01 09 10 Tweet Dietitians Eat Chocolate Too: The Other "F" Word

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Other "F" Word

Ah, Fat. I wish it were that F word most commonly used when commuters travel the D.C. Beltway.

I have been doing a bit of research on the latest weight loss tool on the market, the FDA's baby girl--Alli. Alli is a diet pill that is over the counter and the only one approved by the FDA. The late Anna Nicole Smith's Trim Spa is far from that as Hydroxycut, or the ill-fated Fen-Phen of the early 90's. The typical side effects from diet pills include: dizziness, rapid heart rate, stomach discomfort and a whole boat load of other problems. We as consumers are learning that weight reduction herbs/diet pills are not as great as the media markets another get thin quick scheme.

So what makes this pill so fabulous?

Alli blocks that other "F" word--fat. It doesn't promise boundless energy, the physique of Michael Phelps, but it allows the user to knock down a few unwanted pounds.

I like their marketing approach and website to be honest. A relative recently started on the pill and has lost a significant amount of weight in the last 2 months on it (15# and going).

Alli's website provides a support group (myalliplan), advocates Registered Dietitians (Yay! It's approved by the American Dietetic Association), and encourages exercise which will increase weight loss.

"The active ingredient in alli attaches to some of the natural enzymes in the digestive system, preventing them from breaking down about a quarter of the fat you eat. Undigested fat cannot be absorbed and passes through the body naturally. The excess fat is not harmful. In fact, you may recognize it in the toilet as something that looks like the oil on top of a pizza."--www.myalli.com

Wow that was a gross description, but for a normal person that does not have the conditions listed on the website that may be your only real problem.

In my own person opinion, I do not advocate that weight loss comes in capsules but I believe that this OTC drug gets the consumer to consumer healthier options, exercise, and reap the benefits of weight loss. It's the same message we as dietitians emphasize--a healthy lifestyle.