Chewing gum to make you thin

Jeremy Zawodny is a bit doubtful about a new chewing-gum-based anti-obesity drug. I can see his point, but I think he might be overegging the disbelief a touch. I followed up with the following: I think it might help more than you’re expecting. There are, I believe, three states you can be in:

  • Hungry
  • Not hungry
  • Full

Everyone wants to eat when they’re hungry. Everyone doesn’t want to eat when they’re full. As you say, though, people who are overweight (like, say, me) eat when they’re not hungry, when it’s neutral to do so (don’t necessarily need food, but don’t dislike the idea). People who aren’t overweight (and aren’t that way through a huge mental effort), I think, don’t eat when they’re not hungry (as you mention). So, what you want is to take someone overweight and poke their brain so that when they’re in the “not hungry” state they actually feel full and don’t want to eat. The impression I got (although this might be wishful thinking) is that that’s what this chewing gum stuff does, sort of. There may be some sort of conscious effort (i.e., recognising when you’re in “not hungry”), but the policy there is relatively simple: whenever you’re not actually eating a meal and you fancy a snack, eat the chewing gum instead of looking in the fridge. It’s no panacea, but if it works like that then it might have some hope of success. (only posted here because when I try to post it on Jeremy’s site I get “You don’t have permission to access /mt/mt-comments.cgi on this server.”)

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