The Ozempic Craze Could Put These Companies on a Crash Diet

Treatments for longevity would also affect the various businesses that produce drugs & devices to help people with the problems of aging.

People on drugs like Wegovy are less likely to crave Krispy Kremes. And if they stay on the drug for years (unlikely at this stage due to restrictions on most insurance plans), their weight loss could help prevent all sorts of complications, like Type 2 diabetes. That could in turn mean fewer sales of things like insulin pumps and sleep apnea machines. And people who slim down could hit the cancel button on their dieting apps.


All this is very hypothetical for now: Paying for the treatment of 100 million obese Americans would literally make Medicare insolvent at the drugs’ current prices. Eventually, though, as data shows longer-term benefits that extend beyond weight loss, insurance coverage will expand.

These GLP drugs appear to work well at a significant price, and until we can overhaul the typical horrible American diet, it’s the best we have. My concern is that even with a 15 kg weight loss from Ozempic, that still leaves many people obese and unhealthy.

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I suspect people on Wegovy are going to keep eating donuts because the drug cancels out the negative effects of eating donuts. Or at least, the obvious negative effect, getting fat. I don’t know if those drugs keep you in good metabolic health - will you be a skinny diabetic if you eat poorly on Wegovy?

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People on GLP1 receptor agonists report reduced “food noise” in their heads and cravings. I don’t know that it’s been studied, but I would expect that even without the dietary counseling they get in the trials, people on these drugs will eat more healthily. At minimum, they will eat less garbage as a function of eating less food.

You say 15 kg of weight loss is common on Ozempic (low-dose semaglutide), but people on high-dose sema (Wegovy) lose 15 percent of their weight, and newer drugs in the class are even better. On retatrutide (a triple-hormone receptor agonist for GLP-1, GIP, and glucagon), people lost 24 percent of their body weight at week 48, with the trends pointing to more pounds to be shed: