Ozempic, Wegovy and beyond: Could the next wave of weight-loss drugs end obesity?

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There are TikTok hashtags with hundreds of thousands of followers, countless column inches over celebrities’ waistlines and streams of media protection when trial outcomes come out. It’s uncommon {that a} new drugs will get a lot consideration. Then once more, it’s even rarer {that a} licensed drug causes secure and speedy weight reduction with minimal effort.

A yr in the past, most individuals hadn’t heard of semaglutide, a drug developed to deal with kind 2 diabetes round a decade in the past below the model identify Ozempic. Then, in 2021, it was authorised within the US as a weight-loss support below the identify Wegovy. The drugs could cause individuals to lose a whopping 15 per cent of their physique weight.

The impression of this new class of medicines may very well be unprecedented – probably bringing to an finish the world’s rising weight problems epidemic. “I don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet,” says Jonathan Campbell at Duke College in North Carolina, who investigates how these medication have an effect on the physique.

For one factor, Wegovy was simply the beginning. The following technology of those medication is in improvement and shall be cheaper, simpler to make use of and, crucially, much more potent. What’s extra, rising proof suggests Wegovy and its ilk work higher when given at a youthful age, so docs are exploring their use in youngsters and younger youngsters. This raises the prospect of switching from weight problems remedy to prevention. “We have watched the obesity landscape change dramatically over the last 40 years,” says Campbell. “Now, maybe we’re at a turning point where that goes backwards.”

Why weight problems is on the rise

The rise in weight problems has been occurring since in regards to the Seventies …

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