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Weight loss supplements as entertainment

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

HBO's newly acquired pilot "Fat Sells" takes on the $46 billion weight-loss supplement industry in an attempt to break "wide open" a "world not regulated by the FDA," says Dave Broome, co-creator of the one-hour drama. The pilot will explore body image, self-esteem and power in a culture "obsessed with looks and weight" where "everyone is looking for that Magic Pill," he says in a July 10 release. The announcement comes three months after GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of the alli OTC weight loss medication, filed a citizen petition asking FDA to require pre-market approval for supplements making weight-loss claims ("1The Tan Sheet," May 19, 2008, p. 4). GSK marketing for the product stresses alli is "a program, not a pill," and users must make meaningful diet and lifestyle changes in order for the product to work (2"The Tan Sheet" Feb. 12, 2007, p. 8)...

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