Why drugs won’t win the war against obesity

Get a load of this headline: “Prescribe More Obesity Meds, Say Docs, as New Agents on Horizon.” 

Sure, let’s prescribe a pill for a lifestyle disease! 

To be fair, I realize that not everyone who is obese ended up that way on their own—but the point remains that obesity can be reversed through lifestyle intervention. So that fact that Big Pharma is, once again, pushing more pills? Well, it’s an unsurprising tragedy.  

Because if we don’t stop this vicious cycle, soon enough, there will be no lean people anywhere. 

Here’s why these doctors have it all wrong… 

A developing science  

The article revolves around the developing science behind the physiological origins of obesity. Because as researchers learn exactly how it happens, it opens doors to developing drugs that—theoretically, at least—could stop it.  

Of course, it is important to stop obesity. After all, it leads to various conditions, like diabetes, liver disease, sleep apnea, cancer, heart disease, and more. All of which can both crush the quality of your life and your overall longevity.  

That’s why researchers are investigating drugs that affect all areas of the body—the central nervous system, the gastrointestinal system, the kidneys, the liver, the muscles, and even fat itself. They’re also exploring obesity “vaccines,” gut microbiome modulators, and gene therapy. 

We currently have five approved drugs for weight control: phentermine/topiramate, orlistat (which is terrible), naltrexone/bupropion (which is also pretty awful), liraglutide (which I have never prescribed), semaglutide (which I have mentioned here before), and phendimetrazine (which I occasionally use).   

These meds produce an average weight loss between about three percent and ten percent of total body weight. Semaglutide is the exception, as it delivers losses more comparable to weight-loss surgery (around 25 percent of initial body weight). But that doesn’t come without side effects.  

Of course, this drug is among the newest options available. It belongs to a class of drugs called gut hormone analogs, which is currently under development. And given the results so far, researchers consider this class to be a particularly promising avenue for the future. (We’ll see.) 

Even so؅, it’s going to take a lot more than popping pills to get our collective waistline under control. And that’s where I take issue with this story. 

There’s only one permanent solution 

As if I haven’t said this enough, obesity is an epidemic without an end in sight. Crises like COVID-19 shall pass. But obesity seems to be here to stay. (Just look at how it’s been normalized!) 

But the real tragedy here is that it doesn’t even take much weight loss to stem the tide of disease. As I’ve mentioned here before, a loss of just seven to 10 percent of your initial body weight is enough to prevent type 2 diabetes. And dropping about 10 to 15 percent can help address cardiometabolic disease, sleep apnea, and liver disease. 

Frankly speaking, that’s not a lot. A 200-pound person would only need to drop 20 pounds to make a major difference to their health. And that isn’t complicated to do with small adjustments to diet alone—which comes without the side effects that these medications introduce.  

Take it from someone on the front line against the war on obesity—whoever succeeds in the mission to create a truly effective weight loss drug will be rich beyond their imagination. But will they actually solve the problem? Call me a skeptic, but… not a chance.  

Don’t get me wrong—I do prescribe weight loss drugs occasionally. They are quick fixes to get people going where they want to go… and in some cases, a much-needed push to get patients to begin changing their relationship with food. But that’s exactly why I describe them as a Band-Aid.   

Because permanent weight loss is not a job for drugs. (Drugs aren’t meant to be taken long-term, much less for a lifetime.) Only healthy eating habits can do that. And in my 30-plus years of experience? They work like a charm, every single time.    

So as I’m always telling you, start adopting a balanced diet full of fresh foods—like my A-List Diet. In fact, I tell you exactly why this healthy diet is the KEY to completely transforming your health in the upcoming January issue of Logical Health Alternatives. So if you haven’t already, click here to become a subscriber today… you won’t want to miss it! 


“Prescribe More Obesity Meds, Say Docs, as New Agents on Horizon.” Medscape Medical News, 10/27/2021. (medscape.com/viewarticle/961672)