Why Obesity Drugs Should be a Last Resort

A new obesity drug that is a weekly injectable drug called Semaglutide was approved in June 2021 for treating people with a body mass index in the obese range or just under that range but with weight-related health issues.

Semaglutide mimics a gut hormone called glucagon-like​ peptide-1 (GLP-1) that acts on the pancreas to increase insulin production, on the stomach to slow emptying, and on the brain to turn down appetite and signal satiety. Patients can eat less and not be bothered by hunger and cravings. Other medications are in development that combines two or three hormones involved in appetite.

The problem is that these drugs must be used throughout life, much like diabetes medications, or else the benefits are lost. In fact, a 2021 study found that people on Semaglutide regain weight when the drug is stopped.

In this episode, we explore the role of this new drug and discuss why obesity drugs should always remain a last resort.


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