SATURDAY VINTAGE AD: Does Laughter Help Shed Pounds?

Here is an old advertisement touting Marmola tablets as the secret to weight-loss without any of the agonizing behavior changes such as eating less and exercising.  The ad itself contains very little information about what Marmola actually is or how it works but it does offer its readers hope that they can lose weight by just popping a pill into their mouths.

I did a little research on Marmola and it seems it was a popular drug in the early 1900’s containing grains of desiccated thyroid, laxatives and several other ingredients (that I’m uncertain of but the ad states are found on each pill package).  The combination of ingredients indeed helped some people lose a bit of weight, but mostly proved to be ineffective and useless, and for a handful, dangerous to the point of death.  It was ordered to be removed from all market shelves by the Supreme Court within a few decades of its debut.

What struck me about this ad was how it grabs the reader’s attention so fantastically–“Fat Girl Laughs and Grows Slim”.  Wow!  If all we needed was more laughter to reduce weight we could have ended our current obesity epidemic a long time ago.  Evenings filled with stand-up comedy, cartoon books, clown performances and practical jokes could have saved us all from too much fat and kept us entertained.  Not a bad deal.

But that is not what Marmola was really advocating.  Marmola’s purpose was to manipulate hormones, specifically an under-active thyroid, allowing an overweight person to return to their natural, slimmer self effortlessly–“Without Starvation Diets, or Back-Breaking, Bending and Rolling Exercises” (I will need to do further research on the term “rolling exercises”).  The ad implies that your thyroid-correcting experience will be easy and enjoyable (provided you use Marmola’s product), so much, that you might even find yourself laughing off unwanted weight.

While it is true that an under-active thyroid may be a big part of your excess weight, it is not true that simply popping a pill will correct all of the habits that contribute to excess weight over a lifetime.  If you routinely eat too much with an underactive thyroid, you will likely eat too much after it has been regulated and you will still find yourself weighing more than your body naturally prefers.  It’s fantastical thinking to believe years and years of habitual overeating will be put to a halt after taking a pill.  Even though a pill might help correct your hormones, it is more likely that overeating will be halted after your thinking about overeating changes, and then, put very simply, you will eat less because you believe you need less.  This simple truth may actually cause you to laugh and you will probably lose weight, but know it was your new thinking and habit of eating less that provided you these abilities.

No Marmola required.

What do you think about ads touting weight loss as effortless?  Have you ever changed your habits around food without changing your thoughts?  Share your experiences by leaving a comment!

Special Note: If you do suffer from an under-active thyroid, you should be examined by a health professional and you should consider eating a diet that emphasizes foods that are anti-inflammatory and kind to your liver and pancreas.  There is plenty of information online about this or you can email me directly at to learn more.

Image from Retro Rambling.


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