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A 'mouth-watering prospect'

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A miracle fat-busting pill which also helps people quit smoking and cuts harmful cholesterol levels has been hailed as a "mouth-watering prospect" for British GPs after two years' successful trials.

That's the verdict on rimonabant by David Haslam of the National Obesity Forum, who enthused: "This is a completely unique drug and these are very impressive results. It reduces weight, helps in quitting smoking and brings cholesterol levels down. We can really save some lives with this, as well as reducing the large costs of treating obesity and its related complications such as heart disease in the NHS."

Rimonabant works by targeting those bits of the brain which control appetite and will power. It was tested on 3000 people in the US and Canada and after two years on 20mg of the stuff, nearly two-thirds of the guinea pigs had lost weight compared to just one third of those who were on a placebo.

The drug - manufactured by Sanofi-Synthelabo under the trade name Acomplia - could be available in the UK within 18 months, which is when we reckon the real trouble starts. While it is not yet clear whether rimonabant will have positive side-effects including saving the whale and promoting peace in the Middle East, one thing is certain: global economic recession caused by the complete collapse of the junk food industry.

We can well imagine the sight of millons of former burger-flippers begging on street corners. True, they'll be lean, non-smoking former burger-flippers and will at least have the consolation that they do not have to raise funds to satisfy their appetite for chicken-in-a-bucket, fries and cigarettes, but the chilling scale of the human tragedy can only be imagined. ®

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