AYDS diet caramels -- revisited

Awhile ago, someone asked whatever happed to the diet caramels called AYDS. They had a rocky period during the 80s 'cause of the media frenzy over the AIDS epidemic, but I was at my mom’s today and – well I’ll be! – she had a box of the AYDS caramels.

They do still exist, although the packaging is no longer a red AYDS on a white backgroud – it’s all blue and they kind squished in the word “diet” so it kind looks more like DietAYDS, though they’ve still maintained the look of the original trademark.

Anyway, new question:

The caramels are an appetite suppressant. The active ingredient is benzocaine, a topical anaesthetic. You’d find it in OTC sunburn relief sprays or perhaps teething stuff (run it on the sore gums.)

How does the benzocaine work as an appetite suppressant? Does it affect your sense of taste or something? Or once it’s in your belly does in numb the hunger pangs, so to speak?

That’s the theory:

Did she say where she bought it? Just curious.

Duck We’re in Canada, I suspect she just got it at the pharmacy over at the mall.

Larry so according to the theory, is your appetite actually affected so you’re really not hungry, or does it just ruin the experience of eating to “kill the mood”?

Awful and inappropriate story:

In the eighties, when AIDS was a term that was beginning to be a household word (at least in the gay culture I was immersed in), AYDS was still advertising on the radio. Friends of mine still use a catchphrase from one of those ads, which ended with the exchange: “Cheesecake, Mary?”–“No thanks! I have AIDS!”

Good times.

That’s the marketing disaster they were facing. I remember the original packaging: Blood-red word “AYDS” on a pure white background with smaller black text – very plain and clinical looking. Looked like some kind of AIDS information packet. My mom still bought them, brand loyalty still worked I guess, but they certainly weren’y winning over new customers.

The new packaging is all-blue with thin people frolicking on a beach.

Anyway, Im still curious about how numbing the taste buds affects appetite. It would totally suck to be hungry, but not want to eat anything because it would all taste funny. Sounds like torture.

I was a young lad when AIDS surfaced as a mystery disease, and when they finally settled on that name (as opposed to GRID), I thought that people were getting sick and dying from having used AYDS diet candies. (My mother had a couple of really old boxes way back in the cupboard.)

From a strictly anecdotal viewpoint, I could see how numbing the taste buds could work. Occasionally, I use a topical numbing spray for a really sore throat (Chloraseptic, it’s called), and some always lands on my tongue, and kills my enjoyment of food for a couple of hours afterwards. So, if anyone’s thinking about trying this, don’t bother looking for the dietAYDS. Just get yourself some Chloraseptic, spray it on your tongue several times a day, and, poof! Instant appetite suppressant (well, maybe).

I remember being little 6 or 7 maybe and chowing down on my older sisters Ayds on more than one occasion. . I’m talking half a box. It was just candy to me and didn’t seem to do anything to my appetite.

I used to sit around spraying Chloaseptic in my throat to get that cool numb feeling around that same time. I was a weird kid :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, but were you a fat weird kid? :smiley:

So it is the ruining of the culinary experience. Were you hungry at all? (If you remember.)

(Oh, and no, I’m not interested in any of that as a diet thing. I’m one of those “eat sensibly and exercise regularly” kind of folks. I was just wondering, since I found that box.)

Not really taste funny. Mostly just not taste at all. The idea is that if it all tastes like eating cardboard or something tasteless, you won’t have the desire to keep eating more*.

Rather like when you have a cold – food doesn’t have much taste then, either. (But that’s mostly because your sense of smell is diminished by the cold.)

  • But this may not allpy everywhere. I’m from Minnesota, where people keep eating lefse despite the absolute lack of taste. And many people, of their own free will, eat lutefisk!

I remember those ads.
A case of a bad name choice that no one could have foreseen.

Haha…no oddly enough. I was a skinny kid. I’m still a little skinny, and I eat all the time. I’m one of those people that can eat a whole pizza at one sitting and still have the munchies an hour later. My weight never goes above 165-170 lbs.

Well, the issue isn’t really hunger, y’know; it’s appetite. I’d imagine that if you get hungry enough, you’ll eat something whether it tastes good or not (this is why people trapped in the jungle will eat insects and stuff, no?). But you know how it is: you don’t want to eat stuff that doesn’t taste good; you don’t have an appetite for it. So, numbing the taste buds doesn’t kill hunger, exactly, but it will suppress the appetite.

Sounds annoying. When sick I’ve been in the “I’m hungry, but I don’t wanna eat anything” state, and I’ve always found it annoying. Like when you stare at a fridge full of food and thinkg “Bah, nothing to eat in here…”

Answered my question though. I was worried it did something like numb your tummy lining so that you actually didn’t feel the hunger pangs, and that idea seemed really freaky to me.