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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Emerging Anti-Obesity Medications Accompanied by Unfortunate Stigma

Eileen Isotalo could successfully diet in the past, but she always put the weight back on. She joined Weight Watchers when she was 14 and is now 66 years old. She then proceeded to try diet after diet, eventually amassing what she believes to be more weight-loss resources than the local library.

Desperate, she sought help from a University of Michigan weight control clinic. She was overweight despite suffering from sleep apnea and knee pain.

Her doctor at the clinic recommended a new family of medications for obesity called Wegovy, and now she no longer has such desires. She’s dropped 50 pounds and stopped hiding in baggy, dark clothing. The weight-related health issues and social isolation she experienced as a result of her weight have both improved.

However, she still worries that others will look down on her for using injections to address her fat rather than summoning the self-control to cut calories and exercise more.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 42 percent, or around 100 million, of the adult population of the United States is obese. People who have struggled with their weight their whole lives are now able to shed excess pounds and reduce the health risks associated with their obesity.

Only Wegovy and Saxenda, another comparable but less effective medicine, have been licenced for the treatment of obesity; other treatments like Ozempic and Mounjaro are approved to treat diabetes but also promote weight reduction.

Wegovy’s manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, says that 110 thousand prescriptions have been issued for the medicine in the US thus far. Due to overwhelming customer interest, the firm has temporarily suspended Wegovy advertising.

Now that the dangers of obesity and the ineffectiveness of prescribing merely diet and exercise have been demonstrated, the medications are welcome. Decades of research have demonstrated without a doubt that only a tiny percentage of the population can successfully lose weight and keep it off with behavioural modifications alone.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a primary cause of liver transplantation in the United States, as are diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and obesity.

However, the idea that individuals can lose weight if they only put in enough effort continues, encouraged by diet experts, social media influencers, and the supplement and diet plan business.

Because of the widespread belief that being overweight is a personal decision, people who use drugs like Wegovy may find themselves in awkward social circumstances.

Ms. Isotalo is one of many patients at the University of Michigan clinic who is reluctant to disclose to using Wegovy because she believes that its users are stereotyped as dishonest.

However, another patient, Katarra Ewing of Detroit, is open about her drug use. Although she lost weight on many diets, it was Wegovy that finally got her to her goal weight.

After working all night at the Ford plant, she arrived to the weight control clinic full of energy and wearing a bright green jumper. Now that she has shed those extra pounds, she is full of pep, her disposition is cheery, and her hypertension has subsided.

Because obesity is such a defining trait, it affects relationships in new ways. Friendships between people of normal weight and those of obese weight may be defined, at least temporarily, by the former’s perception of the latter’s inferiority. Friends who are also obese may find that their shared experience brings them closer together. No longer is that available.

When he first saw Dr. Amy Rothberg at the clinic, he was 58 years old. He was very obese and diabetic. His kidneys were failing despite his heavy use of insulin to control his diabetes.

Dr. Rothberg started off by changing his diet, but he also added Mounjaro, a medicine from Eli Lilly that looks to be even more effective than Wegovy in triggering weight loss. Unfortunately, Mounjaro is now only authorised for persons with diabetes.

The problem for Art Regner was different. He was a chatty colour commentator for the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and he said he wasn’t ready to take medicine. He felt embarrassed to visit Dr. Rothberg’s office. Twenty-two of the 76 pounds he had shed via dieting had been restored.

Wegovy or Mounjaro were recommended by Dr. Rothberg, the medical director of Rewind, a firm that provides counselling services to people with diabetes. But Mr. Regner believed he had the strength of character to do the task on his own. The effects of his diabetes, including his elevated blood sugar, are not lost on him.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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