How to get the ‘Wegovy effect’ when you can’t get Wegovy

The clamour was inevitable: Wegovy’s arrival on private prescription in the UK this week is the golden ticket for those searching for a no-effort way to slim. Since the weight-loss jab circulated in Hollywood last year – and was credited for a raft of stars suddenly looking more svelte – demand has been insatiable; which may well happen here, now that a month’s worth of doses can be bought for £200-£300 (or about the same as a swish gym membership).

Semaglutide, originally designed as a diabetes drug called Ozempic, has been found in trials to trigger a 15 per cent loss in body weight over 68 weeks. Its effect soon became so notable that global shortages ensued, as patients urged their doctors to prescribe it “off-label” (where a drug is given for reasons outside of those it has been created for).

The launch here of Wegovy, explicitly branded as a weight-loss medication, coincides with its creators Novo Nordisk this week becoming the most valuable company in Europe. While its short-term credentials are compelling, those who stopped taking the appetite-inhibiting drug regained two-thirds of the weight they had lost within a year, per a study published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. Not that those results have dented its popularity, which “makes sense in today’s day and age of worshipping immediacy over hard-earned results”, says Sandy Macaskill, co-owner and master trainer at Barry’s UK. “The nation would be in a much better position if everyone was rushing to do some exercise” – rather than to take an effort-free shot.


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