Monday, March 06, 2006

What's Hunger Got To Do With It?

As I mindlessly consume my bag of 94% fat-free, 100% taste-free popcorn, my TV-remote surfing pauses at a late-night infomercial touting the latest secret cure in fighting obesity. Were I not so tired, I might question what cruel individual kept it concealed, and why. However, I confess my logic centers were closed for the evening.

I can tell the over-excited announcer is skinny; so much energy at midnight must be a function of high metabolism. He pitches with uncontained enthusiasm: Eat everything you want, no exercise. Change nothing. Swallow this supplement. Lose something like 300 pounds the first fifteen minutes and 25 pounds an hour thereafter!

Yeah, right - and I could flap my arms and fly, if it were not for the buttery salt all over them.

Explaining the apparent contradiction with nutritional science advanced by the pill’s miraculous assertions, the voiceover continues, “New LIE-TO-YOUR-FACE FAT-B-GON suppresses your hunger gene so you don’t eat. Weight falls off like magic!”

OK, you caught me. I did alter the name of the product for truth-in-advertising purposes. That however misses my point.

Those of us who are overweight consume mass quantities of food even when NOT hungry. I can tell by your now ashen complexion that you are shocked. Alas, ‘tis true. When I am unbuttoning my pants at Thanksgiving dinner to thrust another pound of mashed potatoes into my expanding, aching gullet, I left hunger in the rear-view mirror long ago. You would think decent diet researchers might have noticed this.

Hunger is not the issue; my eating is rarely associated with lack of food. So fancy schmancy diet company - suppress my “hunger gene”. If I even had such a thing, I think doctors removed it with my tonsils years ago, right before feeding me three day’s worth of ice cream.

Should your researchers be truly interested in assisting, I have requests. Suppress my appetite gene; that will help. Or what about my gee-I’m-bored-so-I’ll-eat-anything-I-can-stick-a-fork-in gene? Better yet, get rid of that pesky I-had-a-rough-day-so-I-will-consume-a-pound-of-chocolate-and-six pack-of-beer gene.
Come up with one of those puppies and I’ll pay $19.95 plus shipping. You won’t even have to throw in the Ginsu knives.

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