A Nod to the Health of our Nation, Mind and Body

This week’s announcement by the FDA on the approval of a new use for the injectable weight loss drug wegovy (semaglutide) to reduce cardiovascular risks is a tremendous nod to the health of our nation, mind and body.

This announcement comes as a result of research demonstrating a reduction in heart attacks and strokes in adults who have heart disease and are overweight or obese but do not have diabetes.

In fact, studies have shown significant cardiac benefits of this drug. In one study, participants on semaglutide had a reduction in cardiac risk factors including blood pressure, cholesterol and of course blood sugar. In another study, researchers showed an estimated reduction of up to 1.5 million cardiovascular events in the United States if eligible candidates were prescribed the drug. And in yet another study, individuals with heart failure on semaglutide had significant improvements in heart function and functional outcomes – like being able to walk longer distances resulting in, I’m gonna guess, a better quality of life.

The FDA’s acknowledgment opens the path for use of wegovy beyond weight loss. The public health implications of this new indication is tremendous for the physical health AND the mental health of the nation, in terms of combating the stigma of obesity.

Far before the advent of these drugs, individuals with obesity have been misappropriated as having a moral failing, as if developing a diagnosis of obesity is a character flaw.

The dual indications of wegovy highlights this truth. Case in point, individuals who have been prescribed semaglutide (Ozempic) for diabetes are not vilified (even if diabetes is closely associated with obesity) However individuals with obesity were accused by some as “stealing medication from diabetics,” in the press and media. If that is not fat shaming, I don’t know what it is.

Understanding that a drug that treats obesity results in cardiovascular risk reduction and reduction of cardiac mortality pushes the collective one step further to acknowledging that obesity is not a cosmetic disease, but a potentially life threatening one that deserves to be treated seriously with the full armamentarium of the tools at our disposal.

And that, my friends, is a huge win!

As a practicing physician I am also excited about the prospects of greater drug coverage and reimbursement by third party payers. This kind of labeling opens the door and the mandate that anti-obesity drugs can and should be made available to those who qualify not solely for weight loss but for the impact that weight loss has on health and longevity.

You can hear all my musings about this and other wegovy related news like, what, they’re gonna hand them out in gyms?!” this week on HealthBite.

Wishing you a happy and healthy week!



My mission is to educate, empower and inspire my patients to achieve health and wellness by drawing on best medical practices and a holistic mind-body approach while integrating my personal value system grounded in empathy, integrity and authenticity

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