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No, not really

Researchers have hailed the findings as a potential step in improving the health of people living with obesity.

For the first time it is possible to achieve through drugs what was previously only possible through weight-loss surgery, they said.

The drug, semaglutide, works by taking over the body’s own appetite regulating system in the brain, leading to reduced hunger and calorie intake.

It’s the only through surgery bit that’s wrong. Because of course there are other ways of taking over the body’s own appetite regulating system. By will.

“I’m going to eat less” or “I’m going to eat differently” or even “I’ll change how much I eat, what, and do a bit more exercise” all work assuming that the individual does actually do those things. As someone who has lost more than 10% of body weight on that third option I do know this works.

That the drug makes it easier, sure. But it’s possible without it.

21 thoughts on “No, not really”

  1. The weasel phrase “people living with obesity” tells you all you need to know about this story. Obesity is something that just happens to you, comes out of nowhere, could happen to anyone, you’re just unlucky and you have to live with it — presumably while writing sob stories for the Gruaniad about how terrible it is and how unfairly people treat you — rather than something that you caused and that you can do something about.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    As I replied to a fellow golfer when asked how I’d lost so much weight (about 12%): Ate less, moved more. He didn’t like that answer, like a lot of people he wanted a simple solution that didn’t require will power.

    In my case it was just cutting out snacks and treats which for a number of reasons had increased gradually over time as we already had a healthy meals regime.

  3. When I lived a six-mile cycle ride from the shops, I got down to slightly under 13st. Once I moved, and employers refused to employ me for anything that didn’t require a car, I shot back up to 16st+.

    If I could get a half a dozen PCs on the back of my bicycle and cycle from Sheffield to Bassetlaw, I would.

  4. I’ve managed to lose about 6% so far, but when brass monkeys are asking whether anybody’s seen their gonads it can be a bit chilly not eating so much. It’ll be easier when it warms up.

  5. On Monday I had a bite of cheese, a cracker and tomato soup, a fried egg for supper. Yesterday I wanted to test Fray Bentos, never had them before. Horrible. For supper a tin of tuna and homemade tartar sauce. I slightly starve myself on Mondays to Thursdays, never eat after 6pm or before noon. Fridays and Saturdays I eat normally sans cream sauces and gratin dauphinoises etc. On Sundays I slightly start to prepare myself for Monday. I am losing about 300g-800g a week, would be more if I cut beer but that is non-negotiable. During the week I feel light and energetic. Saves some money too.

  6. I worked in London for a few years. I was miserable, drank too much, did no exercise and wallowed around at 15 1/2 stone.

    Back now down in Southampton I’m happy, don’t drink much, exercise a lot and am a tad over 12 stone.

    No drugs or surgery involved.

  7. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    Well, the drug thing is also incorrect. Fen-phen and gliflozins come to mind. Admittedly the first is banned and you shouldn’t take the second primarily for weight loss, but people do.

  8. So Much For Subtlety

    Bloke in China (Germany province) February 11, 2021 at 9:21 am – “Well, the drug thing is also incorrect. Fen-phen and gliflozins come to mind. Admittedly the first is banned”

    The authors claim is, of course, not true. And Fen-phen shows why this is insane. Two drugs that passed all the relevant safety checks. But it turns out that fatties taking them together had a tiny increased chance of damage to the heart valves. That is not to say the drug caused the heart problems. Fatties tend to have heart trouble. But the Mayo clinic found two dozen cases which they linked to the combination drugs – when 18 million prescriptions were filled in 1996 alone.

    The drugs was pulled, the company sued and now it no longer exists.

    Anyone who makes drugs for Americans who are not literally dying is insane.

  9. Bloke in North Dorset

    I worked in London for a few years. I was miserable, drank too much, did no exercise and wallowed around at 15 1/2 stone.

    That’s how I piled on the weight; working in London Monday to Friday, living in hotels, working long hours, eating badly late in the evening etc.

  10. As many on here have said it’s perfectly possible for the vast majority. In my case it was the shock of being diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes in my 60’s that pushed me from being an almost 17st lump to a much smaller 12st lump. It took 2 years, some exercise (5-6 miles brisk walking a day) but mainly a better diet. Diabetes never goes away completely or so my GP says but at least it’s now in remission.

  11. I can recommend the book “How not to Die” by Michael Greger and Gene Stone.

    Mainly about diet changes.

    Obviously the book title is tongue in cheek but as it says in the book “I know I’m going to die, I just don’t want it to be my fault when I do”

  12. @BiND – I was a week worker/weekend returner to home too. Rented a room during the week. Sudden job loss and a job in the east end of London was what first came up. “It’s only for a year or so” I told myself. 9 years. Unfortunate thing was it was a terrific job, just in the wrong place.

    Ah, the joys of the Friday night commute home and the Sunday night return to London. A12, M25, M3. After a few years I invested in a second car to keep in Southampton so I could travel by train. Very first Friday after that and looking forward to a hassle free trip home, some f*cker jumped on a railway line and there were no trains out of Waterloo for 2 hours.

  13. Amazing luck that all the obese people in this study didn’t have the ‘obesity gene’ which makes people fat, despite it being so common.

  14. Jussi–Fray Bentos do a reasonable steak and kidney pudding. Steak is mostly fat and it is a bit light on the kidney but the suet pastry is good.

    Of course its not the usual Finnish diet of Reindeer shite on Ryvita but still…

  15. I was only slightly overweight when I was diagnosed with type two diabetes aged 54. I took up doing triathlons which got my weight down and got me off all of the meds. Eight years on I have a slightly knackered knee which means that I can’t run any more and can only do fairly short bike rides. I would have just concentrated on the swimming but the gym has been closed for most of the year. So, I’ve put a little bit of weight back on and, with the government still acting like a bunch of Cnuts I’ve no idea when I’ll be able to swim again.

  16. A Keto diet (high fat, low carb) works good to lose the weight followed by increasing to a more pleasant diet for maintenance. Lotta meat w/ very few veggies & practically no fruits. Most all you want of beef, pork, chicken, bacon, eggs, cheese, butter, 2 or 3 Natural Light Beers – not bad for a while. Besides, it pizzes off the Climate Change Activisits.

  17. I can’t match John Lewis myself (although I’ve met a guy who did while he was running his first 10k accompanied by a friend of mine who had trained his group of beginners). My contribution to the “it’s not that hard” is losing 11% of bodyweight in a fortnight when I was 19, wholly by exercise without missing any meals (going back to college after my mother had overfed me during the Christmas break).

  18. Perhaps more than anything the Keto diet is effective because, almost coincidentally, it slashes the amount of seed oils (“vegetable oils”) in the diet as the amount of processed food is reduced. Throw that stuff out. Don’t even finish the bottle (canola or whatever.) It not only makes you fat, it makes you chronically sick.

    Just one discussion, but the evidence is overwhelming:

    I use organic ghee and tallow for cooking. That stuff is genuine health-food.

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