Medicine: Block Those Starch Blockers

Dieters face an FDA ban on the latest get-thin-quick pills

Consider the problem. You have half a bottle of pills that the Food and Drug Administration has just banned because of inadequate knowledge of side effects. What do you do? Last week the answer from many American dieters hooked on the latest get-thin-quick scheme was to rush out and buy lots more bottles of starch blockers before they vanish from health and drugstore shelves.

Since last spring, the pills have been aggressively marketed as a "natural" product that prevents digestion of starchy substances, thereby...