August 3, 2006

Get a shot and lose weight?

Posted in Food, Health and Fitness at 12:40 pm by Calico Jack

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in California have been working on a vaccine that produces antibodies against the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger and can lead to weight gain. Currently, this vaccine has only been tested on rats; but it has provided promising results. When injected with the vaccine, the rats gained less weight, even though they were eating normally. Scientists hope that they can eventually produce a vaccine that would help humans to manage weight gain or lose weight, although there are many obstacles to be overcome before such a vaccine could be viable.

I have an idea: instead of spending inordinate sums of money to create a shot that might help overweight people take off the pounds, why don’t researchers instead use that money to pay for gym memberships? We’ve had how many decades of research into figuring out how to stop the rampant weight gain that is sweeping across the West, especially America; but everyone keeps coming back to the most fundamental rule of losing weight: eat healthier foods and exercise more.

I hate people who claim that obesity is a disease that they can’t control. It is true that some people have health issues that affect their body’s metabolism, such as diabetes. And in that case, it is perfectly acceptable to seek artifical solutions to losing weight. But the CDC reports that over 30 percent of U.S. adults are now classified as obese. I’m sorry, but there is no way that one out of every three Americans has a health problem that causes them to be fat. They do have a non-health problem, however; it’s called “eating too much.”

I saw a commercial yesterday for Burger King’s latest entrée in their line of hamburgers that are way too big for you. It’s called the BK Stacker, and its slogan is “A Mountain of Meat and Cheese.” There is no produce on this burger, just meat, bacon, cheese, and a special sauce. You can order the BK Stacker as a double, triple, or quadruple burger. Yes, you heard me right: you can order a burger that has four layers of beef patties, cheese, and bacon. That is honestly disgusting, but even more disturbing is the nutritional information for one of those beasts:

  • 1000 calories (620 from fat)
  • 68 grams of fat
  • 30 grams of saturated fat
  • 240 mg of cholesterol
  • 1800 mg of sodium
  • 34 grams of carbs
  • 62 grams of protein

That is more sodium and fat than you should be having in an entire day. And people who eat these BK Stackers don’t just eat a burger; they have fries and a soda too. I don’t blame Burger King for selling these monstrosities, but I have no sympathy for people who gorge themselves with food and waddle around like oversized Winnie the Poohs. I was at an ice cream shop a few months ago, when in walked tottered several elephantine women. But they didn’t go for the fat-free sorbet; oh no. They each had a triple-scoop ice cream cone. I sat at a table, licking my single-scoop, and I wondered what kind of example they were setting for their children.

[Edit: Upon further reflection, I decided that the last paragraph of this post was unnecessarily harsh. I don’t want to be rude, and the previous few paragraphs make my point well enough.]

Thanks to Elizabeth Swann for help with this post.


  1. I think a vaccine to reduce obesity is a ridiculous idea; it may be an easier way to manage weight, but I don’t think it’s worth all that research when people already know the obvious answer for weight loss. People are just too lazy to go and work out when they could very well be doing other things for that hour or two time period. Our society today wants immediate results without much effort put into it, which is why there are all those diet pills that let you eat what you want and you can still lose weight. It made me sick just reading about that BK Stacker. I can say from experience that the best and healthiest way to lose weight is to exercise and eat properly; that way you eat less calories, yet at the same time that fat gets turned into muscle. I know it takes a lot of work, but being disciplined and establishing that habit early is well worth the rewards to come later in life.

  2. Rusty said,

    I agree 100% with the thought on losing weight. I went from 257 to 223 pounds in a matter of months but simply eating less and healthier, and exercising more — just walking in this case. By making some simple changes to my eating habits has had a major impact. My larger meals are breakfast and lunch, and no carbs after 3 PM — just lean meat and salad. My goal is 200, and I expect to be there by year’s end.

    However, my reward for losing more weight is one of those BK stackers — a double for reaching 220, a triple for 210, and the quad for 200. I know it sounds counter productive, but I feel you have to indulge once in a while. Besides, I’m going to die anyway, why not enjoy it a little. The key here is a LITTLE — once every 2 months or so.

  3. veggimonster said,

    I can’t believe people eat those things! This goes way beyond something an appetite-supressing vaccine could help. Someone who eats that many calories in one go obviously stopped listening to their body’s natural hunger signals long, long ago.

  4. jenia taylor said,

    send it tommorm

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