Americans have been overeating — and eating the wrong kinds of food — for a long time. It is estimated that 40 percent of Americans are obese and another 32 percent of us are overweight — which means that three out of every four Americans maintain an unhealthy weight. American men today weigh 30 pounds more than they did 50 years ago and American women now weigh as much as that average American man of 50 years ago.
Americans currently rank in the top 10 among all countries for obesity in the world (those who rank higher than us for obesity mostly are small, developing nations) and we are the most overweight nation of every affluent country on earth.
Diabetes has become epidemic in the U.S. and the economic costs stemming from health issues related to our obese society runs in the billions of dollars, while bringing misery to hundreds of millions of our fellow citizens. During the recent pandemic, the biggest factor (aside from being over the age of 65) for developing a serious case of COVID-19 was being overweight.
However, it would appear that a miracle solution — in the form of drugs originally meant to treat diabetes that also have been shown to tamp down patients’ appetites — is on the horizon.
These drugs already are being prescribed “off-label” for use as weight-loss drugs and the results thus far have been dramatic. In addition, these drugs also show promise for other medical conditions, such as improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improving blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes, delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes, and decreasing the occurrence of repeat heart attacks and strokes in those who have type 2 diabetes.
Wall St. believes that these drugs will have a dramatic effect on our society. The two drug companies who make these drugs, Eli Lily (Mounjaro) and Novo Nordisk (Ozempic and Wegovy), have seen their stock prices surge, while those in the snack food industry — the makers of junk food such as Twinkies, Oreos, and Doritos — have seen their stock prices plummet in recent weeks.
There are still many questions about the efficacy and side effects of these new drugs if they are to be prescribed for weight loss, but the future holds hope that America may have found a “cure” for our obesity epidemic.