America has a new weapon in the fight against obesity. On Friday, the FDA approved a new weight loss drug, Wegovy, for people who are either obese or overweight and have at least one medical problem related to weight.
“We need to think about obesity, no different from hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes,” said Dr. Domenica Rubino, director of the Washington Center for Weight Management and Research.
Rubino said people taking existing obesity medications lose an average of about 7% to 9% of their body weight. “People who need 10%, 15%, 20% weight loss need tools,” she said.
During a 1
Trial participant Lisa Robillard lost 63 kilograms. She said she had previously tried fashionable diets or other methods that she thought would help her lose weight.
“I wasn’t hungry between meals, which was just unheard of for me. I was faster and faster and I longed to be gone,” she said of the new drug.
Wegovy is similar to the diabetes drug Ozempic, which is already prescribed outside the weight loss label. Both drugs mimic a natural hormone that helps regulate appetite. Wegovy is approved for long-term use and is recommended to be combined with diet and exercise.
“These hormones actually affect the signals in the brain,” Rubino said. “It really just doesn’t come down to willpower. It’s much more complex. This physiology is very strong and it’s not your fault.”