice.
Mark, UK

You will see a person spend the time required to look after their home, car etc but will not spend any time to look after themselves. Strange! Two possible solutions for the unhealthy lifestyles could be everybody getting ration books as issued in WW11 or some sort of health tax on those who refuse to look after themselves.
Richard Davie, Scotland

Over the last ten years my weight has changed according to how much I ate and how much exercise I've done. But I've also noticed that the less exercise I did the more I was eating and vice versa. I'd say forget the gym, start playing a sport, you'll make new friends, lose weight, get fit and eat less. Also I'll like to add that the equation really is this simple: energy in (food) energy out (exercise) the balance is your weight. If you doubt this and think it's something genetic etc then try to find a fat person in a country ravaged by famine, they really literally are eating nothing!
Andrew T, UK

Frankly I'd rather there was a pill that would eliminate the bigotry and hatred shown towards obese people. Reading the comments on this page is enough to put me off my lunch, thanks.
Kaye, UK

Family tragedy and redundancy triggered my obesity though it was still self-inflicted. Then one day the lift stopped working at my new workplace, everyone had to walk up three flights each morning and it's still not been fixed. In spite of moaning about it I've lost weight. Now I walk two miles a day home from the tube as often as I can and exercise. Walking during the London power-cut got me started!
Anonymous, England

People are not taking responsibility for the role they play in their own fitness but blame everyone else
Joy, UK
I lived in the Czech Republic for a few years, and I didn't eat a bag of crisps in three years, because quite honestly, the Czech brand tasted a bit stale. But as processed, cheap, but funky looking snack foods are not available to the extent it is in our over stuffed supermarkets, I didn't eat it and depended very much on veggies etc... Not only did I remain trim, but my hair and skin improved immensely.
Now home, I see people use their cars to go everywhere and put so much junk in their bodies. We have already arrived at the way it is in the USA and people are not taking responsibility for the role they play in their own fitness but blame everyone else.
Joy, UK

I can't believe some of the bile in these comments! Blaming people for being fat in this society is as bad as being a racist.
Mark S, Brit in the USA

Two things will help get the pounds off. Cut out all the bread. Perform at least one hour of exercise a day. I started this back in July and have lost almost 40 pounds. There is no substitute for letting your body do its job and taking a pill may prevent it from doing just that.
Tim Renfro, USA

Why is it a generation ago there was less obesity? People ate more natural foods and cooked for themselves! Also, they ate wholesome food which satisfied the appetite.
Neil, UK

I would not condemn it out of hand. Such a pill might be used as a means to a healthier end for some overweight people - allow them to adopt a healthier diet and exercise routine. Granted, some would see it as a "magic pill" to avoid doing the work, but I think it should be made available for those who really want to make those changes.
Bob, USA

Metabolic rates are the key, always have been. As a fat kid at school, I watched and still do watch friends and colleagues eat more than me only to be half my size! I know for a fact I'm more active than most of them too!
Stuart Harris, UK

The way to battle obesity is to change cultural obsessions with thinness. A large portion of the obese population are obese because they have unhealthy relationships with food and their own body. If society told people that they should accept themselves the way they are then there wouldn't be emotional issues revolving food, eliminating much of the obesity problem. Bad diet and no exercise can lead to an unhealthy body, not simply the fat, itself. Maybe when Western culture stops associating thinness with moral value and social elitism, people will be able to end the neurosis revolving weight.
Melinda, United States

As an overweight person I can safely say it is entirely my fault
James McNamara, London
As an overweight person I can safely say it is entirely my fault. Obesity is a choice for the vast majority and not a disease. The cure for obesity is very simple; Eat better/less and be more active. Stories like this create and support our victim complexes. I think that by the end of the century blame could be eradicated and we may never be responsible for what we do.
James McNamara, London

It's all excuses for people not being able to take responsibility for their own problems and lives. People are not overweight because of some hormonal, glandular or metabolism problem, it is because they consume too many calories. Just think how much would you have to eat every day to maintain a weight of 60 stone? Stop eating and you lose weight - easy.
Caerwyn, Wales

If getting rid of the pounds was simple no one would be obese. In a society that markets junk food as easy, cheap and accessible, and where a person can sit behind a desk for eight hours plus a day, shedding the weight isn't that straightforward. What's so wrong with giving Mother Nature a little helping hand?
Denise Crawford, UK

What happens if the obese people over-eat the fat pill? Will they disappear?!
Simon W, UK

Obesity is mostly self-inflicted. I fully support the possible NHS implementation that doctors may withhold treatment of obese individuals who refuse to improve their health by working on their diet and bad living habits. It's just as much of a strain on the funds of our health system as smokers in this country. It all comes down to selfishness and the refusal to break harmful habits.
T. Harrington, UK

Just for T. Harrington's information, treating smoking related diseases cost the NHS an additional 3bn a year - a mere fraction of the extra 13bn a year that the treasury makes on taxing tobacco. And no, I'm not a smoker myself.
Maura, UK

T Harrington, UK. An excellent idea - the government should stop subsidizing healthcare for obesity related health problems since they are self-inflicted. Also smoking related health problems, health problems and injuries related to drunk driving, speeding, climbing mountains, doing any sports, domestic injuries, and suicide attempts, all self-inflicted. The NHS would have more than enough money to treat truly accidental injuries and illnesses. Well done, you have just solved the funding problems surrounding the NHS!
Rachel, USA (ex UK)

I have gained 2.5st since July
Nancy, UK
If I said all it took was willpower for a smoker to stop smoking, I'd never hear the end of it - yet there are a number of stop-smoking aids on the market, and nobody blasts the same vile towards them as I've read today on this page. It appears that if one is overweight, one is immediately stereotyped as being lazy and stupid. This isn't the case at all.

I have gained 2.5st since July 21, when I began taking a new prescription medication. (And before somebody says "Just stop taking it then", I can't, this medicine is saving my life, and I'd rather be fat than dead.) So please, don't assume all overweight people are that way because they want to be. I'll be one of the first in line for this.
Nancy, UK

I am 40, a light smoker, have a healthy appetite and drink beer so my head spins a few nights a week. Am I fat? No. Why? Because I regularly visit the gym, cycle, swim and occasionally jog. It's only 30 or 45 minutes out of your day so try it. A little bit of everything does you good!
Andy, UK

Being overweight is not just down to diet and exercise. It can be down to several factors such as allergies and hormonal. For years I have battled to keep the weight off with little to no help from the medical profession who always blame it on lack of exercise and poor diet. I have since found out by myself that I have food intolerances and a hormonal imbalance. I say let people try these things and see what works. We are all different and so different combinations are required. It is not all down to us being greedy and lazy.
Mrs Dean, England

I was horrified to hear this - what on earth will the diet industry do?! Just think of the irresponsibility, sending all those peddlers of fad diets out of business just like that! Shocking, simply shocking. Seriously, this sounds like the panacea, but if it does work, surely it must be prescribed with great care?
Adrienne, UK

We are surrounded by healthy eating advice so no one has an excuse
Paula, UK
I've been fat and I've been thin, I'm now somewhere in the middle. Losing weight is hard! When you give up smoking you never have to smoke again, but you have to eat everyday. But I don't think a pill is the answer! Everyone should take responsibility for their own actions. We are surrounded by healthy eating advice so no one has an excuse of not knowing what is bad/good for them. The pills are result of drug companies knowing exactly where they can make loads of money! Eat less and exercise more! Can't help thinking this has a connection to your other debate: "Are kids watching to much telly?"
Paula, UK

A glance at the ingredients list of any product makes it obvious that most foodstuffs are full of artificial ingredients, engineered to be cheap and tasty - not good for our health. So instead of hormones and pills, obese people would benefit more from being educated about what those ingredients lists are saying - and exactly what they do to the human body. But it's easier to point the finger at personal failings and then sell someone a pill to solve their 'problem'.
Alexa, UK

What a load of rubbish. Why can't obese people just show a bit of self control and eat less? It's not that difficult. We seem to be living in a society where someone or something else is always to blame for our problems. Instead we should take responsibility for our own lives, and in the case of fat people that means eating properly and exercising regularly, rather than relying on some pill to solve their problem.
Richard, UK

How dare people declare that it just takes a little self control? Who says a huge appetite is not a defect that needs curing, whether genetic or otherwise? These people are not only arrogant and wrong, but also cause much grief in their stupidity. I'm not fat; as a matter of fact I am the kind of person who would benefit from a little self control. Obesity however is different. Think hard before you speak. You are discriminating.
Bruce Michielsen, Netherlands

You should not be quick to call someone lazy unless you know them to be
Penny, UK
Sadly, if the comments on this board reflect the views of the British public, then obese people are damned. Obesity leads to all manner of health complications, ruins a person's self-esteem and makes their life a misery. You should not be quick to call someone lazy unless you know them to be. However, before we waste money on yet more drugs, can we first research the reasons why people get obese in the first place?

I assure you the reason is not fat. In the West we eat more processed food than the rest of the world. We eat very little wholegrains instead we gorge on rice and pasta. Because we are all fat obsessed, we end up eating sugar, the flavour substitute for low fat foods. Sugar raises blood sugar levels, promotes insulin secretion and the end result is that that excess carbohydrate is turned into fat - that's why there is increased obesity in the West.
Penny, UK

Whilst I do have a great amount of sympathy for those with an eating disorder and a medical condition, this adds more fuel to the blame culture that we are sliding into. It is becoming too easy not to take responsibility for our own clumsiness, greed and violence. My (slight) paunch is down to a hormone that stops me eating too much curry and guzzling too much lovely beer. Who can I sue?
Carl, England

Strange that no-one's mentioned the Atkins Diet yet. Anyone of the three million following it will tell you that one real advantage of a low carbohydrate diet is that hunger goes out of the window. No pills required. There's got to be something in that even if the rest of the theory needs better testing.
Lorraine, UK

I have tried appetite curbing drugs and I did lose weight initially. However, when they ceased to work after a few months I came off them and subsequently put all the weight back on!
Tracey Banks, Wales

Any kind of diet is useless unless it involves a lifestyle change
Dave, UK
Any kind of diet is useless unless it involves a lifestyle change. There is little point losing weight just to put it back on again. A more healthy diet and exercise will always be the best way, however this new potential drug could always be used to help the process but what happens after you stop taking it? For the clinically obese the drug could be a life-saver but like Sarah said (below), abuse of the drug would follow. Imagine being able to lose weight over the winter, put it back on over the summer, repeat the process. That can't be good for a person.
Dave, UK

We've heard that obesity is killing more people than smoking. I find it funny that we can develop a pill to stop fat people eating, but we can't develop one to stop people smoking. Is it because of the huge amounts of money the government gets from us smokers?
Andrew, England

Yes, if you consume more calories than you burn then you will put on weight but life is never that simple! Don't forget that some people are genetically pre-disposed to be larger. It is hard to lose weight but it can be done. Not that long ago I was a size 20 and am now a good size 14. I follow a diet and exercise at the gym and continue to lose weight. My advice to anyone is to give it a go. If I can do it then anyone can!!
Claire, Derbyshire

Giving obese people a fat pill or injection to 'cure' their obesity will do nothing to cure their abysmal eating habits of too much sugar and carbohydrate. Because the obese person has not had to use any discipline to acquire their cure their eating habits will not change. As a low carb eater I have found that a higher fat content to my diet combined with the ketosis produced by the reduced carbs produces a natural appetite reduction without any artificial drugs or help. It is so easy for people to take another drug and for pharmaceutical companies to sell the magic cure.
Sue Alderson, England

Giving up smoking was easy by comparison
Ken Gray, UK
Experts continue to ignore the reality of being overweight. By insisting that a change of lifestyle is all that is needed but ignoring the means by which this may be achieved. I feel constantly hungry if I eat 'sensibly' and this is neither practicable nor acceptable in a society in which we are constantly bombarded with temptation. Giving up smoking was easy by comparison - the craving was weaker and short lived. We need assistance in changing our life style not supercilious utterings from uncaring experts.
Ken Gray, UK

Well I've been vegetarian for over 30 years, I work shifts and am never hungry, I feel sick most of the time - and I'm still overweight. If you are thin, then you're lucky. All I get is verbal abuse, mostly from shallow people who think it's OK to abuse people because of the way they look. I have stopped reasoning with them now, I just hit them. It is very satisfying.
Andrew M, UK

My wife decided to lose weight when we got engaged: she lost four and a half stone in four months. What she used was a healthy eating plan, not a diet - we came to know it as the "all you can eat diet". We really could eat 'til we bust and lose weight. Now she is a consultant for the company involved. And no, it's not Weight Watchers - they leave you hungry! Nor yet is it Atkins, which makes you ill. No, this plan has been approved for use by the NHS.
Simon Richardson, UK

It would be better if people were educated in food and what is good and not good for them. I'm overweight by a good few stone, and it is my fault for eating rubbish over the years and not getting much exercise. I have now started eating more healthily, smaller portion sizes and cut out on snacking so much. More exercise and the weight is coming off and I feel better also. Some of my friends' children seem to eat nothing but sweets, fizzy drinks, pizzas, pre-packed convenience foods - they won't look at "real" food. Educate people on how to eat.
Anon, Scotland

Unfortunately this will be another excuse add to the long list for overweight people to use
Richard, UK
Unfortunately this will be another excuse add to the long list for overweight people to use. The simple fact is in the vast majority of cases people eat unhealthy food and don't exercise enough, if at all. It is a simple calculation of calories consumed versus those expended. Claims by people that they 'eat like a bird' and exercise regularly but still can't lose weight just don't add up! The story states that less of the hormone was found in overweight people. What it doesn't say is if they had less of the hormone initially or that being overweight suppresses the production of the hormone.
Richard, UK

Given the misery that obese people endure in society, it's about time that ignorant people woke up to the fact that obesity is a serious medical condition and not just a state of mind. A pill may be artificial, but so too are many of the foods which have made a sizeable part of the population obese.
Paul G, UK

I agree that the best way to lose weight is by correcting your diet and exercising more but for some people the amount of willpower required is too great for them to manage on their own. If the drug is not expensive to produce then I think it would be a positive alternative to the NHS having to spend lots of money treating ailments caused by obesity. I think it should only be available on prescription though to try to ensure that it is properly regulated. I am overweight and am trying to increase my activity levels to burn off more calories. It isn't easy but I am lucky enough to have the support of a loving partner - other people aren't so fortunate!
Tracey, UK

The problem is eating too much and exercising too little - simple. I admit I have been as guilty of it as others. Recently I have started working overseas on a rig in the middle of the desert - no fatty crisps, no cakes, no chocolate for a month at a time. Whilst at work I have started exercising more - nothing too strenuous, a half hour of skipping a day, with some press ups and sit ups - after being here twice, the results are amazing - I look and feel much better. So cut out the Junk food and do a bit more exercise - like walking up the stairs at work rather than take the lift - you will notice the difference!
Kev Rothery, UK

I believe that a lot of the issues surrounding obesity and increasingly overweight people in our society these days is partly societal, and partly genetic. Let's face it, people are either apples or pears and some of us struggle with our weight whilst others (usually fairly smug individuals) just do not.
Dave Strong, UK

The complicating factor in the diet equation is the myriad of unhealthy ingredients in modern processed foods
David, USA
For the overwhelming majority of people the simple answer is to exercise more and eat less. The complicating factor in the diet equation is the myriad of unhealthy ingredients in modern processed foods that can have an adverse impact, items such as hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup and palm oil - these items are over-used by the food industry but the 'man-in-the street' probably wouldn't even know to look for them. However, the easy first step is eat less!
David, USA

This is just a waste of money which could be spent on real illnesses. People are overweight for two reasons; laziness and stupid eating. If you want to eat two or three burgers a day and do no exercise you will put on weight, simple as that. People need to spend more time exercising and less time eating fatty foods. Soon we will become a nation of North Americans.
David, Canada (Scotland)

Eat less and take responsibility for your actions is easier said than done! You can't stop that tummy from rumbling, unless you eat! I feel this drug will be a godsend for people with eating disorders who can now finally eat properly.
Lewis Pobjoy, UK

From what I know (and I'm open to being corrected if I'm wrong) most hormones from the body are released due to a stimulant that reacts with the body, ie sexual desire and some hormones are released, ie adrenalin, when we exercise. Is this not just a case of substituting the natural release of hormones with a man-made alternative which will make money for some drug company or other? Surely education and help to overcome being obese is the answer not a drug that when sold will just promote unhealthy lifestyles?
Helen, UK

I'd love to see it work on my wife and me even if it's only to give us a happier life
M, UK
My wife is constantly on a diet Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Scottish Slimmer, SlimFast, you name it, she's done it. We are both very active at work and in the home and on the go constantly from 7am till 11pm, seven days a week. We have four kids, but she never seems to loss weight which is depressing her no end. She admits she is overweight, she hates the way she is. A fat reducing pill, I'd love to see it work on my wife and me even if it's only to give us a happier life.
M, UK

Many years ago I went out with a girl who was somewhat overweight. She came out with a lot of fine-sounding reasons (I'm big-boned, it's my metabolism, I hardly eat anything, etc) yet she could quite happily eat 7-8 chocolate bars in a single day. I managed to get her to come to the gym with me once where she spent about five minutes on a treadmill at an extremely slow walking pace before announcing that she felt she'd had enough exercise for the day (she'd walked the equivalent of less than half a mile). I don't see how this fat-busting pill would work when someone eats even if they are not feeling hungry and refuses to take any exercise more vigorous than walking up the stairs.
Dave, England

The obvious solution would be proper education in diet and lifestyle from parents and schools. But if somebody lacks the natural control over hunger, I hope science can help them.
Andy, UK

I'm fed up obese people saying they don't eat much but keep putting weight on. The laws of physics dictate that it won't be in your body unless you put it in there, so eat less and exercise more. I'm reminded of Rik Waller's shameful antics on Celebrity Fat Club - he swore blind he wasn't eating much and it turned out that he was eating loads and was convincing himself he wasn't. These kinds of people need long-term psychological counselling not quick fix fat pills. Obesity in some cases is a psychological eating disorder equal in danger and opposite in effect to anorexia and should be treated as such.
David Howe, UK

If it makes people happier, then I don't see why not. I believe in more exercise/less food, but I'm not a health fascist. Live and let live.
Russ, UK

This drug won't help the people who overeat for other reasons or just through habit
Anna Harry, UK
It's all very well producing a drug that reduces appetite, but many people who overeat don't stop when they stop being hungry. If we all did this there wouldn't be such a problem. This drug won't help the people who overeat for other reasons or just through habit. This is where education has to come in rather than just a cure-all drug.
Anna Harry, UK

Being overweight is a serious medical problem. If a new pill could help people who are in serious danger then it is a step forward. However, eating a balanced, healthy diet and taking enough exercise are also very important. This new pill needs to be used carefully so it isn't just seen as a quick fix to allow people to eat as unhealthily as they please and do no exercise.
Tim, UK

Obesity is almost always self-inflicted, some are more prone due to their hormones just as some people are more prone to sun burn; however that just means they need to be more careful not to become obese. Any cure is already available, and it involves the will power of the person, not some pill.
Phil, England

The new fat pill is not the answer. The only answer to obesity is people taking responsibility for their own actions. I too love fatty food and do not particularly enjoy exercise. However, I am aware that if I don't exercise and eat fatty foods I will end up fat. It is as simple as that. What these obese people really need is to be told to change their life style or they will die.
Amy,

Sure, some people are overweight due to eating wrong foods and not exercising.
But I know overweight people eat frugally just to maintain their weight. They find it impossible to lose weight unless they starve. These people need help.
I am all for this fat pill, if monitored and accompanied by education about healthy eating.
Anita, UK

I used to be very overweight. I've since lost most of the excess. It just takes a little self control
Colin Smith, UK
Eat less and take responsibility for your actions. If you are overweight it's purely because you are consuming more energy than you expend. That simple.
I used to be very overweight. I've since lost most of the excess. It just takes a little self control.
Colin Smith, UK

It's simple, if you're fat, eat less and move around more. Now can we stop wasting money on this?
Claire, England

If it is OK for people to be given pills to control illnesses caused by their obesity, why isn't it OK to give them a pill to stop them becoming obese in the first place?
Gill, UK

I used to work in a gym and I was amazed at the amount of people who would come in claiming to be suffering from a genetic condition which caused them to be overweight. I do not deny this could be the case for some, but when asked to complete a diet sheet most people did list a vast quantity of fatty foods and very little exercise. A diet pill would be great for those people who are genuinely suffering from a medical condition which does not allow them to loose weight, but it will be open to abuse by others.
Sarah, UK




SEE ALSO:
Hope for drug to tackle obesity
03 Sep 03  |  Health


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific