The Problematic Arrival of Anti-Obesity Drugs

Going through life in a fat body means you are less likely to get hired and paid less than non-fat people. The effects of weight discrimination – which can include poorer medical treatment, loneliness, psychological distress and increased stress – can actually shorten the lives of obese people.

Deciding whether to take the medication becomes “the devil’s decision,” Osborn says. “Claim that I have the right to be who I am right now — or trade that right for vastly more rights and privileges in the culture.” The fat-acceptance movement is instead pushing for fat people to have the are granted the same rights as everyone else, regardless of their size.

The Novo Nordisk campaign “It’s Bigger Than Me” featuring the face of actress Queen Latifah was particularly criticized. By doing so, the company is trying to align with the talking points of fat acceptance — removing weight stigma and bias, and shattering the misconception that obesity is simply a lack of voluntary control — while selling a drug that aims to make fat people smaller. “By saying that if you take away obesity you give them a chance to thrive, you’re not making them smaller, and you’re selling smallness to them as a gateway out of oppression,” says Marquisele Mercedes, a public health graduate student of Brown University.

Countering these concerns, however, is an obvious truth: anti-obesity drugs are effective in combating a complicated condition. While the basics of obesity remain elusive, a conflicting consensus among researchers has landed on one irrefutable fact: obesity is not a physical manifestation of a lack of willpower. Research has repeatedly proven that dieting doesn’t work to lose weight and keep it off. Obesity is a complex, intertwined mishmash of biological and environmental factors that scientists have yet to fully solve and that cannot be reduced to a simple matter of calorie intake and caloric intake. “This concept is wrong,” says Francesco Rubino, professor of metabolic surgery at King’s College London. “It’s not true that obesity is the result of having too much energy.”

Having effective drugs that can intervene where other interventions have failed will provide important health benefits for some. Obesity increases the risk of a number of debilitating and deadly conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and certain types of cancer. These drugs might even help solve the mystery of what causes weight gain, Rubino says. According to David Macklin, a doctor who has treated many patients with the drug, in addition to a reduced urge to eat, people who take semaglutide appear to have a reduced impulse to participate in dopamine-driven behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or shopping.

But these treatments are not intended for the general public. They are indicated for a specific patient group: people with a body mass index of 30 kg/m², the clinical definition of obesity, or people who have a BMI of 27 kg/m² or more (considered overweight). if they have another weight-related medical condition that threatens their health, such as B. high blood pressure. (It’s worth noting that BMI, the world’s most widely used diagnostic tool to determine obesity, has proven to be an erroneous and discriminatory health metric.)

https://www.wired.com/story/anti-obesity-drugs/ The Problematic Arrival of Anti-Obesity Drugs

Zack Zwiezen

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