A new drug for weight loss is known by scientists as a “game changer”. They hope the drug can help tackle the growing obesity crisis both in the US – where roughly two-thirds of the population are either overweight or obese – and around the world. The drug appears to be successful due to its effect on the brain, which helps suppress appetite.
According to Science Alert, the study included 2,000 obese adults in 16 different countries. One group received a weekly dose of a type 2 diabetes drug called semaglutide; The other was given a placebo. In addition to the drug or placebo, all participants were given a “lifestyle intervention” that promoted healthy living.
Although all participants had lost weight by the end of the study, the placebo group lost an “insignificant” amount. In contrast, those who took semaglutide saw incredible results. The average participant lost 14.9 percent of their body weight, almost a third even more – around 20 percent.
This means that semaglutide is twice as effective as the existing drugs currently on the market for weight loss. In fact, experts have claimed that it is almost as effective as weight loss surgery.
“No other drug has come close to this level of weight loss – it really is a cornerstone,” said obesity researcher Rachel Batterham of University College London.
“For the first time, people can achieve through medication what only weight loss surgery could do,” she added.
Even so, doctors have warned that lifestyle changes are still important, both for a healthy life and to avoid gaining weight after stopping the medication.
“While drugs like this can prove useful in the short term for rapid weight loss in severe obesity, they are not a panacea for preventing or treating less severe obesity,” warned Tom Sanders, professor emeritus at King’s College London. who was not involved in the study.
“Public health measures that encourage behavioral changes such as regular physical activity and dietary energy moderation are still needed,” he concluded.
The main focus on maintaining a healthy weight was renewed after studies showed the novel coronavirus is more deadly to overweight or obese people. In fact, an artificial intelligence-based matrix calculated how likely it is that an uninfected person would die of COVID-19 if infected.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, while age was the highest predictor of mortality, the algorithm was the next highest factor the body mass index, known as BMI.