Medication against obesity. Wouldn’t that be easy now? You take a pill and voila once, twice or three times a day … The excess weight disappears like snow in the sun. Realistic or not? Vera gives her opinion.

The industry is working hard on an overweight pill. The pharmacy shelf is already full of all kinds of products aimed at weight reduction.

A selection from the range:

  • Supplements that suppress your appetite, or fibres that increase your feeling of satiety very slightly
  • Supplements that block the absorption of fats; or fibrous substances that bind to a very small part of the total amount of fat that someone eats
  • Supplements that limit carbohydrate intake; which is almost impossible anyway since the carbohydrate digestion already starts in the mouth.
  • Supplements with the extract of an exciting, exotic herb; what is or is not actually contained in it, let alone in the correct dose

Effective or not

The number of overweight and obese adults and children in the Netherlands and abroad is still rising. Apparently they are not effective products. The – comparable – products that are prescribed by doctors and general practitioners also do not have the desired effect.

Solution very complex

Why then the urge to continue to do research into medication against obesity? The answer is simple. People are looking for a simple solution for a complex social problem. And being overweight is a complex problem! It has a behavioral side. A social side. An economic side. A physical side. A psychological side. And so on. Can this be solved with a pill? No.

Optimism or realism

The people who believe in an overweight and obese pill are not optimistic. They are simply naive. Optimism is at least characterized by a small dose of realism. Because of all these factors, the realistic idea behind an ‘obesity pill’ simply does not exist.

A pill is so much easier

Of course, people look for a simple solution. I see that in practice every day. Diabetics would rather take a pill than have to adjust their diet. Much easier! This is also the case with overweight and obesity. Surely a pill would be much easier than having to handle food consciously (for life)? Nevertheless, the obesity pill will turn out to be an illusion. Perhaps that is why it is more useful to first tackle the causes before looking for non-existent solutions. Preventive instead of via healthcare.

Change of thinking

This requires not only a change in the way people and patients think, but also in health care and health insurers. Let’s hope this switch is made quickly.