Ozempic and Wegovy do help people lose weight

Saturday, April 1st, 2023

The popularity of GLP-1 receptor agonists, like Ozempic and Wegovy, has skyrocketed, because they do help people lose weight:

Though a certain amount of lean loss is inevitable with significant weight reduction (usually about 25% of total weight loss), the goal is to increase the body’s overall proportion of lean mass – in other words, to improve body composition.


However, from the information we can scrape together based on sub-cohort data, these “miracle drugs” start to look a bit less miraculous. In 2021’s STEP 1 trial — the first trial demonstrating the efficacy of semaglutide as a treatment for adult obesity — a subset of 140 patients underwent DEXA scans for body composition analysis. Among these patients, lean mass accounted for approximately 39% of total weight loss — substantially higher than ideal. In a substudy of 178 patients from the SUSTAIN 8 trial on semaglutide as a diabetes treatment, the average proportion of lean mass loss was nearly identical at 40%, despite lower doses and less total weight loss than in the STEP 1 trial.

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