With easily-accessed food sources, corn starch, and the rise of the fast food industry, it’s safe to say that humans are getting fatter. Before the 20th century, obesity was immensely rare. Nowadays, obesity has become so widespread that the World Health Organization formally recognized it as a global epidemic back in 1997.
This may all change however, in the future. Saxenda, a new injectable medication for obesity, is in the process of being reviewed by Health Canada for usage in our country. It has already won approval from the United States from the Food and Drug Administration, which means our southern neighbours can already use the drug legally. The chemicals in the drug are taken from the saliva of the Gila monster, a venomous lizard from the southwestern United States.
While the purpose of the drug is to help people who suffer from chronic cases of obesity, I can’t help but envision it becoming an easy ‘get slim’ medication if the drug is approved. Because people are always looking for easier ways to become thin without enduring the ‘hardships’ of exercising or eating healthy, the potential for such a drug will be easy to abuse. This, in turn, will promote unhealthy lifestyles; people will be tempted to take drugs to lose weight instead of actually improving their lifestyle.
People will simply take a drug to lose weight instead of actually improving their lifestyle.
As with any medication, side effects and health risks are always a possibility. Considering its recent approval, there could be undiscovered long-term negative effects, and there is no guarantee the intended effects of this particular miracle drug will work for everyone. These downsides could very much negate the whole purpose of using the drug, and may even make it dangerous to inject.
In spite of my cynical musings, such a drug does have the potential to change the world. The health risks caused by obesity could become much less prominent, and since the drug consumes sugar in the blood, the lives of diabetics and pre-diabetics could be saved — all with the power of lizard spit. In the hands of professional doctors who have researched and understand their patients’ conditions, this drug has potential as a life-saving tool.
But like any tool, it could also be as dangerous as a revved-up chainsaw in the hands of a toddler if not taken properly. Should people choose to use the drug as an excuse not to exercise or maintain a healthy diet, basements all the world over could flood with people.
All in all, between possible negative side effects and the unhealthy lifestyle a drug like this may promote, I’d rather work off those pounds than rely on a reptilian oral fluids.