New research reveals long-term weight loss can be achieved through anti-obesity drugs

Aided by lifestyle change initiatives and anti-obesity drugs, overweight and obese people were successful in maintaining an average weight loss of 10.6% over the course of 3-5 years, revealed a recent study by a US-based research group. As per the study, a weight loss of more than 10% guarantees a plethora of health benefits. The group0 presented their findings on Sunday, June 12 at ENDO 2022, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta.

“Data on the effectiveness of anti-obesity medications for long-term weight loss maintenance in the real world has been limited to 1 to 2 years,” said lead researcher Michael A. Weintraub, M.D., of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, N.Y. “Our study is unique because we analyzed weight loss maintenance over 35 years in more than 400 adults with overweight and obesity who were taking weight-loss medications,” he added, ANI reported.

As part of the study, the researchers reviewed data from 428 patients at an academic weight management centre. These patients were given counselling focused on a low-glycemic diet and exercise by an obesity medicine specialist. Further counselling regarding their diet plans was also offered to them. 

Medicine for weight loss 

As part of the therapy, only FDA-approved and off-label weight-loss drugs were used. Metformin, phentermine and topiramate were the most frequently prescribed drugs. Patients were using an average of two weight-management drugs by the time of the final consultations. An average of 4.7 years was spent observing the patients. With the help of medical therapy and lifestyle changes over the course of three to five years, they lost an average of 10.6% of their body weight, ANI reported.

“A 10% weight loss is clinically significant because it is associated with improvements in cardiovascular risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and obstructive sleep apnea as well as improvements in mobility and overall quality of life,” lead researcher Michael A. Weintraub said.

According to Weintraub, the obesity rate in the US is inching close to 40%. Anti-obesity drugs are an underappreciated alternative for treating obesity and can shield patients from obesity-related illnesses like diabetes and heart ailments. According to the lead researcher, this study confirms the effectiveness of antiobesity drugs in maintaining weight loss over the long term, reported ANI.

 (with inputs from ANI)


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