Fighting Obesity: surgical knife or pills?
Obesity is commonly linked with abnormal or excessive body fat. Obesity and excess weight are basically caused by energy imbalance, when the diet's caloric intake exceeds the body's energy needs. Around the world, the following trends are being observed: people are consuming more and more high-calorie, high-fat foods, and physical activity is declining as sedentary activities rise, modes of transport are changing and the urban population is growing.
As an example: the obesity rate in the United States has increased by nearly 30% since 2008. Additionally, the current health data indicate that 42% of Americans are obese. Accordingly, the obesity rate in the United States surpassed 40% for the first time in 2020.
Excess weight and obesity have the following health effects:
- cardiovascular disorders;
- musculo-skeletal and motor function impairments;
- certain types of cancer;
- respiratory diseases;
- arterial hypertension;
- hormonal dysfunction;
- diseases of the gallbladder, liver, kidneys.
Most of the consequences of being overweight and obese can be prevented. Increasing physical activity and consuming a healthier diet will help prevent obesity.
A recommendation of the World Health Organization is as follows:
- consume fewer fats and sugars to reduce your calorie intake;
- incorporate more fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses, whole grains and seeds into your diet;
- regularly engage in physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes a week for adults).
When the disease has gone too far, what can be done?
The most effective approach to fighting obesity remains a healthy diet and exercise, but not everyone can make these lifestyle changes due to financial or health limitations. 'Semaglutide', a new drug, may provide the solution. Diabetes type 2 patients already use semaglutide. Studies show, however, that obese individuals can lose weight by receiving a higher dosage of the drug.
- Statistical data:
Recent studies report that people could lose 15% of their body fat in just 68 weeks by taking the drug. If a 300-pound person took semaglutide for approximately one year, their weight would drop by 45 pounds. The study also found that 33% of participants lost 20% of their body weight while taking the drug. Study participants lost an average of 34 pounds.
Semaglutide not only improved weight loss, but also blood pressure, fasting glucose, C-reactive protein, and lipid levels as well as performance scores and quality of life. There is evidence that semaglutide, one of the most effective diet pills available, allows people to obtain the results they were previously only able to achieve through surgery. Patients using semaglutide experience much greater improvement than with other anti-obesity drugs currently available. One pill is required one time a week as part of the medication schedule. Having successfully completed a clinical trial, Novo Nordisk is submitting its application to the FDA for approval as a weight-loss drug.