Monkeys Fattened Up to Study Human Obesity - NYTimes.com
Posted Feb 22 2011 10:15am
This study makes me shake my head. First, I feel sorry - really sorry - for the monkeys. Mostly because monkeys are social animals and keeping them in individual cages their whole lives with no stimulation like toys to climb on or swings just feels wrong.
But then there's whole "Do we really need study results for this?" factor. Researchers keep studying stuff we already know. If you eat a lot of junk food and sip sugary drinks all day and not get off the couch and exercise, you get fat. You develop a big pot belly like these poor monkeys. Then you get diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
Honestly, why are we torturing monkeys with this? There are enough humans already torturing themselves by hurtling towards diabetes, heart attacks and strokes thanks to obesity.
Then you have the reason for fattening up the monkeys. The drug companies want to test weight loss drugs on the fat monkeys. An old friend of mine works for a major drug company (yeah, we're still friends despite our wildly divergent opinions - it's like a Tea Party person friends with a rapid left-wing liberal. Rare, but it happens) tells me that finding a safe, effective weight loss drug would be like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Think of the profits, she says. I get sick thinking about it because there is no way you can have your cake and eat it too without repercussions. Nature made our bodies over eons to need plant foods and lots of exercise. Anything else just works against us.