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The Rising Trend of Weight-Loss Drugs Among US Youth: An Exclusive Report

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Medriva Correspondents
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The Rising Trend of Weight-Loss Drugs Among US Youth: An Exclusive Report

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The escalating prevalence of obesity among young people in the United States has led to a drastic shift in how this health issue is managed. Interestingly, one of the significant contributors to this trend has been the increased use of weight-loss drugs, particularly Wegovy, a product of Novo Nordisk. This exclusive report sheds light on the growing trend of weight-loss drug usage among US adolescents.

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A Growing Trend

In the first ten months of 2023, a total of 1,268 American children, aged between 12 to 17, with an obesity diagnosis, started their treatment journey with Wegovy. This marks a considerable surge compared to a mere 25 children in the previous year. This trend isn't isolated to a few states but is a nationwide phenomenon. Medicaid data from five different states shows a similar uptick in the use of Wegovy, with at least 464 children being prescribed the drug since January 2022.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Weighs In

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The influential American Academy of Pediatrics is on board with this new approach, recommending that weight loss drugs be offered to children with obesity starting at age 12. Despite this endorsement, the overall numbers remain small compared to the 14.7 million US children diagnosed with obesity.

Real-Life Success Stories

One of the factors contributing to this growing acceptance is the positive results people have experienced. For instance, Billy Small III lost about 90 pounds since starting on Wegovy in March 2023. Similarly, Demi Buckley, a 16-year-old girl who struggled with rapid weight gain and bullying, found Wegovy instrumental in her weight loss journey. She shares that the medication has helped her lose weight and control her food cravings.

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Extending the Age Bracket

Both Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, leading pharmaceutical companies, are testing their weight-loss drugs in children as young as six. The US isn't alone in this endeavor; similar approvals for youth have been given last year in Germany, the UK, Denmark, and the United Arab Emirates. However, amidst these advancements, there are concerns about the long-term use of these medications and the potential for weight regain once treatment is stopped.

Concerns and Side Effects

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While the positive results are encouraging, they don't eliminate the potential side effects and long-term risks associated with these drugs. Some families initially met the drug with reluctance due to these concerns. Moreover, there's a lack of evidence on how these medications might affect the development of growing children. Despite these concerns, many families, like Demi's and Billy's, have found the benefits to outweigh potential risks, at least in the short term.

Conclusion

As the use of weight-loss drugs among US youth continues to rise, it's essential for medical professionals, parents, and the children themselves to weigh the potential benefits against the possible risks. The growing trend of weight-loss drugs represents a new frontier in the battle against pediatric obesity, a frontier that requires careful navigation and responsible usage.

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