Dieters’ weight-loss ‘wonder-drug’: Jab that curbs calorie intake and cravings could help fight obesity crisis
- Experts say semaglutide could play major role in combating the obesity crisis
- Patients given the weekly jab lost a tenth of their body weight in just 20 weeks
- Participants also ate 35% fewer calories when offered an unlimited free lunch
A weight-loss ‘wonder-drug’ cuts calorie intake by more than a third and suppresses appetite and cravings, a study has revealed.
Patients given the weekly jab lost a tenth of their body weight in just 20 weeks – 25 times more than those on a placebo.
They reported fewer hunger-pangs, felt fuller faster and ate 35 per cent fewer calories when offered an unlimited free lunch.
Experts say the drug, named semaglutide, could play a major role in combating the nation’s obesity crisis.
It is already used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and works by hijacking the body’s appetite-regulating system. A month’s supply costs around £73.
A weight-loss ‘wonder-drug’ cuts calorie intake by more than a third and suppresses appetite and cravings, a study has revealed
Researchers from drug firm Novo Nordisk analysed data on 72 obese adults aged 18 to 65.
Half were given the jab and half a placebo.
They completed surveys on their eating habits and appetite at the start of the trial and again after 20 weeks. They had a set breakfast, followed by an unlimited lunch five hours later.
Patients on the drug ate 1,736 calories at lunch, which was 940 fewer than those on the placebo.
Those given the jab lost 9.9 per cent of their body weight on average, compared with 0.4 per cent in those on the dummy drug.
Patients on the medication reported a smaller appetite and better hunger control during the study.
The jab is available at a dose of 1mg to treat type 2 diabetes but the trial used 2.4mg.
It is not yet licensed for use as a chronic weight management treatment anywhere in the world but applications are under review. It means it could soon be available on the NHS.
Study author Dr Dorthe Skovgaard said: ‘In subjects with obesity, semaglutide 2.4mg suppressed appetite and reduced the frequency and strength of food cravings.’
In February a separate study found patients on the drug lost an average of 14.9 per cent of their body weight in just over a year.
Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, described the drug as ‘every obesity specialist’s dream come true’.
Around two in three adults in the UK are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The findings will be presented at the European Congress on Obesity today.