I'm a weight loss and weight long term control success story, more or less. But having done it, I know exactly how hard it is.
I'd love it if the US population could dump their extra pounds by taking a pill. It'd just be a win for everyone, and the only people who'd "lose" are those who feel superior because they've managed to do it without the pill.
And even THOSE people will be paying lower health insurance premiums because the population is healthier in general.
If the pills really work, BRING 'EM ON! Who knows, if I can't exercise some day (I'm currently taking a few weeks off because I got rear-ended in my car!), then I'll need them myself!
Health is something that isn't nearly as simple as almost everyone seems to love to believe. The truth, based on current medical evidence, is that something like 60% of "obese" people are by all metrics besides BMI perfectly "healthy", while something like 60% of the people who are part of the epidemic of diabetes and afflicted with massive amounts of cardiovascular disease are people of normal body weight who everyone assumes are "healthy" solely due to their "normal" BMI. It just plain isn't that simple.
Obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease have been proven in recent decades to not be nearly as well linked as almost everyone still believes. Getting the obese to lose weight with pills therefore will not necessarily result in a strict increase in overall "health" of our society. In fact most of the pills that help promote weight loss have been shown to cause rather extreme negative side effects. Such as fatal heart attacks.
Everyone still believes that you must stay away from saturated fats and cholesterol, even though it's been shown over and over again that increasing or decreasing "dietary" fats and cholesterols has almost no link whatsoever to increasing or decreasing levels of fats and cholesterol in the body and blood, most of which is created by your own liver. In fact, if I'm quoting Dr. Lustig correctly, the link between the ingestion of the fructose molecule and bad blood glucose, fat, cholesterol and triglyceride levels is about 50 times better than the link between those things and the ingestion of any kind of dietary fats. Yes, fructose. According to Dr. Lustig's research, fructose, and its close relative ethanol, may be the root cause of metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes and the explosion of cardiovascular disease. Not starches or dietary fats.
Also quoting Dr. Lustig, evidence indicates that approximately 99% of human beings cannot maintain any form of weight loss for more than a few years, if they even succeed in losing any weight the first place, which most people don't. Thus, no matter how long everyone continues to insist that obesity is a personal willpower problem that should be solved by the individual... THIS. WILL. NEVER. SOLVE. THE. PROBLEM.
If we really want to solve the societal pandemic of obesity we need to completely discard the idea that it's caused by some personal moral failing (of the lower classes, no less). We went from 10% to 60% obesity over the last 40 years. If we keep relying on the magic pixie dust of "personal responsibility", 90% of our grandchildren's generation will be obese and 90% will have diabetes starting from early childhood regardless of body weight. There is a systemic problem in the modern diet that is causing this explosion of obesity and diabetes, and we need to find PRACTICAL solutions that fix it on a society-wide basis.