Will Ozempic chew up the food industry?

Danny Tyree

“Are ya haaawngry?â€

In the 90s, that question by the late Harold Rowland became a running gag after church every Sunday, as he inquired where I, my wife and my parents would be eating.

In the future, many people may answer “Are ya haaawngry?†with a shrug and a muffled “Meh.â€

Investors and food-industry executives are grinding their teeth over anti-diabetic drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy. The drugs are being used off-label for weight loss and appetite suppression, and so far they seem to be nibbling away at the sales of salty, fatty, sugary foods (a.k.a. “The Foods that Beat Watercress Sandwiches Up After Schoolâ€).

A 17-member team at the Morgan Stanley financial services company predicts that in 10 years seven percent of Americans will be using such medicines and consuming 20 percent fewer calories (and begging financial services companies to put them out of their misery with a well-placed Roth IRA upside the head).

Believe me, I know there’s a problem. My once-youthful metabolism has deteriorated from Bottomless Pit to “your thighs just absorbed that lasagna at the next table.â€

Unhealthy dietary choices (and scarfing down massive amounts of edibles without even thinking about it) have consequences. Too many people face stroke, heart attack, dialysis or amputation. There’s only a slight nuance between “body positivity movement†and “I’m positive the body will (mostly) fit in the casket.†I understand.

The balancing act of living a long life and a happy life is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma wrapped in bacon. Mmm…bacon.

But I’m not sure we can handle the social upheaval of pill-popping, neutered snacks and slavish portion control.

Will people who have been dumped by their Significant Other really substitute kale and locust meal for the time-honored practice of eating a whole tub of ice cream – or will they in fact hogtie their ex and force-feed THEM the kale and locust meal?

Two adjoining counties have Frito-Lay plants. Must I provide dental insurance for laid-off employees who do seasonal work harvesting poke sallet from my yard?

Can cooks for church socials endure having their decadent desserts ignored by congregants with suppressed cravings? (“Heavenly Father, as David smote Goliath, raise up someone to smite Big Pharma.â€)

Will the convenience market Big Gulp become the Sniff the Cork? What kind of movies can Hollywood afford to produce without the subsidy of hot-buttered popcorn and other concessions? (Coming soon to a theater near you: a double-feature of “Honey, I Shrunk the Doughnuts†and “Saw – But Put It Back on the Shelf In Favor of Baby Carrots.â€)

Will food-industry leaders roll over or will they instead fight fire with … artificial smoke flavoring? Think of the possibilities for Cheap Trick. My well-placed spies tell me that snack manufacturers and fast-food franchises are colluding to have the rock group play “I want you to want me. I need you to need me†24-7.

Look for the Keebler Elves to stir up a little mischief by “accidentally†spilling some cannabis into their baked goods. (“Tonight’s cage match: appetite suppressor versus the munchies!â€)

I remain cautiously pessimistic about the the future of our food, beverages and health.

I may eat my words someday, but at least they’ll be deep-fried first.

I miss Harold. I’m “haaawngry†to see him — and my 34-inch-waistband pants – in heaven someday.

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.â€