W. Timothy Garvey, MD

New research presented by University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers shows that a 2.4mg dose of the obesity drug semaglutide can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, or T2D, by 60 percent.

“Semaglutide appears to be the most effective medication to date for treating obesity and is beginning to close the gap with the amount of weight loss following bariatric surgery,” said W. Timothy Garvey, M.D., Butterworth Professor of Medicine in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and lead researcher. “Its approval was based on clinical trial results showing that it reduces weight by over 15 percent on average, when used with a healthy lifestyle program.”

Garvey, who presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Sweden, added that this amount of weight loss is sufficient to treat or prevent a broad array of obesity complications that impair health and quality of life and is a game-changer in obesity medicine.

According to 2018 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, just under half of adults in the United States tried to lose weight in the prior 12 months. Nevertheless, according to CDC data, the obesity rate that year rose to a record 42.4 percent.

UAB’s research teams have been critical to the clinical development of semaglutide, Garvey says.

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