Half of children given ‘skinny jab’ no longer clinically obese – US study | Obesity

Nearly half of children who were assigned the “skinny jab” lost enough weight to no longer be classed as clinically obese, according to research.

The study, led by Dr Aaron Kelly, the co-director of the Center for Pediatric Obesity Medicine at the University of Minnesota, looked at 201 adolescents who were classed as clinically obese.

Alongside receiving matching healthy lifestyle counselling, one group of 134 children aged between 12 and 18 received one dose of 2.4mg of semaglutide a week across 68 weeks, while 67 children received a placebo across the same period of time.

Semaglutide, which can be sold under the brand name Ozempic, is a medication traditionally used to treat type 2 diabetes by suppressing appetite but can also be used for long-term weight management.

The study’s results, presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Dublin, found that while 12% of adolescents who were taking the placebo were able to lose enough weight to no longer be classed as clinically obese, for those who were assigned semaglutide, almost 45% of them were able to drop below the clinical definition for obesity.

By the end of the study, almost three-quarters (74%) of children assigned semaglutide had an improvement of at least one BMI category, compared with just under a fifth (19%) on the placebo.

The report concluded that administering semaglutide once a week gave “historically unprecedented” results, and brought about “clinically meaningful improvements”.

“These results underscore the high degree of clinical effectiveness of semaglutide in adolescents with obesity,” the report concluded.

“In a practical sense, we see that semaglutide reduced weight to a level below what is defined as clinical obesity in nearly 50% of the teens in our trial, which is historically unprecedented with treatments other than bariatric surgery.”

Speaking at a press conference, Kelly said the drug could be transformative for children living with obesity, but cautioned that the drug was not a quick fix and should be used in conjunction with lifestyle therapies and other anti-obesity measures.

Kelly said: “A question I get asked a lot is: ‘Is this going to solve the obesity problem; should we give this to everybody?’ It’s not going to solve the obesity problem but it’s an important piece to the puzzle in helping to solve it, especially for those who already have obesity.

“[Semaglutide] is transformative for many who are able to access this treatment. Many do very well with this medication, and it can be life changing for them.”

The drug has won celebrity endorsements and has gone viral on TikTok, while the UK’s expert drugs advisers recently recommended it for use on the NHS in adults with a body mass index above 35 and a weight-related condition such as high blood pressure.

Source link

Home  Articles  Disclaimer  Contact Us