They call it a game changer in the ongoing fight against rising obesity rates; something that can produce about 17 percent weight loss with a simple weekly vaccination.
It was announced this week that the drug Wegovy has been approved by the European Medicines Agency and given the green light for use in Ireland and across Europe.
The drug works by causing the body to produce a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1, which can help people with obesity regulate their appetite, and is only made available to people with weight-related complications who meet certain criteria .
For the millions of Irish people living with obesity, Wegovy’s approval is an encouraging milestone, but not a silver bullet. The drug is administered along with a multidisciplinary weight management program.
It’s not being given to the Regina Georges of the world, who is complaining about having to lose three pounds to reach her “goal weight.” This isn’t “the gym” in a syringe. Wegovy is for customers who want to improve their bodily functions and therefore their quality of life.
The advent of Wegovy, a legitimate clinical solution to obesity, reinforces the relatively recent realization that this is a complex medical problem, as legitimate a physical condition as diabetes, asthma or hypertension.
It addresses a long-held cultural notion of what causes the condition. Being overweight isn’t about being lazy, greedy, or eating your emotions. It has relatively little to do with lifestyle choices or willpower. It’s not just about eating less and moving more. Rather, professional help is often required.
Like depression, it’s a condition that requires a multifaceted approach – behavior changes, surgery, medication. Yet it is reported that of the 650 million people living with obesity worldwide, only two percent are treated with prescription drugs.
The original, basic science surrounding weight gain and weight loss remains much the same. Consuming more calories than you physically burn contributes to weight gain. In some cases, the causes of obesity can also be traced back to genetics and hormones.
According to a report in the British Medical JournalStudies on twins show that 40 to 70 percent of weight variability is inherited.
A growing number of healthcare professionals have discovered that a person’s weight is regulated by unconscious parts of the brain. It cannot be controlled, despite the very best efforts of many. Evolutionary scientists also note that humans evolved to resist weight loss and encourage weight gain.
Apparently, when we gain weight, our body sees this new “set point” as normal. Our brain encourages weight gain and increases the hormones that make us hungry and promote weight gain.
Dieting, mindful eating, and intuitive eating are certainly effective ways to regain control of the calorie intake versus calorie expenditure balance. But the “eat less” tactic is an overly simplistic and unsustainable approach to obesity when you know the full facts about the condition.
Yet the sense of stigma and blame needs to be removed from the idea of obesity. A drug like Wegovy doesn’t let obese people off the hook with one stab. It’s just one facet of a much longer, more complicated process.
And if it allows some users to take steps towards a more positive way of being in the world, surely that needs to be applauded?
Lia Thomas didn’t just change gender for swimming fame
The image of Lia Thomas holding her first NCAA swimming championship while her competitors stood together on a separate podium sparked a major discussion this week about trans women and inclusion in women’s athletic competition.
Commentators have noted that as a trans athlete, Thomas had a significant physical advantage over her competitors. While she surpassed second-place finisher by almost two seconds in that crucial race, Thomas had finished 554th in the men’s equivalent category prior to her switch.
Swimmer Sharron Davies wrote an article titled “Body Exercise, Not Feelings…No Rules Can Undo the Advantage of Male Puberty.” The ongoing debate appears to be based on the idea that simply because they “feel” like women, trans women are taking seats on podiums that belong to women. And so the debate between trans rights activists and so-called TERFS (Trans Exclusionary Radical Females) continues.
I’ll get up here. From what little I know about transition and trans identity, it can be a desperately unsafe and lonely place.
In the current social and cultural climate, it still takes a lot for a gender dysphoric person to acknowledge their true self and present that self to the world.
With that in mind, can we drop the narrative that Thomas woke up and decided to change gender just to win a few swim races? Because the reality is probably a lot more complicated than that.
We’ll keep watching hate and just like that…
That became known this week sex & the city spin off And just like that… was renewed by HBO for a second series, although it was panned by critics.
Sure, the drama seemed dead on arrival when it hit our screens late last year.
Still, we all watched it (even if it amounted to hate-watching) and all talked about it.
The producers don’t care if viewers think Miranda is too different from her original self or Carrie is annoying. Hate watch or not, let’s face it – we’ll probably watch it again.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/being-overweight-isnt-about-being-greedy-or-lazy-its-far-more-complicated-than-that-41480926.html Being overweight doesn’t mean being greedy or lazy. It’s a lot more complicated than that