By Barbara Kollmeyer Market Watch

Help for obesity may come in a pill after all, according to a new study involving a diabetes treatment that led to notable weight loss for the average participant.

“A medical treatment for obesity that leads to 10% weight loss in the majority and 20% weight loss in over a third of participants. This is the start of a new era,” said Rachel Batterham, one of the researchers involved in the study and a professor of obesity, diabetes and endocrinology and head of the Centre for Obesity Research at UCL and the UCLH Centre for Weight Management.

A total of 1,961 adults from North America, South America, Asia, and Europe took part in the 68-week trial during 2018 involving the drug semaglutide, which is an anti-diabetic medication used for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, according to the study that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

The individuals received a shot of semaglutide under the skin or a placebo weekly, along with counseling sessions to adhere to a reduced-calorie diet and increased exercise. Semaglutide is sold under the names Ozempic and Rybelsus by Danish drug company Novo Nordisk.

“Participants who received semaglutide were more likely to lose 5% or more, 10% or more, 15% or more, and 20% or more of baseline body weight at week 68 than those who received placebo,” the study said.

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