The BBC investigation found a number of suppliers were marketing DNP as a diet product for human consumption.
A number of samples were bought online and sent for laboratory tests which found they contained about 40% DNP – a potentially lethal amount.
Jon Griffin, analyst for Kent Scientific Services at Kent County Council, said: “You’re not being able to control your body temperature, at 40 per cent that danger rises significantly, this has got some potential in there for very serious repercussions.
“Worst case scenario would be death.”
What is DNP?
2,4-dinitrophenol or DNP is highly toxic and is not intended for human consumption
An industrial chemical, it is sold illegally in diet pills as a fat-burning substance
Users experience a metabolism boost, leading to weight loss, but taking even a few tablets can be fatal
Signs of acute poisoning include nausea, vomiting, restlessness, flushed skin, sweating, dizziness, headaches, rapid respiration and irregular heartbeat
Consuming lower amounts over longer periods could lead to cataracts and skin lesions and impact on the heart, blood and nervous system
Experts say buying drugs online is risky as medicines may be fake, out of date or extremely harmful
The sale of DNP is the subject of an ongoing investigation involving police, Interpol and the Food Standards Agency
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) seized 1.4 million worth of unlicensed dietary medicines in 2015-16, 960,000 more than two years before.
Lynda Scammell, senior policy manager at the MHRA, said: “The internet offers access to a vast number of websites offering products marketed as ‘slimming’ or ‘diet’ pills.
“Many of these pills will not be licensed medicines. That means their contents are unknown and untested.
Chances are they simply will not work, but they may contain dangerous ingredients,” she said.
“The consequences for your health can be devastating.”
This month has been an especially taxing time to be a woman in America.
We watch coverage of the presidential race and see thin women talk about being called not my first choice and Miss Piggy. It is outrageous, and it is visceral.
A wave of shame washes over us. The memory of a strangers hands on our skin sends an electric charge through our legs, willing us to run. Blood rushes to our cheeks as we try to figure out where we would fit on a bleak one-to-10 scale. Would he call me a one? A zero? Would he reach back into negative numbers? Who else thinks about us, about me, in such reductive terms?
As a woman, this wondering is all too familiar. Often, it is forced upon us, a biting reminder of the simple mathematics of femininity that appearance only and always equals worth. It impacts every woman.
But this televised bullying frequently targets women based on their weight.
It made Miss Universe into Miss Piggy, one of many women singled out for gaining weight. So many women have been called fat these last few months and so few are.
Those of us who are fat know that this kind of name-calling is just the beginning. It is only the tip of the iceberg that has struck our shared ship. Fat women have seen the craggy mass beneath the surface, its sharp edges cutting us down to size every day.
It is horrifying that a man running to lead a nation would talk about women this way. But to fat women, it is not surprising.
As a fat woman, I know that Trump is only the tip of the iceberg, the most visible part of a massive monolith of attitudes toward fat people. Humiliation of fat women happens daily, publicly, hidden beneath a waterline that can only be traversed by having a body within shouting distance of acceptability.
We feel the jagged edges of that iceberg in fat jokes in movies. (Whole careers have been built on pratfalls and fat suits.) We feel its cut when strangers give unsolicited diet mandates at the grocery store or when colleagues offer gym memberships to fat co-workers.
We have become accustomed to the rush of blood in our cheeks when our bodies are so readily commented upon by anyone, in any venue. The stomach that drops like a faulty elevator. The hollow echo of friends laughter at cruel fat jokes. The thudding heartbeat when a family member insists she shouldnt be wearing that about another fat stranger.
The way fat women are talked about is terrible. The way were treated is worse.
We know the sinking feeling of “grab them by the p***y.” Because some fat women have been and, upon reporting our assaults, have been met with disbelief who would want you? The horrifying logic of who would rape a fat woman is so ubiquitous some of us never report at all. Others of us havent been assaulted and somehow feel invisible in a culture that conflates groping and rape with affirmation. All kinds of women are sexually assaulted. Fat women are told were too disposable to be raped, even after its happened.
We didnt start with a presidential candidate who felt comfortable, all on his own, to comment on womens bodies. He has seen as so many of us have the aggressive, prescriptive, dismissive fate that befalls women who dare to gain weight. Hes got the backing of a whole culture that demonizes all women, yes, and fat women in particular.
The comments about starting a diet or joining a gym, the unchecked bullying, the harsh jokes and slurs hurled at fat women all of that softens the ground for this kind of public abuse. It comes from all sides: movies, politics, family, friends, workplaces, doctors. Its only from below that we can see the enormity of that slow, massive iceberg. Its only from close-up that we can see its razor sharp edges, only from experience that we can know how deeply it cuts.
Thin women are under immense pressure not to fall from the iceberg into the frigid waters below. For fat women, it is not a cliff to fall from, it is a boulder to be pinned under. You may not feel sure-footed you may feel your feet slip from time to time, may just be breathing at the surface but you are breathing. Fat women are drowning. And were drowning with or without a bombastic fat-shamer on television each day.
We dont just need you to dispose of the noisiest bully. We need you to challenge the culture that created him.
You have the key to the oxygen we need. You can chip away at the heavy, hurtful iceberg. You can interrupt others when they call fat people names or pass judgments on their health, relationships, appearance, or value. You can talk to family members who offer unsolicited advice on dieting, exercise, fashion, or health. You can stop seeing movies with actors in fat suits, stop listening to comedians who target fat people.
You can ask better of those around you. You can do better for yourself and for the women you know. Because targeting women for their weight hurts all of us.
None of us owes anyone access to the bodies we have to touch them, to change them, to criticize them, to cut them down to size. You dont owe strangers, pundits, or politicians your desirability. Your body is not a debt to be paid, not a problem to solve or an albatross to carry. Your body is yours.
All you need to do is have the body you have, keep yourself safe, and build the momentum of your own goodness. Feel it whirring away inside you. Fuel its engine. Remember who you are, regardless of the body you have.
You have the extraordinary strength of character that only comes from living in a culture that stubbornly refuses to acknowledge you, much less affirm you. You have an unparalleled ability to empathize and to know just how essential empathy is. You know the difference between the abundance of love and the mirage of desire. You know that desire leaves you with less; you know how to give the kind of love that makes us all whole.
You have the extraordinary love of friends, family, and partners many of whom are learning to love you in their actions as they love you in their hearts.
Its going to take all of our warmth to melt this iceberg. Thankfully, all of our hearts are furnaces. Now lets get to the hard work of firing them up.
Just a few months after Maria Kang, a mother of three, had her youngest son, she was feeling confident.Kang decided to take a photo of herself in her workout gear to motivate other moms.
She included her three sons in the photo with their ages; her youngest was just eighteen months old. She asked those who saw the photo, “What’s your excuse?”
Kang didn’t understand the issue. She didn’t understand that many working mothers aren’t able to devote a ton of their time to working to get rock solid abs and a toned physique. Many are too busy with more important matters and even consider a healthy, home-cooked dinner a luxury. Moreover,many mothers do work very hard on their bodies,but simply cannot will themselves to look like a fitness model’s. Our bodies are our bodies we can treat them the best as we can, but we cannot make them do what they cannot do.
Reasonably, many motherswere upset. The implication that if they didn’t look like Kang was that they were lazy, that they were makingexcuses,and that they were not leading a healthy lifestyle.
Now, nearly seven years later, she sings a different tune. Kang has had some struggles of her own. She has gained weight, battled depression, and struggled with her marriage. Suddenly, all those so-called “excuses” became Kang’s “excuses.”
Perhaps the mother learnedthat life isn’t perfect, so no one especially a mom should be expected to look “perfect.”
It was important for me because I always tell women to celebrate their bodies, Kang told People. Regardless, if we have some cellulite, extra weight, extra skin or extra scars be proud, because we are constantly progressing, transforming and aging! This is our temple, so take care of it!
As we walk, Dan Zigmond pulls on a black baseball cap. The sun is high, and the trees give little shade. It’s a big park—stretching across a good nine acres of grass, mulch, shrubs, and gravel paths—but from where we are, it looks much bigger. Beyond the nine acres, all we can see are more trees, more green, and the mountains in the east, so the park seems almost endless. “That always amazes me,” I say. After all, we’re on the roof of the newest Facebook building, a Frank Gehry creation called MPK20, right next to Highway 84, the Dumbarton Bridge, and the sprawling urban marshlands of Menlo Park, California, where the bog is decorated with so many power lines, transmission towers, and electrical substations.
Zigmond works in the building below, overseeing data analytics for the Facebook News Feed and other parts of the world’s most popular social network. That means he analyzes the massive of amounts of online data generated by News Feed, looking for ways to improve the service and other parts of Facebook. He’s also a Zen priest who studied with the same Buddhist monk as Steve Jobs. And that means he’s part of a long tradition inside Northern California tech circles. As we walk through Facebook’s rooftop park, he hands me a copy of a 1986 academic monograph called From Satori to Silicon Valley. A thin paperback small enough to fit into my back pocket, it explores the link between Silicon Valley and the American counter culture of the 1960s and 70s, including so many hippie attitudes lifted from Buddhism. On the cover, two black-and-white symbols merge together: the ying-yang and the transistor.
‘There’s that same spirit of seeing technology as a way of getting us to a better future.’
As Zigmond tells me, the conceit is that the counter culture helped drive the evolution of the personal computer as it emerged from Silicon Valley and challenged the dominance of giant techno-corporations like IBM and AT&T. People like Jobs—a long-haired hippie Buddhist fruitarian computer maker—didn’t just look forward to a future driven entirely by technology. Instilled with the hippie ethos—the notion that we could find something truer, healthier, and simpler than the post-industrial mega-capitalist society that emerged in the 20th Century—Jobs and his peers also looked back to a more natural past, hoping they could use personal computers to empower people and bring them together and reclaim some of the humanity the modern world had taken away. Zigmond believes these same attitudes continue to drive Silicon Valley, including tech giants like Facebook (a company intent on “making the world a more open and connected place”) and Google (“organize all the world’s information”). “There’s that same spirit of seeing technology as a way of getting us to a better future,” Zigmond says.
So, its only natural that Zigmond, one of Facebooks top data analysts, just published a book of his own called Buddhas Diet. It mixes three of Northern California’s biggest obsessions: science, Eastern philosophy, and food. Yes, it’s a diet book. The subtitle is: The Ancient Art of Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind. But there are greater lessons to be learned from this slim volume, not just about science, Eastern philosophy, and food, but about Silicon Valley.
Of Mice and Zen
Dan Zigmond has been a Buddhist for nearly 30 years. He discovered the Eastern religion while studying computational neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, and after graduating, he moved to Thailand, living in a Buddhist temple while teaching English at a nearby refugee camp. In this temple, the monks ate between dawn and noon, according to the rules of the Vinaya Pitaka, the original teachings of Buddha. They ate whatever was available and as much as they wanted, but only withinthat window. And they remained slim. In the popular imagination, the Buddha was a fat man. But he too was slim.
After two years in Thailand, Zigmond returned to the States, and eventually, he wound up at Google. He worked as a data scientist, hunting for ways of improving services like YouTube and Google Maps, and he was part of the Buddhist culture that ran right through the company. After an early engineer named Chade-Meng Tan promoted meditation groups across the company and wrote a book called Search Inside Yourself, Google became a destination for monks from across the world. When Meng gave tours to these visitors, he would bring them by Zigmond’s desk, showing off Google’s unique brand of Buddhism. “I remember more than once working on some tricky statistics code and looking up to see a band of Tibetan monks in full Buddhist robes hovering over me, always smiling,” Zigmond remembers.
‘I remember more than once working on some tricky statistics code and looking up to see a band of Tibetan monks in full Buddhist robes hovering over me.’
In 2014, Zigmond moved to Hampton Creek, part of the new wave of Silicon Valley startups intent on using technology and modern know-how to return the world to a better way of eating—another echo of the world Theodore Roszak explores in From Satori to Silicon Valley. “For many in the counter culture,” Roszak writes, “the result of high industrial technology would be something like a tribal democracy where the citizenry might still be dressed in buckskin and go berry-picking in the woods: the artificial environment made more artificial would somehow become more…natural.”
Hampton Creek used the yellow Canadian pea to create a reasonable facsimile of the chicken egg, something it used to make mayonnaise and cookie dough. The idea was that Zigmond and his team would analyze all the data Hampton Creek scientists collected aboutplant proteins and how they interact, so the company could find new ways of building cheaper, safer, and healthier food.
In the Valley, most companies are packed with foodies—people just as concerned with quinoa and kale as code—and at Hampton Creek, this was true in the extreme. “Instead of there being software engineers at every desk,” Zigmond says, “it was plant biologists and biochemists and people who are always thinking about food.” This pervaded not just their work, but the breaks in between their work and the Internet links they traded over email. One day, someone sent around a Salk Institute study that explored the eating habits and metabolism of mice.
In the study,mice that were givenan unlimited amount of high-fat, high-calorie food gained an unhealthy amount of weight. That was to be expected. But the study also found that mice given an unlimited amount of food only during certain times of day consumed about the same number calories and stayed slim.That caught Zigmond’s attention, and not just because it went against common perception. It reminded him of those monks in Thailand.
Buddha Was a Data Scientist
Soon, Zigmond shifted his eating habits in the same direction. He decided that Buddha’s dawn-to-noon schedule was impractical, given the demands of modern life in Silicon Valley. Buthe limited his eating to a nine-hour window, much like the regimen explored in the Salk study.“The idea—and the motivation—were basically the same. Each day, I was combining a period of eating and a period of fasting,” Zigmond says. “That’s consistent with the overall message of Buddhism and Buddha, which is always looking for this Middle Way—avoiding these extremes on one side or the other.”
Zigmond lost about 25 pounds, while consuming about the same number of calories. He considered thisa data-gathering exercise. He was gathering personal data in support of those 2,500-year-old Buddhist teachings. This, he says, is what Buddha would do. Buddha was born a prince, butspent years living an ascetic life. Ultimately, after a lifetime of data gathering, he settled on something in between. The Middle Way. “One of the hallmarks of Buddha’s teachings—and the way he lived his life—was this insistence on evidence, on data. He didn’t want anyone to take anything on faith,” he says. “Buddha was a data scientist.”
‘He didn’t want anyone to take anything on faith. Buddha was a data scientist.’
In the end, Zigmond wrote a book about all this, together with a Stanford University online content manager named Tara Cottrell. Using data from that Salk study and subsequent research, it shows the value of the Buddhist attitude toward food. As the book explains, the Salk Institute later ran similar metabolism studies in which people limited their eating to a 10-hour window and lost a modest amount of weight. Plus, they sleep better at night and felt more energetic during the day.
According to Dr. Satchin Panda, who oversaw the Salk studies, in each human organ, 10 to 20 percent of our genes turn on and off at certain times of day. The theory is that the modern world has upset our circadian rhythms, and that limiting meals and snacks to specific windows of time can help restore them. “We found clocks all over the body,” he says. “The hypothesis is that human physiology, metabolism, behavior—all of it—must have some circadian component. Staying up late into the night, having less light during the daytime, having too much light at night, or even eating at the wrong time or taking medication at the wrong time can have adverse health consequences.”
But Zigmond’s book also adapts Buddhist attitudes to the modern world, suggesting ways of dealing with stuff like hamburgers, whiskey, and sodas. Buddha was a vegetarian and he didn’t drink alcohol, but Zigmond’s book doesn’t recommend abstinence from meat or booze—only moderation.The Buddha allowed monks to drink liquids whenever they like, but Zigmond argues thatthis has led to obesity and diabetes among monks who now have things like Coca-Cola. His book also finds a Middle Way between Buddha and today.
Forward and Back
The irony is that Zigmond works for one of the worlds largest Internet companies, a company that bears no small responsibility for why everyone’s circadian rhythms are off-kilter. With theironline services encouraging us to stare at screens all day and well into the night—and their increasingly pervasive work ethic keeping people on the job at all hours—these companies are contributing mightily to the problemZigmond hopes to solve.
But this is the irony that always accompanies Silicon Valley. It changes lives for better and for worse. It moves both forward and back. It combines hippie attitudes with attitudes that couldn’t be less hippie.
Silicon Valley changes lives for better and for worse. It moves both forward and back. It combines hippie attitudes with attitudes that couldn’t be less hippie.
Facebook’s social network connects us with people across the globe, but it also separates us from people right next to us. Companies likeGoogle promote a culture where people spend an extreme and sometimes unhealthy amount of time at the office, but they also seek to improve the time spent there, through things like locally sourced organic food, Buddhist-inspired “compassionate management,” and, yes, meditation groups. Hampton Creek wants to create a better way of eating, but like so many Silicon Valley companies, it apparently pushed too hard as it reached for the almighty dollar. It now faces a federal investigation after allegedly buying up its own mayonnaise in an effort to impress investors and turn itself into a billion-dollar unicorn.
Do these “fat burners” actually work, are they safe, or just a waste of money – well, like most things in life it’s not that simple. There’s good fat burners / slimming pills, and not so great – this is why we decided to review a bunch of them and see what worked. Most were a waste of money and we lost no weight and some made us feel ill, BUT some did seem to speed up weight loss.
Of course, no fat burner will work if you eat 10,000 calories and sit on the sofa all day, it has to be worked with a low calorie diet and exercise, but if they can speed things up, why not use them.