Science & Tech

Weight loss drug approved for obese children as young as 12

New study finds eating dinner at night increases risk of obesity

A new weight loss drug has been made legal in the US and can be prescribed to children as young as 12.

The new treatment, Wegovy, encourages weight loss in obese people, according to pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk.

It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will be made available to adolescents with a BMI in the top five percent for their age.

Wegovy is administered in a weekly injection and is designed to impersonate the hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

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It’s been designed to encourage physical activity and a reduced calorie intake. It does that by giving the impression of suppressing hunger.

The new drug can be prescribed to children in the USiStock

“The prevalence of teen obesity in the US continues to rise, affecting teens and their families. Now, more than ever, we need new options to support teens,” Aaron S Kelly, PhD, Co-Director of the Center for Pediatric Obesity Medicine at the University of Minnesota, said.

“This FDA approval offers an additional tool to address this serious, chronic, progressive disease.”

While the drug had been passed by the FDA in 2021, it can now be prescribed by doctors to children younger than 18.

The development comes after a trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine discovered that adolescents using the drug averaged a 16.1 per cent loss in BMI compared to 0.6 per cent when taking the placebo.

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