Dear Cedric

Dear Cedric,

I’m fat! I’m fed up with diet and exercise. What can I do?

Britney S.

Dear Britney,

Please don’t use the “F” word. It hurts my ears. That’s because, in the medical lexicon, “fat” doesn’t exist. Only bullies would use such a hateful word. In medicine we prefer the sterile scientific term: obese.

But who’s obese? You may think you’re a heavy person, but how do you really know? Where can you turn for that confirmation? You can refer to the handy scale called the Body Mass Index, or BMI. Use an online calculator to instantly get your number. Your BMI number then labels you with the appropriate title:

Less than 18.5              Underweight

18.5-24.9                     Normal weight

25-29.9                        Overweight

30-39.9                        Obese

Greater than 39.9          Morbidly Obese

Everyone should know his or her BMI. You should memorize it like your PIN number or shoe size. Moreover, it’s a handy way to refer to people. For example: “I went on a date with this hot 18.9 last weekend.” Or: “She wears so much black you nearly forget she’s a 31.2.” Or: “He cooks like a 20.4, but smells like a 44.2.”

So, back to your question, Britney. What do you do if you really are overweight? Or, Lord forbid, obese? With the help of modern science, you don’t have to rely on pesky exercise and diet. Or even a tummy tuck (the scars!). If you have a BMI>30, then you can qualify for medicine. Yes, pharmacologic weight loss. There are three main types of pills you can use:

  1. Stimulants (Phentermine, Adipex, Bontril, Didrex, etc) These speed up your metabolism. Possible side effects: heart valve destruction, high blood pressure, and pulmonary hypertension.
  2. Neurotransmitter adjustor (Meridia) By altering your neurotransmitters—seratonin, norepinephrine, dopamine—it lowers the “hunger” cravings coming from your brain. Possible side effects: high blood pressure, stroke, and seizure.
  3. Fat binder (Xenical) It binds to fat in your stomach and makes you stool out the fat before it can be absorbed. Possible side effects: fecal incontinence, stool leakage with flatulence, and oily buoyant stools.

Unfortunately, none of these medicines permanently keeps off weight without diet and exercise. But, as part of a balanced regimen, they can help a person reach the magical “25.” Good luck on your journey back to normalcy.

3 responses to “Dear Cedric”

  1. Mary-Kate says:

    Ok, so if I do colonics will that help with the fat binder side effects?


  2. Ashley says:

    This BMI-thingy is totally unhelpful. Can you put it to me this way?

    Scary-icky Calista skinny

    Breaking-headlines Mary-Kate skinny

    Still there Lindsay Lohan skinny

    Totally ignored by the tabloids skinny

    Thank you,

  3. Jasper says:

    Girls, girls, just eat tons of watermelon and wear a diaper. No one will be able to tell under all those ponchos and afghans. Oh shit, here comes my mother. Gotta go.