When I was a teenager, where acne was concerned I was convinced there was a conspiracy between doctors and parents. It seemed like everything we kids enjoyed eating would cause my face to explode. Greasy foods were taboo, and everything delicious was greasy: burgers, pizza, fries. Sugar? I don’t recommend it, but I lived on the stuff, especially soft drinks and chocolate.
Macrobiotics is a philosophy embracing the idea that living one’s life within the natural order will ultimately lead to good health, happiness, and an enhanced appreciation for the constantly changing nature of all things. It is based on the ancient Chinese principles of yin and yang, which represent opposite yet complementary forces believed to exist in all aspects of life and the universe. Things that are yin are flexible, fluid, and cool; things that are yang are strong, dynamic, and hot. According to macrobiotic theory, illness is the result of an imbalance in these two forces. Therefore, macrobiotic practitioners attempt to treat ailments by bringing yin and yang back into balance through diet and lifestyle changes.
On some days, dealing with problems of excessive weight seems to represent the (pardon the pun) bulk of patient complaints. Some of these concerns are genuine: Real obesity does predispose you to a variety of health risks. Understanding the whole issue of being overweight is more complicated than you’d think. Genetics play a part, as does individual metabolism. And don’t forget your environment. There’s no question that for some of us losing weight is hard–and frustrating. We live in a land abundant with good things to eat and everywhere we go, someone is snacking on something.
Hoffmann-La Roche, a pharmaceutical industry giant, enjoyed a tasty chunk of good news this month. Their friends at the ever-cooperative FDA have allowed them to bring a milder version of their prescription fat-blocking drug, Xenical, to the over-the-counter market this summer. The new OTC drug is called alli.