Childhood obesity rates are still increasing in the U.S., impacting almost 1 in 5 kids and adolescents aged 2 to 19. To address this issue, experts advocate for early and thorough intervention. This has resulted in the use of weight loss medications for children. Drugs like Wegovy, Saxenda, orlistat, and Qsymia were among the first four approved drugs by the guidelines.
However, the news of another weight-reducing product which is targeted at children from the age of 6 entering the market, has met an early disapproval from LeBron James who has proven to be an advocate for children over the years.
Why is LeBron James angry at pharmaceutical companies?
LeBron James has given his 3 children the privileged childhood he never got and will always want children to be guided with care. LeBron recently shared a photo of a weight loss medication supposedly intended for children on his Instagram story. King James didn’t support the idea and used his stories to ask whoever was producing the drugs to halt their efforts. He emphasized that there are alternative ways to help kids shed pounds, such as exercise and a healthier diet.
LeBron James said on his Instagram story. “Please not the kids,” he continued saying “This ain’t the answer. How about providing much better food choices and being more active!”
According to USA Today, the companies responsible for Ozempic/Wegovy and Mounjaro, injectable drugs known for their impressive weight loss results, have revealed plans to promote these medicines to children aged 11 or 12. These highly effective weight loss treatments, which have made a significant impact on the industry, may become available for children as young as six. However, LeBron James does not share the sentiment that this drug should be given to children and warns the producers not to administer the drugs to children as he named some relevant alternatives.
What is the new weight loss drug for kids?
The pharmaceutical giants behind Ozempic and Mounjaro are now looking at a potential new market for weight loss injections: first graders, as per healthline. Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are conducting pediatric clinical trials for their new class of injectable GLP-1 medications. These medications are well-known for regulating insulin and reducing appetite in adults with diabetes while also serving as weight loss aids.
Eli Lilly has confirmed that they are testing Mounjaro on children as young as six years old who have obesity. This is a relatively small Phase 1 trial, involving 30 patients over 13 weeks. It’s an early-stage trial and much smaller than the ongoing Phase 3 trials of Mounjaro involving teenagers.
In adult studies, Mounjaro has led to significant weight loss, with non-diabetic adults losing around 27% of their body weight, and diabetic adults losing 15%. These results have astonished and pleased experts in obesity and endocrinology, as they are comparable to the effects of bariatric surgery.
It’s important to note that Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro are already quite expensive, costing around $1,000 a month without insurance. Although GLP-1 drugs are generally considered safe for most adults, there are rare and potentially dangerous side effects, including cases of stomach paralysis that may not be reversible. This is why celebrities like LeBron James are criticizing this innovation.