In the last decade or so, the body positive movement has been slowly deprogramming our pop culture brains from believing that thinner is innately better. We are finally seeing diverse bodies on runways, televisions and magazine covers. But is the massive rise of weight loss drugs such as the current ‘trendy’ Ozempic weight loss drug about to change all that?
One of the most spoken about subjects of recent months on social media. “Patients consider it a wonder drug,” New York dermatological surgeon Paul Jarrod Frank MD told vogue. Tik Tok videos taking over our feeds bout the weight loss benefits and a number of celebrities on the red carpet being rumored to have turned to it for a slim figure has sparked conversation of whether this drug is harmful or not, and the ramifications that come with using it.
This is not the first time that drugs have promised to make people thin. In fact, diet pills have a pretty long and bleak history involving experiments on kids, heart problems, and even death. So are we doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, or is this new class of drugs deemed to be the answer?
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic is a class of injectable drugs that initially was developed to treat type 2 diabetes. It’s active ingredient is semaglutide which works by mimicking the effects of a hormone called GLP-1 which regulates appetite and digestion. By acting GLP-1 receptors in the body, these drugs make people feel full and satisfied after eating. However, the ability for this medication to help users shed pounds rapidly has piqued the interest of those behind just the patients it was initially intended to treat. Essentially, what has been discovered overtime is that it is really good for weight loss to.
The history of diet pills
It is normal to think of obesity as a modern public health problem – but in the early 20th century, they started to see it as an issue that could be medically solved. Interestingly children were the first focus
Each decade seems to have a weight loss drug craze, for a new drug. For example, the popular diet drug of the 1980s and 90s was fenphen, which contained appetite suppressants fenfluramine and phentermine. During the height of its craze,
In the early 20th century, amphetamines gained popularity as appetite suppressants, but their addictive nature and adverse effects limited their long-term use. Over the years, pharmaceutical advancements led to the development of various weight loss medications, each claiming to offer a breakthrough solution. Ozempic, while not a traditional diet pill, is a medication that has gained attention for its potential role in weight management and its emergence highlights the ongoing efforts to find innovative solutions for weight management within the realm of pharmaceuticals.
There is no data that is available on the drugs long term impacts. However the main issue with Ozempic and its mass promotion from the media and pharmacies is feeding into a harmful diet culture. Although some people may benefit from taking Ozempic for weight loss, using this drug solely as a tool to lose weight is the real issue. It contributes to the anti-fatness and body weight bias, and can lead to mental health problems and eating disorders such as binge eating disorders, anorexia nervosa, or bulimia nervosa. Some people with eating disorders or patterns of disordered eating are at risk of misusing it since it can reduce appetite and caloric intake. So the drug can be risky, especially for those who may already restrict their food intake. It could increase the likelihood of undernutrition and its many dangerous consequences such as reduced muscle functioning, electrolyte disturbances, reduced kidney functioning, colon malfunction and depression and anxiety.
These drugs can play a huge role in perpetuating diet culture because they promote the idea that weight loss will automatically improve one’s health. This further contributes to the harmful beliefs that underpins diet culture.The dual benefit of blood sugar control and weight reduction underscores the evolving landscape of pharmaceutical interventions for weight management. As science progresses, researchers continue to explore innovative approaches to address the complex challenges of obesity and its related health issues.