A New Weight Loss Drug Shows Promising Results, But Few Can Get Them

Obesity is a health condition that is much more complicated than someone simply eating too much. There are many lifestyle, genetic, and socioeconomic factors that contribute to someone developing obesity (via Mayo Clinic). Many people with obesity are prescribed weight loss drugs to help them lose weight when nothing else seems to work. Unfortunately, these drugs often come with side effects that create even more challenges in the user's life.

According to NBC News, a new class of weight loss drugs are proving to be effective without nearly as many side effects as previously popular drugs. This is great news in theory, but doctors say that only a small number of obese Americans are being prescribed these drugs. These drugs work by mimicking a hormone in the gut that helps control blood sugar, and other versions have previously been used to treat Type 2 diabetes. Experts believe the reason that so few Americans are trying these drugs is that they are expensive and many insurance companies won't cover the cost. If more Americans could afford them, many would be able to effectively treat their obesity. 

What to know about obesity

Obesity is a problem that affects millions of people around the world. It is a complex condition with many causes and risk factors. Obesity is generally defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above (via Healthline). BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. People who are obese are at increased risk for many serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Many people think that obesity is the result of poor lifestyle choices, but there are many factors that can contribute to obesity, including genetics, lifestyle choices, and medical conditions. Treatment typically involves making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. In some cases, medication or surgery may also be necessary. If you're concerned about your weight or think you may be obese, talk to your doctor. They can help you assess your risk factors and develop a plan to improve your health.