In this limited series, we speak with experts to understand the new frontier of anti-obesity drugs, as well as concerns and questions that still remain.
With the emergence of semaglutide and other highly effective anti-obesity drugs, interest from researchers, clinicians, and patients has exploded. Celebrities have openly discussed using these medications for cosmetic purposes, and although that is not their indication it has led to many questions from patients. Even organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics have released guidelines suggesting that these medications may be efficacious for children with obesity.
On the other hand, some experts have raised concerns about the impacts of such medications on body image and disordered eating trends, particularly among adolescents.
In this 3-episode limited series, we'll speak with several experts to try and answer some of these questions.
In this first episode, we spoke with physician Donna Ryan, MD, professor emeritus at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has served as panel co-chair to revise the NIH-supported evidence-based Guidelines on the Evaluation and Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, is past president of The Obesity Society, and is a past editor in chief of the journal Obesity. With all of her expertise, Ryan said she sees a lot of promise in these new drugs, although she cautioned that clinicians must balance the risks of obesity with patients' desire to feel seen and accepted as they are.