April 19, 2005

Will hoodia gordonii save us from our sin of gluttony?

The NYT examines the vaunted appetite suppressant.
But even if eating the plant dampens the San people's hunger, [a doctor] said, that does not mean that processed supplements necessarily work the same way. For one thing, people who take the supplements do not get as much exercise as the San people do and have easier access to food.

Yes, it's that access to food that makes us so fat, really, and we all know it. As to the exercise, if food were hard to get, as it was back in the days when we were evolving this appetite, we'd be getting plenty of exercise tracking the stuff down. The lack of food was also the motivation to exercise. How hard it is to overcome the deep urges nature has implanted in us!

But how much worse it is to be a hungry person where food is so scarce that you "break off a spiny, cucumber-shaped stalk from this succulent plant, feed on its milky center [so] you will have the energy to set off on a long hunt unencumbered by hunger pangs."

Count yourself sublimely lucky, and instead of dosing yourself with dried hoodia gordonii, think of the people who are driven by real hunger and atone for your gluttony. Deny yourself a little every day until you are not fat anymore.


Judith said...

This reminds me tangentially of a Muriel Spark novel in which the chubby protagonist went on a diet by eating half of what she normally ate. She would cook her usual meals or order her usual at restaurants and then just eat half.

Noumenon said...

"Deny yourself a little every day until you are not fat anymore."

Oh, man, if only it were that simple.

Ann Althouse said...

Did I say it was simple? It's hard to suppress your deep natural urges. I mean "deny yourself" to be a really harsh, onerous undertaking.

Meade said...

"Deny yourself a little every day until you are not fat anymore."

And get a moderate amount of exercise.

In a nutshell: calorie restriction + exercise → higher MET's → less risk of dying within eight years of heart disease.