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Can new drugs treat obesity and end the crisis?

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 9 months ago

In a recent study, it was discovered that obesity has biological causes and is not simply a failure of willpower. This finding has led to the development of highly effective obesity drugs known as GLP-1 agonists. These drugs have shown groundbreaking weight loss results, with some patients achieving a 20% weight loss. However, despite the excitement surrounding these drugs, experts are skeptical about whether they will be able to end the obesity crisis.

The GLP-1 drugs were initially developed to treat diabetes, but their weight loss effects were an unexpected surprise. Scientists are still unsure about exactly how these drugs work to reduce body weight. While it was initially believed that they signaled the brain that you're full, it is now thought that they target the brain's GLP-1 system rather than the gut's. However, the specific parts of the brain affected and the mechanism of action are still unknown.

These drugs offer a less invasive and more scalable alternative to bariatric surgery, but they come with their drawbacks. They are expensive, with out-of-pocket costs ranging from $800 to $1,300 per month, and many health insurers do not cover them for weight loss. Additionally, they can cause side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting. Furthermore, the drugs do not address the root cause of obesity and may result in the loss of healthy lean mass.

There are also philosophical questions surrounding the use of these medications. Some argue that if people continue to engage in unhealthy behaviors while taking the drugs, it cannot be considered a success. Prevention efforts are also crucial in addressing the obesity crisis, but they will not help the millions of people already living with obesity-related health problems.

Despite these concerns, experts emphasize the importance of treating obesity as a disease and not solely a lifestyle issue. These drugs have the potential to prevent health complications and save money in the long run by reducing healthcare costs. It is hoped that with further research and advancements, obesity can be better managed, similar to how high blood pressure is currently treated.

In conclusion, while the development of highly effective obesity drugs is a significant advancement in the field, there is still much work to be done in understanding their mechanism of action and addressing the root causes of obesity. The obesity crisis cannot be solved solely through medication, and prevention efforts are equally important. However, these drugs offer hope to millions of individuals struggling with obesity and have the potential to improve their quality of life.

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