Science and Tech


Study: 45% of teens on semaglutide no longer considered obese

The FDA says semaglutide "mimics the GLP-1 hormone," which sends a signal to the brain that the person is full.
A person injects themself with semaglutide.
Posted at 2:41 PM, Jun 01, 2023

Semaglutide appears to be an effective tool in the fight against childhood obesity. 

The Food and Drug Administration says semaglutide "mimics the GLP-1 hormone," which sends a signal to the brain that the person is full. 

According to a study published in the medical journal Obesity, 44.9% of adolescents who received a weekly dose of semaglutide were no longer considered clinically obese. 

"These improvements were seen across the obesity spectrum, regardless of participants' sex and age," the study says. 

While 44.9% participants on the drug lost a significant amount of weight, only 12.1% taking a placebo saw similar results. 

The study, which was conducted over a 68-week period, also required both groups — those on the medication and those given the placebo — to receive nutrition and physical activity counseling. 

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The study's authors suggest that medical professionals should consider semaglutide treatment, especially for severely obese teens as they are less likely to respond to respond to just therapy focused on their lifestyles. 

Childhood obesity is a major concern in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 14 million children are considered obese. 

Obesity in children has been linked to Type 2 diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease.

In the U.S. semaglutide is approved for children 12 and older if they have a body mass index in the 95th percentile or higher for their age and sex.