Diabetes Drug: Can it Help People with Weight Loss?


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – After weeks of holiday celebrating, many of us made a resolution to eat better in the new year. Not always easy, right? And for people with obesity, lifestyle changes might not be enough. Now, a recently approved diabetes drug is showing promise – in another way – by helping people without diabetes take off a significant amount of weight.

It’s been called a national epidemic – 42 percent of American adults are obese. By 2030, experts predict the numbers will swell to 50 percent.

Yale School of Medicine endocrinologist, Dr. Ania Jastreboff, MD, PhD and colleagues are studying the impact of the diabetes drug tirzepatide, sold under the brand name Mounjaro.

(Read Full Interview)

In a trial called Surmount-1, researchers studied the once-weekly injectable in 2,500 adults without diabetes and found significant weight loss at 72 weeks.

Dr. Jastreboff explains, “The individuals who received the highest dose of the medication – 15 milligrams of tirzepeptide – 40 percent of them lost greater than, or equal to 25 percent of their total body weight.”

Think of it this way – that means a person who weighed 200lbs. slimmed down to 150lbs.

“These types of results we have not seen with any other phase three trial in individuals with obesity with any other agent. So, definitely very significant,” Dr. Jastreboff adds.

The FDA has granted tirzepatide fast-track designation to be reviewed for the treatment of obesity. This means they will review it sooner than usual for use in chronic weight management.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention




REPORT:       MB #5182

BACKGROUND: Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It’s a medical problem that increases the risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers. There are many reasons why some people have difficulty losing weight. Usually, obesity results from inherited, physiological and environmental factors, combined with diet, physical activity and exercise choices. Nineteen states have adult obesity rates over 35 percent, up from 16 states last year.  West Virginia, Kentucky, and Alabama have the highest rate of adult obesity at 40.6 percent, 40.3 percent, and 39.9 percent, respectively. The District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Colorado have the lowest adult obesity rates at 24.7 percent, 25 percent, and 25.1 percent respectively.

(Sources: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20375742


DIAGNOSING: Body mass index (BMI) is often used to diagnose obesity. To calculate BMI, multiply weight in pounds by 703, divide by height in inches and then divide again by height in inches. Or divide weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. However, BMI doesn’t directly measure body fat, so some people, such as muscular athletes, may have a BMI in the obesity category even though they don’t have excess body fat. Many doctors also measure a person’s waist circumference to help guide treatment decisions. Weight-related health problems are more common in men with a waist circumference over 40 inches (102 centimeters) and in women with a waist measurement over 35 inches (89 centimeters).

(Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20375742)

NEW TECHNOLOGY: There is no magic pill that will cure obesity, a condition that affects over 40% of adults in the United States. But there are new types of medicines that are potential game-changers. They are anti-obesity medications, and doctors say that part of what makes them unique is how they are prescribed: They are used to treat obesity as the chronic metabolic disease it is rather than perpetuating the misconception that obesity is a problem that can be overcome by willpower. One such medication that has been making headlines is called tirzepatide. According to a study published in June in The New England Journal of Medicine, use of the drug, a novel GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist, in the trial resulted in more than a 20% weight reduction in those with obesity—an average of 52 pounds per person.

(Source: https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/new-medications-treat-obesity)


Colleen Moriarty

(203) 376-4237


If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Dr. Ania Jastreboff, MD, PhD, Endocrinologist

Read the entire Q&A