Overweight and obesity is defined as an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that can be detrimental to health. The body mass index (BMI) is a simple indicator of the relationship between weight and height that is frequently used to identify overweight and obesity in adults. It is calculated by dividing a person´s weight in kilos by the square of their height in meters (kg / m2).
Since 1975, obesity has nearly tripled in the world. In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight, where more than 650 million were obese. Most of the world´s population lives in countries where there are more deaths from obesity than from malnutrition.
The Chronic Weight
The Chronic Weight or Obesity-associated morbidity is an important risk factor for many chronic physical and mental illnesses. The generally accepted view is that being overweight causes similar health problems to obesity, but to a lesser degree .
Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with increasing rates in adults and children. In 2015, 600 million adults (12%) and 100 million children were obese in 195 countries. Obesity is more common in women than in men. Authorities view it as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century .
Chronic Weight Treatment approved by FDA
The last June 04th 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Wegovy (semaglutide) injection (2.4 mg once weekly) for chronic weight management in adults with obesity or overweight with at least one weight-related condition (such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol), for use in addition to a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity. This under-the-skin injection is the first approved drug for chronic weight management in adults with general obesity or overweight since 2014. The drug is indicated for chronic weight management in patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 kg/m2 or greater who have at least one weight-related ailment or in patients with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater .
“Today’s approval offers adults with obesity or overweight a beneficial new treatment option to incorporate into a weight management program,” said John Sharretts, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Diabetes, Lipid Disorders, and Obesity in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “FDA remains committed to facilitating the development and approval of additional safe and effective therapies for adults with obesity or overweight.”
How does the treatment work?
Wegovy works by mimicking a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) that targets areas of the brain that regulate appetite and food intake. The medication dose must be increased gradually over 16 to 20 weeks to 2.4 mg once weekly to reduce gastrointestinal side effects .
Wegovy should not be used in combination with other semaglutide-containing products, other GLP-1 receptor agonists, or other products intended for weight loss, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, or herbal products. Wegovy has not been studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis.
Safety and efficacy of the Treatment
Wegovy’s safety and efficacy were studied in four 68-week trials. Three were randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials (including 16 weeks of dose increases) and one was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized withdrawal trial in which patients receiving Wegovy either continued with the treatment or switched to a placebo. More than 2,600 patients received Wegovy for up to 68 weeks in these four studies and more than 1,500 patients received placebo.
The largest placebo-controlled trial enrolled adults without diabetes. The average age at the start of the trial was 46 years and 74% of patients were female. The average body weight was 231 pounds (105 kg) and average BMI was 38 kg/m2. Individuals who received Wegovy lost an average of 12.4% of their initial body weight compared to individuals who received placebo. Another trial enrolled adults with type 2 diabetes. The average age was 55 years and 51% were female. The average body weight was 220 pounds (100 kg) and average BMI was 36 kg/m2. In this trial, individuals who received Wegovy lost 6.2% of their initial body weight compared to those who received placebo.
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