Friday, June 8, 2007

Volume expanding diet pill fills you up so you eat less

Pic: Jelly belly, from about the size of a spit wad the compound grows to a tennis ball so dieters sit down feeling full. Image: Courtesy of Prof. Luigi Ambrosio

From wired:

MILAN -- Italian scientists are testing a new diet pill that turns into a clear, gelatinous blob the size of a tennis ball that may help shrink waistlines by giving dieters a sense of satiety.

This is currently in clinical trials in Rome. If all goes well, they hope to have it available to the public in about a year.

When swallowed, it is in powder form, but when you add water (you are supposed to drink 2 glasses of water with this), this cellulose hydrogel can soak up to 1,000 times its weight.

I wonder if this could dehydrate people, especially since most people don't actually take their pills as prescribed. Without the 2 glasses of water, that liquid will come from somewhere, and I'll be interested in seeing if this creates any electrolyte imbalances.

Of course, the safer way to diet would be to focus on foods with lower caloric density.

From physorg:

Eating smart, not eating less, may be the key to losing weight. A year-long clinical trial by Penn State researchers shows that diets focusing on foods that are low in calorie density can promote healthy weight loss while helping people to control hunger.
Foods that are high in water and low in fat – such as fruits, vegetables, soup, lean meat, and low-fat dairy products – are low in calorie density and provide few calories per bite. “Eating a diet that is low in calorie density allows people to eat satisfying portions of food, and this may decrease feelings of hunger and deprivation while reducing calories” said Dr. Julia A. Ello-Martin, who conducted the study as part of her doctoral dissertation in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State.

May not be as cool and high tech, but definitely sounds cheaper and safer.

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