The Weekly Vlog

Why You Should Care About Weight-Loss Drugs—Even if You Will Never Take Them

Jun 05, 2024

I get so many questions about weight loss drugs, and I want to talk to you about why you should care—even if you know that you will never take them.

First, there is the magnitude of their impact. Barclays did an investigative report on the financial impact of these drugs. They concluded that they will have as big an impact as the invention of the smartphone.

In ten or twenty years, we’re likely to see a significant portion of the population on these drugs. They will come down in cost and be available in pill form. They’re also likely to have mechanisms like anti-nausea compounds built in to mitigate side effects.

As these things happen, they may become more acceptable for many people. So I think these drugs are here to stay.

As far as safety goes, people have been on these drugs for diabetes for a while now, and there don’t seem to be any common problematic side effects. There are side effects, but they are uncommon and don’t outweigh the benefits of the drugs.

Another reason to watch these weight loss drugs closely is that research shows that changes in our orientation toward thinness have a huge impact on society, especially young women and girls. When Twiggy became a supermodel back in the 1960s, ultra-thinness became the unattainable norm, and in a very short period of time, body dissatisfaction skyrocketed.

But when you’re thin, you’re not always healthy, and that’s also the case with obesity. It may be true to say that there are people with obesity who are healthy, just as it’s true to say that there are three-pack-a-day smokers who don’t have lung cancer. However, the data on obesity that shows that it’s not healthy is as strong as data showing that smoking causes cancer.

But it’s equally important that we not slide into anti-fat bias. These drugs have the potential to make that worse, so we need to pay attention to their impact on our communities.

The final reason you should care is that we know these drugs slow down gastric processes…but they also affect the brain. GLP-1, the main receptor affected by these drugs, is found throughout the brain: in the reward centers, in the appetite centers, and elsewhere.

Without these drugs, the GLP-1 in your brain spikes when you eat and then goes down. With the drugs, GLP-1 is high all the time. This raises many questions. What will it do to the reward centers? Is it going to reset the reward system? We see some evidence of people being less interested in things like gambling or pornography when on these drugs. So perhaps these drugs will be seen as something that many people should be on.

I take hormones because I’m about to turn 50. It’s made such a difference to my quality of life. These GLP-1s aren’t that different. They may, in the same way, become normalized, so it’s not a big deal to be on them.

Because I’m so curious about these new drugs, I’ve created a new event: a recorded video series only available for a limited time. The first two of four parts are available today. The series is called “How to Get Weight Loss Drug Results…Without the Drugs.” I dive into the neurobiology of these drugs, and explain how you can get the same results by changing your diet and your habits.

Also, next weekend, I’m having a three-hour Fireside Chat with several guests, including a physician who understands both Bright Line Eating and these drugs. I’m also planning two social live events on YouTube.

All this is available for free, and clicking on the link below this video will take you to the event page.

So that’s the scoop: I think these drugs are here to stay, and you may want to have tools up your sleeve so that you understand their impact, and know if they’re right for you.

Note: Our special event is now over.

Click here to listen to this episode on Bright Line Living™ - The Official Bright Line Eating Podcast.

Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. is a New York Times bestselling author and an expert in the psychology and neuroscience of eating.  Susan is the Founder and CEO of Bright Line Eating®, a scientifically grounded program that teaches you a simple process for getting your brain on board so you can finally find freedom from food.

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