So yesterday it was announced that the FDA had approved the first nonprescription weight loss drug called Alli. Basically it is just a half dose of Xenical, which is only available with a prescription.
The Good News: The drug could help many people lose weight. Helping overweight/obese people decrease their risk of weight-related diseases (like diabetes, heart problems) is obviously a great result.
The Bad News: Since it is over the counter anyone can buy it. This means that someone who does not really need to lose weight could potentially abuse the drug. (It brings to mind all the girls I know who are thin but still think they need to lose ten pounds. You already look beautiful!) Another con, it is expensive. The prices for Alli can range from 50 to 100 dollars a month. According to one expert on NPR, the drug will only cut 100 to 300 calories a day from your diet. For your money you can buy a nice gym membership instead.
The Gross News: Alli works by blocking fat absorption in your digestive tract… and that fat has to go somewhere. So basically prepare to run (fast!) to the bathroom if you eat anything with too high a fat content. Ick.
So Alli is far from a cure-all. Some people will definitely benefit from the drug. I, for one, will be sticking with the tried and true way of losing weight!