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Semaglutide for overweight individuals


Endocrine, Nutritional and Metabolic

August 2020

Semaglutide is in clinical development for the treatment of overweight and obese individuals. Excess weight can place stress on both mental and physical health, leading a number of complications such as depression, low self-esteem, and increased risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Weight can be affected by a number of factors such as diet, physical activity, genetics and general health conditions, however diet and exercise are the two main contributing factors. Being overweight is reversible through lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, healthy diet and a net calorie deficit, along with help through counselling and medication. If weight is not able to be controlled, surgery may be required. Therefore, there is an unmet need for pharmacological therapies that target both weight and glucose control.
Semaglutide, given as an injection under the skin, binds to, and activates the GLP-1 receptor. This reduces body weight and body fat mass through lowered energy intake, involving an overall reduced appetite. It also reduces the preference of fat foods. This could be an alternative treatment compared to other medication and surgery, and appears to be well-tolerated by patients.

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