Weight-Loss Drug Showing Promise in Teens

Weight-Loss Drug
Semaglutide injection | Image by myskin/Shutterstock

A new study showed that weight-loss medication yielded favorable results in adolescents.

The study, published May 17, revealed that once-per-week doses of semaglutide reduced the BMI of obese children to below-obese levels.

Semaglutide is the active ingredient for weight-loss medications such as Wegovy. This medication was previously only authorized for use in adults; however, health experts began recommending this and other similar weight-loss medications for adolescents following increased BMI charts, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Semaglutide has already shown promise in reducing adolescent obesity.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Aaron Kelly, the co-director of the Center for Pediatric Obesity Medicine at the University of Minnesota, conducted a randomized study of 201 children between the ages of 12 and 18 who were deemed clinically obese. This sample group was then split into two groups.

One group received 2.4mg doses of semaglutide; the remaining 67 children received a placebo. Each group’s doses were administered once a week for 68 weeks.

Both groups also received lifestyle counseling for the duration of the study.

Researchers observed that the weekly semaglutide injections had reduced the BMI of these subjects by nearly 50%.

“In the overall population, 44.9% of participants receiving semaglutide achieved normal weight or overweight BMI category, versus 12.1% receiving placebo at week 68,” the study noted.

At the conclusion of this study, nearly 75% of the children chosen for semaglutide injections had an improved BMI in at least one category, compared to just 19% of the placebo group.

Kelly spoke at a news conference about the study and its promising results. Still, he cautioned that the medication was not the sole solution and must be combined with other methods.

“A question I get asked a lot is: ‘Is this going to solve the obesity problem; should we give this to everybody?'” Kelly said, according to the Guardian. “It’s not going to solve the obesity problem, but it’s an important piece to the puzzle in helping to solve it, especially for those who already have obesity.”

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