A new drug designed to trigger weight loss through just one injection a week is to be made available on the NHS, health officials have announced.

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Appetite suppressant semaglutide, sold under the brand name Wegovy, will be offered on prescription in England, after getting the green light from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice).

Some health officials have welcomed the “game changer” drug, amid hopes that it could “turn the tide on obesity and get benefit claimants back to work”, said The Times’s Whitehall editor Chris Smyth. But others have warned that the jab, which is already popular with celebrities and social media influencers, is not a “quick fix”.

What did the papers say?

Semaglutide belongs to a class of drugs called glp-1 receptor agonists that according to headlines in the US are “the worst kept secret in Hollywood”, the BBC’s Science Focus reported. Fans of the jabs are said to range from Kim Kardashian to Elon Musk.

Treatments for weight loss “have long ranged from the well-meaning and ineffective to the downright dodgy”, said The Economist, but this new class of drugs “seems actually to work”. Developed by Danish pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk, semaglutide “has been shown in clinical trials to lead to weight loss of about 15%”. 

Injected into fatty tissue just under the skin in the abdomen, thigh or upper arm, semaglutide deploys a gut hormone, glp-1, that signals feelings of fullness to the brain. And “what happens when we feel full?” said Science Focus.  “We eat less. What happens when we eat less? We lose weight.”

But news that the weight loss jab is coming to the UK “has sparked concern online”, said Cosmopolitan, “with many arguing that those looking to lose weight healthily should be guided towards diet and lifestyle changes rather than pharmaceuticals”.

Nutrition expert Pauline Cox told the magazine that “a pharmaceutical drug can never replace the benefits of physical activity and a healthy diet”.

“Effortless thinness” is a “siren call for many people, especially women”, of all shapes and sizes, said Caragh Medlicott in an opinion article for The Irish Independent. But “we must not forget that beauty standards are ultimately vacuous, capricious fictions”.

“To me,” Medicott …read more

Source:: The Week – All news


Obesity drugs: is new ‘skinny jab’ a game changer or a quick-fix fad?

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