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Obesity Drugs – Are They the Answer?

By Peg Doyle March 20, 2024 Health and Fitness

It would be nearly impossible to find even one woman in our Sixty and Me community who hasn’t at some point disliked her body or called herself fat. This criticism and self-loathing is the direct result of a continuous deluge of impossible images of perfection put forth by the fashion and dieting industries. It has been a part of our history, going as far back as 400BC in Ancient Egypt. 

With access to many forms of media, including audio and video broadcast, print, and a multitude of social media platforms, it’s hard to escape messages about weight loss and dieting. Despite all this, there are more overweight women in the world than ever before. 

Why Is This Happening?

I don’t think women are soft, or too lazy to do the work of staying well. After all, how many of us constantly manage our own lives and that of the previous and next generations while also serving our neighbors and community? Women are powerful and productive. But we are given the wrong messages when it comes to our bodies. The focus is entirely on weight, when it should be on self-care, genuinely healthy foods and making the concept of home cooking both possible and attractive

How many commercial diets can you name? Atkins, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Gluten Free, Keto, Paleo and Zone are just a few. Studies show 85% of diets fail, and ultimately cause women to weigh more after they diet than before. Are you getting the picture? With few exceptions, diets do not work.

Diets Don’t Work, So Now What?

So now we have a new magic bullet that is spreading like wildfire. You guessed it, the obesity drugs. There are several on the market and all have moved the economic needle for the companies and countries in which they are manufactured. But will they help women?

Studies show obesity drugs need to be taken long-term, otherwise you regain the weight you lost. They hold the food you eat longer in your stomach, making you feel full faster. This may seem like a good idea, but common side effects include nausea and vomiting. The process of peristalsis, of moving food and liquid through your digestive system, is interrupted.

Possible side effects include pancreatitis, changes in vision, low blood sugar, and kidney and gallbladder problems. Recent findings show a surge in blood sugar when coming off the drugs. These are potentially serious side effects. Once on the drug, if the choices are to remain on them indefinitely or to get off them and regain the weight you lost, what is the point?

Overlooking the Real Issue

As a health coach for women over 50, it saddens me that many women will put themselves through this experience. If you listen carefully to the messaging, it is singularly focused on weight. There is no mention of food or nutrition, which should be the real goal. Women who struggle with weight and obesity are actually struggling with malnutrition.

They are eating foods with few if any nutrients, triggering appetite as the brain recognizes that lack of nutrients and calls for more food. Women who are overweight need help that leads to a lasting solution, not a drug that may further complicate their suffering.

There Is a Magic Pill

In short, there is a ‘magic pill’. It is real food. It is the gradual elimination of highly processed foods that come in packages, replacing them with simple whole food like wild seafood, meat without added hormones or antibiotics, fruits, vegetables, grains and seeds and copious amounts of water.

These are the basics, and when they are a regular part of your daily menu, hunger will subside, energy will increase, and your mind will be clearer. And with the absence of highly processed low nutrient foods, your body will slowly begin to heal and lose excess weight.

Isn’t that what we all want? So while the pharmaceutical companies are flooding the market with ads for their pills, I ask you to consider what is best for you, while also remembering to honor our unique physique. Not everyone is designed to be a size 6; it would be a very boring world if that was the case.

If you’re a little rusty with your cooking skills or feel you don’t have time to cook, I have written a book of nutritional recipes you can try. They are all fairly simple and designed for quick preparation.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Has weight always been an issue for you? Are you food and nutrient focused or diet focused? Have you considered one of those diet pills that are popping on the market? Do you know anyone who has tried them? Please share your thoughts.

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Catherine Vance

I did something similar many years ago because it sounded so medically correct. It was through something called the OTC (“Obesity Treatment Clinic”) and involved protein drinks and weekly blood draws. I lost 30 pounds which I regained. The whole time, I felt like I wanted to eat the furniture. Honestly, NOW is the time many of us have the TIME and ability to FOCUS on “me first” instead of kids and careers. I’ve carried my extra weight many years now (after a slim couple of decades in my 20s and 30s). But now I cannot complain, “Who has time???” Diabetes can sneak up on you. For 20 years, my doctors have said, “Your numbers are fine,” despite the extra pounds. Suddenly—it’s diabetes!
My doctor is wonderful and working with me NOT to take diabetes meds but to use supplements and eat nutritiously and exercise reasonably. My bad numbers are slowly and gradually turning into good numbers. NO, I WOULD NEVER CONSIDER ONE OF THE DRUGS BECAUSE I believe in (a) accountability; and (b) self-discipline (which I admit to being not so good at). I am not a slim person fat-shaming. I am a fat person saying, “Are you sure you have done all possible to get to healthy cholesterol, blood sugar and trigliceride numbers? Notice I did not include pounds in my important numbers. I told my doctor, “No, I’m not going to dance around in a yellow dress singing how I have diabetes but I manage it well,” by taking a pill. And now he JOKINGLY makes little threats, “Don’t make me put you on Ozempic! Keep up the good work.” I am not judging those who turn to the pills, just ASKING: Are you sure you need to throw a pill at the problem? I’m just askin.’


Peg, thanks for an interesting article. I feel, however, that weight struggles are profoundly painful and more complicated. Eating healthy foods may be part of the answer, but some of us can’t seem to control portion sizes.

Peg Doyle

Vicki I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m simply saying a good place to start is by modifying the food choices you make. Processed foods have triggers in them that makes us eat beyond a portion size. Take potato chips for example. there are multiple layers of how and why weight becomes an issue; starting with food that doesn’t trigger hunger and cravings is a good place to start. When the physical causes of cravings and overeating are quieted down you can then look at other behaviors you might want to change, like night eating, stress eating, food temptations around the house etc. being kind to yourself and not blaming yourself by saying “I was bad” goes a long way too


Buyer Beware! I used Wegovy for several months. Is it a magic potion? Absolutely not! I’m now off of the med due to side effects and cost since Medicare doesn’t cover it. I’m now dealing with gastro issues left over from the drug and back on Weight Watchers. I don’t regret taking Wegovy because it helped my back condition but it didn’t solve the reasons I gained the weight in the first place. It still comes back to doing the work,


Some very good points here! I do need to say however that for many of us, a gluten free diet is a medical necessity, not a commercial diet

Peg Doyle

I completely agree with you Jen, that for some gluten free diet is a medical necessity.


This article is perfect timing for me. My husband is a diabetic and they put him on one of these drugs. It’s a shot, once a day. It is to bring his blood sugar down to acceptable levels while decreasing his insulin. It’s working so well on his diabetes that he’s actually having issues with low blood sugar now, without insulin. He’s lost 20 pounds in less than 2 months. It scares me though. All drugs come with side effects and lasting issues. I wish he had just eaten correctly for years to avoid this.

The Author

Peg Doyle is a healthy eating and lifelong wellness expert, recording artist, motivational speaker and author. She is passionate about the impact of quality food and a balanced lifestyle on women’s health. Her mission is to make healthy eating easy and appealing, using nourishment as a powerful tool for preventing the so-called diseases of aging. You can visit her website here

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