Science, Simplified

Once-Weekly Semaglutide in Adults with Overweight or Obesity

Obesity, a prevailing global health challenge, presents a multitude of risks, including insulin resistance, hypertension, and cardiovascular complications. As we delve into the depths of combating this chronic condition, we find promise in groundbreaking research on semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue.

Semaglutide's Journey

Semaglutide, approved for treating type 2 diabetes, has transcended its initial purpose. In a comprehensive 68-week trial, semaglutide demonstrated remarkable efficacy as an adjunct to lifestyle intervention for weight management in adults with overweight or obesity, with or without weight-related complications.

The Trial

Conducted across 16 countries, the trial enrolled adults who had experienced unsuccessful dietary attempts to lose weight. The results, unveiled in two parts, showcase the transformative impact of semaglutide on weight loss, body composition, and overall well-being.

Part 1: The Weight Loss Odyssey

Semaglutide emerged as a beacon of hope for weight management, with participants experiencing a substantial mean weight loss of 14.9% from baseline. This exceeded the placebo group by a significant 12.4 percentage points. The trial also highlighted the clinical significance of semaglutide, with 86% of participants achieving a weight loss of at least 5%, a widely recognized criterion for a meaningful response.

Part 2: Beyond Weight Loss - Body Composition and Safety

Intriguing insights from a DXA subpopulation revealed that semaglutide not only reduced total fat mass but also favored a proportionate increase in lean body mass relative to total body mass. Safety assessments demonstrated a consistent profile, with transient gastrointestinal events being the most common, affirming the overall well-tolerated nature of semaglutide.

Benefits Beyond the Scale

Semaglutide's impact extended beyond weight loss. Participants experienced improvements in various cardiometabolic risk factors, including waist circumference, blood pressure, glycated hemoglobin levels, and lipid levels. Notably, semaglutide also demonstrated positive effects on physical functioning, as assessed by SF-36 and IWQOL-Lite-CT, acknowledging the broader impact on health-related quality of life.

Comparative Insights

In comparing semaglutide to existing GLP-1 receptor agonists, the trial showcased the once-weekly 2.4-mg dose of semaglutide as a potent contender for weight management. Its placebo-corrected weight reductions surpassed those reported for daily liraglutide, offering a promising alternative for individuals seeking a convenient and effective treatment.

Safety Profile

While gastrointestinal events were more prevalent in the semaglutide group, they were generally mild-to-moderate, transient, and did not lead to permanent discontinuation. Importantly, the trial reported no new safety concerns, providing reassurance regarding the use of semaglutide in a diverse patient population.


The trial's findings underscore semaglutide's potential to revolutionize weight management, offering a beacon of hope for individuals grappling with obesity. As we navigate the landscape of health and wellness, semaglutide stands as a testament to medical progress, providing a viable and effective solution for those on the journey to lasting weight loss and improved overall health.

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