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‘Starvation’ is now a lifestyle choice for Lebanese women

‘Starvation’ is now a lifestyle choice for Lebanese women

A diet brand called ‘Starvex’ sends out a dangerous message to an image-obsessed public.

April 10, 2010 11:00 by

The best way to be healthy is to control your diet and do exercise, right? Well, yes – unless you’re Lebanese. In that case, there’s always ‘Starvex’.

Starvex, manufactured by the Lebanese company Kalastios International, sells itself as a herbal slimming aid. “Our research and development team is proud to announce the invention of a new herbal slimming formula processed by high specific manipulation,” says the (rather unfortunate) statement on the company’s website.

The product costs $50 per month, in a country where a monthly income of $800 is a blessing. For many Lebanese women, $50 is a bit much. But if they can’t afford it, many chose to get a loan.

No, that’s not a joke. For Lebanese women are obsessed with image.  Their desire to be ‘in’ and thin compels them to rash decisions:  everything from consuming expensive diet pills, to more serious measures such as going under the knife.  All in the quest to conform to notions of beauty set by fashion magazines and television programs.

What is the thinking behind a dieting product called ‘Starvex’? Starve yourself to be thin? What a dangerous message, given that it implies starvation is a lifestyle choice, rather than a human tragedy.

This certainly is, to paraphrase Kalastios International, a highly specific manipulation. And, no doubt, a highly profitable one.



  1. Miss Anne Thropic on April 11, 2010 9:34 am

    Terrifying. Although at least there’s no false advertising in the product name…

  2. Caline on April 12, 2010 10:03 pm

    What a useless, non-objective article! You don’t have the right to make such baseless generalizations…let me remind you that the huge corporations that created diet pills are based in the US and Europe- does that make starvation a global choice as well?! Do you have statistics on what percentage of Lebanese females have bought this new pill? Once you do, re-write your article. As a Lebanese woman, I am completely offended by your description of us as being image-obsessed. I must say, that for a journalist your writing is completely biased and non-professional- such a waste of space on an otherwise interesting website

  3. angry on April 13, 2010 8:54 am

    Women everywhere take diet pills and think about their image – i don’t see why Lebanese women are ALWAYS singled out in this way. Shame on you for repeating such sterotypes.

  4. Miss Anne Thropic on April 13, 2010 9:02 am

    Women, no matter where they live, who take diet pills in a bid to lose weight in a hurry are not doing themselves any favours at all.

  5. Serena on April 13, 2010 12:12 pm

    Just one question: have any of the women commenting here ever been to Lebanon??? Because if you have you would know there is nothing biased about this article. It’s a fact that to live in Beirut you have to walk around stick thin just to feel like you remotely fit in, not to mention the hair doos and the boob jobs. I quite frankly am shocked at the uproar that this article has caused I mean this same subject manner slightly reworded is in every newspaper, magazine and book around the world. IT IS NO SECRET THAT LEBANESE WOMEN ARE SUPERFICIAL …. Wake up and smell the coffee, ladies.

  6. Nadine on April 13, 2010 1:07 pm

    Being “in”, feeling good about oneself, feeling proud of one’s appealing looks has nothing to do with being “superficial” as you just decided.
    Lebanese women (and men) are just beautiful, as they know how to take advantage of each and every advantage that God has given them.
    For those of you who feel so angry about it, keep it going as this only adds to our attractiveness!

  7. Andrew on April 13, 2010 1:17 pm

    … all the more for me then.

  8. Miss Anne Thropic on April 13, 2010 3:20 pm

    It’s just a shame that there are plenty of otherwise beautiful Lebanese women who obviously haven’t accepted God’s final judgment on the size of their noses…

  9. Uproar Serena? on April 13, 2010 7:01 pm

    Serena- all we’re saying is that there is no need to always single out Lebanese women- I am a Lebanese woman, and you have no right to pass judgement on me and DECIDE that i am superficial-anyway, its sad that people can be so judgemental- who do you think you are?

  10. Nabila on April 27, 2010 5:33 am

    This is interesting to me because it is EXACTLY LIKE AMERICAN CULTURE and that’s what seems to shock Americans – that’s why Lebanese women are being singled out, and that’s why this article was even written. If this were about American women, people would scratch their heads and say “where’s the news part?” but because it’s about an Arabic country in the Middle East, Westerners are shocked to find that shallow women exist everywhere, even “oppressed” countries where women aren’t “allowed” to and “don’t” see themselves in a sexual way, i.e. trying to change their appearance to attract the opposite sex. They should be running away from their “Muslim oppressors” not trying to look attractive for them underneath their burqas. As if they’re actually wearing burqas!

  11. Andrew on April 27, 2010 10:10 am

    Outside of America’s style obsessed cities like LA, NYC and Miami – it’s not really American culture at all; hence the shock. That said there’s really no such thing as “American” as most states have their own distinct style, certainly didn’t see any attitudes like this during my time in Louisiana or Texas.

  12. Diana Haidar on May 6, 2010 1:45 am

    My husband is from Lebanon and we go there twice a year. From my own observation, there are more over weight weman than men. There is a slimming product starvex from Australia. I have been taking it for ten days and lost eight lbs. Mind you that when you go to Lebanon the relatives always have all kinds of great tasking foods and sweets. However, I over ate and still lost weight. I am back in America now. I bet I can loose more lbs now.

  13. suzana on June 3, 2010 11:49 pm

    lebanese women are beautifull without any diet pills :)

    i frankly starvex to loose some kilos for summer time and it is perfect

  14. Dana on June 4, 2010 9:17 pm

    This is completely untrue and very biased. Go look at the girls in Dubai and then tell me about starvation. I have never heard of this product and neither have ANY of my friends (big nor small) so please get your facts straight before further defaming the girls that work very hard for their body. Go to any gym at any time of day and see how many girls are there working for the results that you see on the beaches. Yes, there are a few that resort to pills and plastic surgery, but the majority begin from January working on their summer bodies!

  15. Miss Anne Thropic on June 4, 2010 10:57 pm

    If you are using Starvex, you are kidding yourself. Diet pills might give you short-term results but in the long term they are a total waste of money. You will not keep the weight off if you lose it via Starvex rather than just making healthy lifestyle changes such as eating better and exercising regularly.

    Diet pills or fad diets are no substitute for changing your lifestyle so you live more healthily.

    The side effects of taking such drugs is uncertain but any warnings that come with the product should be enough to make you realise they are not a good idea.

    If you lose weight via Starvex and then make no lifestyle changes, inevitably you will get back on the diet pills and, most likely, become dependent on them.

    When it comes to weight loss, as boring as it may sound, there are no quick fixes that will last long-term.

    Or you could take a look in the mirror and, as long as you are in the healthy weight range and are not drastically overweight or underweight, you could learn to accept and love you body.

  16. Omar on June 24, 2011 1:40 pm

    Just to clarify that Starvex means No more starving. it is an appetite suppresant, therefore you wont feel hungry. it also gives energy.

    Miss Anne, i totally agree with you for making exercise instead of taking diet pills however some people either doesnt have the time to do so or they need to see immediate resutls.

    so basicly Starvex makes you reach the desired weight and once its reached we should maintain it by diet program and exercise as well.

    With regards to Lebanese ladies, they are absolutely beautifull and charming especially with their lovely smile :)


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