Desperate for a fat quick fix, consumers have purchased more than two million starter packages of the new weight-loss product Alli in the past four months. It costs $60 for 90 tablets and is an OTC version of Xenical.
The company GlaxoSmithKline states that 70% of customers report losing weight. It is the first government-approved weight-loss drug available without a prescription.
Experts estimate that roughly 31 percent of adults, or 60 million people in this country, are obese and a nearly equal number are at least overweight.
On June 13, Glaxo introduced Alli with an unusual marketing campaign that warns consumers they must be committed to a restricted diet before they take it. The weight loss drug works by blocking the absorption of fat in the intestine.
Alli has an annoying, but not serious, side effect: it can cause flatulence and diarrhea that is, at times, uncontrollable. That can happen when people eat meals containing too much fat, which simply goes undigested through the intestinal tract because of Alli’s fat-blocking properties.
In studies, about half of those taking Alli in combination with a diet and exercise plan lost 5 percent or more of their body weight in six months. The prescription version of Alli, Xenical, has been sold in the United States since 1999.
Personally I think the side affects are enough of a deterrent for me. I don't eat much bad fat as it is and my stomach is fairly sensitive. I wish there were better numbers. It seems like people on a diet and exercise plan alone would lose 5% of their body weight and the 70% claims from the company itself have to be taken with a grain of salt. Has anyone tried it?