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

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

There are TikTok hashtags with thousands and thousands of followers, infinite column inches over celebrities’ waistlines and streams of media protection when trial outcomes come out. It’s uncommon {that a} new medication will get a lot consideration. Then once more, it’s even rarer {that a} licensed drug causes secure and fast 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 help below the identify Wegovy. The medication could cause individuals to lose a whopping 15 per cent of their physique weight.

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

For one factor, Wegovy was simply the beginning. The following technology of those medicine is in growth 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 medical doctors are exploring their use in youngsters and younger youngsters. This raises the prospect of switching from weight problems therapy to prevention. “We’ve got watched the weight problems panorama change dramatically during the last 40 years,” says Campbell. “Now, possibly we’re at a turning level the place that goes backwards.”

Why weight problems is on the rise

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

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