Friday, October 4, 2013

Ante Up $$$ Sensa

Does anyone remember the commercials for the dietary supplement called Sensa? A lovely plate of food was displayed. Next, a slender female hand spread some mystery (and perhaps magical) crystals over the meal. The voiceover claimed that the crystals caused weight loss. Oh happy day for us all right? Well as it turns out Sensa must pay the state of California as well as some consumers just north of $900,000.

Let's break it down shall we. You may be surprised to know, at least I was, that the Food & Drug Association does not regulate supplements such as the type Sensa pedals. What this means is that the product is not tested for safety or effectiveness. Let the market do what it does, no? So if I may be so bold as to play the advocate to the devil; what did Sensa do wrong? It's perfectly legal for this company to not only bring their product to market but they can pretty much claim whatever they want about it. And they did just that, they claimed 'hey man if ya wanna lose that spare tire go ahead and drop this dietary fairy dust on your burgers, you'll be glad ya did.'

But sadly a pooch was screwed and here's where. They should never have made the 'scientific' claim that the item underwent "the largest clinical study"because a plaintiff arose and called b.s. and a class action suit was born. In the end the alleged science turned out to be false advertising and FDA or not we the consumer are protected against that.

So how does it work? I tipped toed around Sensa's website and learned that the magic dust enhances one's sense of smell and taste thus fooling the brain's 'natural hunger control switch' into believing it's full. Being that I couldn't recall the "hunger switch" from Biology 11 I dug into the research for close to 38 seconds and found that we in fact do have a 'natural appetite control' mechanism that once we're  full let's the hypothalamus know that we're done. (I've always like the hypothalamus-sounds like a dinosaur-meets-Viking-dragon-slayer kind of name).

Apparently the mechanism worked gang busters in our hunter-gatherer days of fight or flight and all of that. But today with food everywhere, (in the first world anyway) anytime we want it, many of us have managed to recalibrate the stop eating I'm full already mechanism and thus find ourselves overweight. It's as if we say, "Yo, hypothalamus why don't you take tonight off and let daddy and his eating utensils take it from here? Thanks buddy."
I'm so dang full!

Where are we now? Let's be honest this is just more of the search for the magic pill. These pills, sprinkles and shakes aren't going anywhere anytime soon so long as western human nature is the way it is. We want what we want and we want it now. It ain't nothing new but ponder this: The consumers of Sensa are lucky that this product was not far. You've got to use your heads people. This stuff is not tested by the FDA which is an entity that is average at best on a good day. I'm not saying they're sloppy; at times look the other way and can be bought but I ain't saying the converse either...are ya with me? These supplements are created for the sole purpose of commerce. It's capitalism baby and this sh** ain't regulated. So don't toss it into your bodies willy nilly just because a manicured hand gingerly sprinkles it on a tasty looking meal. For the love of Caesar's ghost do what makes sense...not sensa!

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