FDA Is On A Fast Track

The Lempert Report
June 17, 2021

From yogurt to a weight management shot

A week ago or so we saw the FDA surprise the industry by declaring a new standard of identity for yogurt. Then the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the once a week 2.4 mg Wegovy injection 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 combination 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. 

Approximately 70% of American adults are obese or overweight and is a serious health issue associated with some leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and is linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer. Losing 5% to 10% of body weight through diet and exercise has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in adult patients with obesity or overweight. 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. Is this the miracle cure we have been waiting for? For some people it may be, but the drug comes with the typical list of side effect warnings and a list of people who should not take it. During the pandemic, as we have reported here many times – both adults and children have gained weight. Reports are from 10 to almost 30 pounds. Drugs like this should be used in the extreme cases that having a high BMI is dangerous. What we really need is to also modify eating behaviors and choices and make a commitment that we will reverse obesity in our nation.

Our supermarkets and our retail dietitians are the perfect partners to lead the effort.