This is the official Perth blog site for posts, comments, and other contributions about leadership, behavioral finance and economics, and about management generally, as well as other related topics that take our fancy.
Font size: +

Will Obesity Drugs Make Us Even Less Healthy?

The deluge of new anti-obesity drugs will massively reduce obesity. Will that mean those who take the drugs will be able to eat what they like? How will that affect public health?

More is Merrier

Yep, so obesity drugs are now the in thing. And its great news it seems. They work very quickly and in the vast majority of cases don’t have bad side effects.

Even better news. There are more drugs being launched or in the pipeline. These newbies are much more effective than even the ones we have now, even though they are only just being released.

The newer ones are targeting different receptors so it’s giving us new ways to solve obesity. We are now within sight of drug cocktails that address the causes of obesity in many different ways. So, we can expect these drugs to be even more effective for an even wider variety of conditions and people.

And better news, if you can’t believe what we already face. There’s so many drugs coming out that we can expect prices to start falling, probably very steeply. The new drugs are going to compete so strongly that prices will be forced down.

The widespread response to the good tidings about the drugs has so far been that, yes, it’s good news, but they are out of reach financially for most people. I think that one is going to bite the dust in the next couple of years.

One of the results is that we going to be able to use the drugs not just to cure obesity, but also to prevent it. That will impact rates of diabetes and associated metabolic conditions in the future. We’re going to be able to give kids, even pre-teens, drugs to prevent them having obesity and diabetes. So, the revolution is going to include everyone, maybe even babies.

The Food Lover’s Elixir

Of course, there’s got to be a catch, and here it is. Once we all have access to these wonder drugs that keep us thin and svelte, what will happen to our eating habits and to exercise? How many people will stick with healthy diets if they don’t need to? If you can have your cake and eat it, as they say, won’t you just eat it?

Aren’t people who get slimmer on a pill going to cheat just a little, maybe? And if just a little, why not a bit more?

Diets are hard to stick to in the best of times. But if you can keep your sexy body and still eat and drink like there’s no tomorrow, how many people are going to forgo their little or big culinary treats? Not so many I would guess.

And it’s not just the volume of food we eat that’s a problem, it’s also the kind. That includes ultra-processed goods, and foods with iffy ingredients such aa aspartame. What about that 50% of tap-water that includes the so-called forever chemicals?

And the same goes for exercise. How many people who exercise do it for their general health and longevity and how many do it for reasons of attractiveness, especially sexual attractiveness when they’re young and in that time of life where these things are all-important?

That’s not to say that many people won’t still stick to their exercise and diets when they are on the anti-obesity drugs, but certainly not so many, and, maybe, not even most.

Will the Wonder Drugs Change Bad Behavior?

It seems to me that in the move to these new wonder drugs, we’re going to have to think about behavioral effects – not that we didn’t know already that these were major factors anyway. But those who dispense the drugs are going to have to think about what behavioral advice they need to give at the same time as they prescribe the drug.

It may be that in solving one massive source of ill-health we have just unveiled another. And this one might be even harder to beat.






Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Barbie: A Space Odyssey
Will There be a Singularity for Animals Too?

List of all Perth posts