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Weight Loss Jab Recommended In The UK

Weight Loss Jab Recommended In The UK

The NHS is set to offer a weekly injection to help adults struggling with their weight.

The NHS could be set to offer a weekly injection to help adults struggling with their weight.

The injection is called Wegovy, and it is made up of a semagultide which helps people eat less by making them feel fuller.

The trial included 1,961 adults who were classified as overweight or obese.

The participants enrolled in the 'double-blind trial' did not have diabetes, but had a body-mass index of '30 or greater,' as per The New England Journal of Medicine.

In a '2:1 ratio' they were then given '68 weeks of treatment with once-weekly subcutaneous semaglutide or placebo, plus lifestyle intervention'.

The results showed a drop in body weight of 14.9% in the group taking the Wegovy as opposed to the group who had been given the placebo injection, who dropped 2.4%.

The injection subsequently helped participants lose an average of two stone (13kg).

Injection (Alamy)
Injection (Alamy)

According to the BBC, it has since been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that the drug be made available on the NHS.

While the drug has yet to be fully approved, guidelines for England and Wales drafted by NICE state that Wegovy should be 'prescribed by a specialist to obese adults [with] at least one weight-related health condition such as high blood pressure or heart disease, for a maximum of two years'.

The drug can be administered using pre-filled pens and injected by the patient themselves.

Scales (Alamy)
Scales (Alamy)

People classified as obese and who are wanting to lose weight are advised to speak to their GPs as weight loss can be managed through exercise and diet alone.

The study noted other treatments including another injection which is administered daily but with similar effects to the Wegovy, called Saxenda, which contains liraglutide.

Another treatment which makes one feel more full includes the placement of a gastric band around the stomach.

A pill called orlistat stops the absorption of fat from some foods into the blood, and gastric bypass or bariatric surgery focuses on the digestive tract by removing or changing some of the plumbing.

Injection (Alamy)
Injection (Alamy)

In the UK, obesity affects one in four adults. Between 2018-19, England saw 11,117 hospital admissions which were a direct result of obesity.

NICE's Helen Knight concluded: 'We know that management of overweight and obesity is one of the biggest challenges our health service is facing. It is a lifelong condition that needs medical intervention, has psychological and physical effects, and can affect quality of life.'

If you've been affected by any of the issues in this article and would like to speak with someone in confidence, call the BEAT Eating Disorders helpline on 0808 801 0677. Helplines are open 365 days a year from 9am–8pm during the week, and 4pm–8pm on weekends and bank holidays. Alternatively, you can try the one-to-one webchat 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News