February 21, 2011

obese monkeys to discover magic weight loss pill?

and I have to tell you that I am a little fired up.  
The article discusses how monkeys are being exposed to conditions that lead to obesity 
(basically the "American lifestyle" - too many calories, sugary and fatty foods, and little exercise)
with the intent of then doing trials of diet drugs to find their effectiveness

Now, for full disclosure: I support research on animals because I think it is important for scientific discovery (AIDS, cancer, and a myriad of other research is vital!)

But I find this situation to be reprehensible: 
pharmaceutical companies funding this research in order to develop the "magic weight loss pill" to make a profit

News flash!
we already have our magic solution: eat healthy, don't overindulge, and be active! 
it's hard.  it takes time. it is the only way

Developing the magic weight loss pill aside, I do see that there may be ways this research can help us improve our food systems and understanding of behaviors related to obesity. 

for example, "Dr. Grove and researchers at some other centers say the high-fructose corn syrup appears to accelerate the development of obesity and diabetes." 

Some studies found that this type of diet impacted the developing brains of the fetuses in pregnant monkeys and also lead to offspring with metabolic problems
results also indicated that the diet of the mother during pregnancy, 
"matters more than whether she is obese"

interesting findings, and important for 
helping us connect a desire to be healthy with other values
such as supporting the health and development of our children
and making sure food is safe
it is also an opportunity to think about larger social issues, 
such as the implications of the lack of access to healthy food in low-income communities, where mothers may not have access to nutritious food during pregnancy

All that said, 
I still believe that subjecting animals to these unnatural conditions for the specific goal of finding a quick fix drug (rather than taking responsibility for our own health) 
is an unprecedented low

1 comment:

  1. Wow Rachel-
    You are turning into an animal activist like your mom! I totally " get it", and glad to see you do too. <3