Weekly obesity jab ‘slashes risk of deadly condition in HALF’ | The Sun

A REVOLUTIONARY fat-busting drug has been found to halve the risk of a killer disease.

The weight loss jab, which works by making people feel more full, might soon be available on the NHS.

New analysis has revealed that the drug – semaglutide – can effectively reduce the risk of obese people developing type 2 diabetes by over 60 per cent.

The US team behind the research has hailed the injection as a "game changer" in the fight against obesity and related illnesses.

Lead author Dr Timothy Garvey, of the University of Alabama, said: "Given the rising rates of obesity and diabetes, semaglutide could be used effectively to reduce the burden of these chronic diseases."

The medication, known as Wegovy, works by hijacking the brain’s appetite-regulating system, slashing hunger and calorie intake.

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To be effective at preventing diabetes from developing, the drug must be taken on a weekly basis.

The medicines watchdog has already recommendedthat the jab be made available on the NHS to help morbidly obese patients slim down.

Around five million people in the UK have diabetes – with 90 per cent of cases where people have type 2 diabetes, caused by unhealthy lifestyles.

The NHS estimates that around one in every four adults and around one in every five children in the UK are obese.

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It currently costs the NHS around £10 billion annually to treat obesity related illnesses.

Previous studies have suggested that more Brits will be obese than a healthy weight within five years.

Obesity is already known to significantly increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The US researchers decided to look at how semaglutide might reduce that risk by analysing the results of previous studies.

A study of 1,961 overweight or obese Americans found those given the therapy for 16 months were 61 per cent less likely to develop diabetes over the following decade.

All received weekly 2.4mg doses of the jab for 20 weeks.

They then either remained on semaglutide or were switched to a placebo for the next 48 weeks.

The group that remained on the therapy shed, on average, 17 per cent of their body mass – about two stone for a 15-stone individual.

The same weight loss benefits were not seen in those who stopped the medication.

The same results were found during a second trial of 803 vulnerable participants.

Diabetes risk was predicted by experts using a formula that takes into account sex, age, race, body mass index and blood pressure as well as levels of blood glucose and fats.

All participants received advice on diet and exercise.

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, previously described the jab as the “holy grail” of weight loss treatments.

He said: “With two in three people now too heavy, these new guideline are very much welcome.

"This could be the first treatment that finally starts to reverse the obesity epidemic.

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“But it tackles the symptoms, and we still need to do so much more to tackle the cause.”

The findings were presented this month at an European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) meeting in Stockholm.

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