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Here’s a sobering thought for the season of expanding waistlines: More than 70 percent of U.S. adults are obese or overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, increasing their risks of an array of illnesses, including cancer, osteoarthritis and heart disease.
But new drugs are proving remarkably effective in treating people with excess weight. Studies show that the medications, self-administered in weekly injections, result in loss of 15 to 22 percent of body weight on average — much more than older generations of diet pills and enough to significantly reduce cardiovascular and other risks.
Getting the drugs has been a challenge for some patients, however. Huge demand and production problems have led to supply shortages in some cases. In addition, the costs are high and the insurance coverage for treating weight-loss — as opposed to diabetes, the original use — is patchy. But the market is changing rapidly, so stay tuned.


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