OBESITY: COULD A NEW APPETITE-CONTROLLING DRUG BE THE TREATMENT WE'VE BEEN CRAVING?
BBC Focus - Science & Technology|March 2021
In a large trial, people injected with semaglutide lost significant amounts of weight. Could this drug help tackle the obesity epidemic?
PROF TOM SANDERS

We need effective strategies for the prevention and treatment of obesity as much as for COVID-19. According to NHS data published last May, 26 per cent of men and 29 per cent of women in the UK were estimated to be obese – defined as having body mass index greater than 30. The situation may now have deteriorated owing to lockdown-related weight gain. Not only are obese patients more likely to die from COVID-19, but recent estimates by researchers at the University of Glasgow suggest that obesity may have overtaken smoking as a cause of ill health in England and Scotland.

A healthy balanced diet combined with appropriate levels of physical activity can prevent weight gain, but it is not an effective treatment for obesity. Very low-calorie diets, consuming less than 1,000kcal per day, can result in weight loss of 10 to 15kg in up to 12 weeks. More modest moderate calorie restriction, as used by most commercial slimming plans, can result in an average weight loss of around 7kg a year. However, any weight lost by these methods is usually regained, so another approach is needed.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BBC FOCUS - SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGYView All

The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Metaverse

Facebook recently changed its name to 'Meta' in order to position itself at the forefront of a new digital frontier called the metaverse. But what the heck is the metaverse, and what can it offer us mere mortals who do not inhabit the shiny Silicon Valley bubble?

10+ mins read
BBC Science Focus
April 2022

MIGRAINES:CAN NEW TREATMENTS HELP EASE THE SUFFERING OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE?

Better understanding of the processes driving migraine pain is leading to promising new remedies

3 mins read
BBC Science Focus
April 2022

ARGOS OR AMAZON: WHO DID IT FIRST?

You can thank an in-flight catalogue, not the internet, for the emergence of convenient same-day deliveries

2 mins read
BBC Science Focus
April 2022

Can a smartphone be eco-friendly and desirable?

Fairphone has a long history of producing some of the most eco-friendly smartphones around. In fact, it is currently ranked in the top 1 per cent of sustainable companies in the world according to EcoVadis, a sustainability ratings company.

4 mins read
BBC Science Focus
April 2022

MALE CONTRACEPTIVE PILL ONE STEP CLOSER

The researchers behind the drug hope it will start human clinical trials later this year

2 mins read
BBC Science Focus
April 2022

Are we living in a multiverse?

Are there universes where the laws of physics do not apply, like in the newest Doctor Strange outing?

3 mins read
BBC Science Focus
April 2022

WHY I DITCHED MY FITNESS TRACKER

Stop chasing a 10,000-step target - Active 10 is an easier, more effective way to get fit

2 mins read
BBC Science Focus
April 2022

FIT TO BURST

INFLATION IS A USEFUL TOOL IN NATURE, ALLOWING ANIMALS TO PROJECT SOUNDS, SCARE OFF PREDATORS OR EVEN ATTRACT A MATE. LET'S BRING ON THE BLOAT!

5 mins read
BBC Science Focus
April 2022

COVID RISK: IS IT SAFE FOR ME TO RESUME ALL MY NORMAL ACTIVITIES?

In a restriction-free world, how risky is going to the pub vs going to the supermarket?

3 mins read
BBC Science Focus
April 2022

HAPPINESS: IS IT RIGHT TO PURSUE IT AT ALL COSTS?

Research suggests that focusing on your own happiness can end up making you miserable

3 mins read
BBC Science Focus
April 2022
RELATED STORIES

Desire for Face Time Revives Business Travel

Companies are reporting more trips, proving doomsayers from the pandemic's darkest days wrong

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 16, 2022

Level Ground

A dairy farming father's love for his family lives on in the tools that he left behind.

2 mins read
Country Woman
June/July 2022

An Overview of Namibia's Agri Sector

In a recent report, the Namibia Agricultural Union outlined the state of that country’s agriculture sector, and how it has been affected by COVID-19 and other factors.

5 mins read
Farmer's Weekly
May 06, 2022

Left Behind By Long Covid

As the world pretends the pandemic is over, at least half a million children in the U.S. are struggling

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 09, 2022

Shanghai's Black Eye

Expats are ditching the city, jeopardizing efforts to turn it into a top financial hub in Asia

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 02, 2022

Lockdown Hell

Critics call on Chinese government to ease lockdown regulations

1 min read
YOU South Africa
5 May 2022

a GOOD READ

James Read is a far cry from his villainous alter ego on DAYS.

9 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
May 02, 2022

VOICES AS TOLD TO LIFE'S Work

Better Things creator and star PAMELA ADLON on how the show gave her an OPPORTUNITY to REINVENT some things about the way HOLLYWOOD operates-both on-screen and off

4 mins read
Harper's BAZAAR - US
April 2022

Meghan's LIFE WITHOUT HARRY

Nearly four years after their royal wedding, the fairy tale appears to be over for Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle

4 mins read
Life & Style US
April 18, 2022

AMAZON ADDS 5% ‘FUEL AND INFLATION SURCHARGE' TO SELLER FEES

Amazon is taking a step to off set its rising costs, announcing this week it will add a 5% “fuel and inflation surcharge” to fees it charges thirdparty sellers who use the e-commerce giant’s fulfillment services.

2 mins read
Techlife News
April 16, 2022