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In the past 9 years since being recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association in 2013, obesity medicine has undergone a complete 180-degree turnaround. Once a field where people with obesity or overweight were shamed and had to confront stigma among the community and when receiving care in healthcare settings.
In the last 2 years, the community has been the recipient of what many consider to be one of the greatest breakthroughs in public health of all time. The expansion of the GLP-1 receptor agonists into antiobesity medications and the development of tirzepatide have ushered in a new era in management, less than a decade after the AMA’s recognition as a disease.
In late October, a trio of new documents related to different aspects of obesity management were released by major national professional organizations, including the American Gastroenterological Association guidelines for pharmacology management of obesity, which were released on October 20. Although multiple organizations have updated guidance related to obesity management in recent years, the AGA obesity guidelines were unique because they included ranked endorsements of 4 therapies for weight loss as adjuncts to diet and exercise, denoting semaglutide 2.4 mg (Wegovy) as the first preferred option followed by phentermine-topiramate ER (Qsymia), liraglutide 3 mg (Saxenda), and naltrexone-bupropion ER (Contrave).
Just after the release of these guidelines, the Obesity Society hosted their annual Obesity Week conference and the Obesity Medicine Association hosted their annual meeting. With an interest in further exploring advances in obesity management, the potential of newer agents in addressing the growing obesity crisis in the US, and the general outlook of the field from a specialist in weight management, the hosts of Diabetes Dialogue, Diana Isaacs, PharmD, and Natalie Bellini, DNP, invited Lydia Alexander, MD, president-elect of the Obesity Medicine Association, to take part in a special edition episode of Diabetes Dialogue: Technology, Therapeutics, & Real-World Perspectives.