‘Hollywood skinny jab’: what do we know about anti-obesity drugs such as Ozempic in Australia?

From the Guardian, 8 April 2023:

Dr Kathryn Williams has had patients cry when they go on anti-obesity drugs. “[They] say, ‘oh my God, this is the first time I haven’t felt hungry,’” says Williams, an endocrinologist at the University of Sydney, “because hunger is just something they have to live with every single day.”

Shows like The Biggest Loser perpetuated the idea that with radical enough lifestyle change and exercise, anyone can lose weight. But like so much reality television, it’s a far cry from reality. “This whole thing where we think everyone’s equal and it’s about choice is just a complete lie,” Williams says. “We still need to understand that there are some people that have biological reasons as to why they gain weight and those people need treatment.”

Anti-obesity drugs are not new. They’ve been available in Australia for the treatment of either obesity or type 2 diabetes as early as 2000. However, these medications have attracted headlines recently thanks to their popularity among celebrities and influencers, and a shortage of one particular product – semaglutide, marketed in Australia as Ozempic and approved only for the treatment of type 2 diabetes – possibly due to its popularity with celebrities and influencers. The drug has become so widely known in popular culture that it was the subject of jokes at the recent Oscars. Read more.

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