If you’re obese would you please leave the health club

For those health clubs in the weight loss business, you’d better watch out. The UK firm, Alizyme, has reported good results from trials involving 612 clinically obese patients and its obesity drug, Cetilistat, for diabetics. Patients involved in the trials lost significant amounts of weight and their diabetes became less severe. Cetilistat is being compared with blockbuster weight-loss drug Xenical, but has fewer side-effects.

The idea of `obesity busting` drugs has been one of those `it won’t happen in my lifetime` kind of debates and so health clubs get back to offering exercise as the solution (although some do offer nutritional advice). Let’s say these and similar drugs receive approval over the next few years, where does it leave the long-term future of health clubs that position themselves as `weight loss` centres? Let’s say you’ve overeaten at Christmas, not problem, just pop some Cetilistat, or you can join your local club and pound the treadmill for the next twelve weeks. Which would you choose?

Now there’s food for thought.

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