An important point for any debate about treatments for obesity that’s often missed or downplayed in certain media takes is that obesity appears to be causally associated with a range of other extremely serious health issues, including an early death.

As one example, in a recent review, Pati et al found that 4-8% of all cancers could be attributed to obesity, even if we don’t precisely know why that is yet. Having obesity also makes for worse outcomes in general if you do get cancer.

That study ended with a call to collect more data on cancer outcomes regarding the less traditional forms of obesity treatments; surgical interventions and pharmacological. As it happens, earlier this year a new study on the former was published. Adams et al find that bariatric surgery patients ended up having a 25% lower risk of developing cancer later on than their peers, along with a 43% lower risk to die from cancer.

A new RCT study that looks at the outcomes of one of the GLP-1 anti-obesity drugs that have taken some quarters of the world by storm, Semaglutide, is going to be presented soon. In the mean time, a press release has revealed some of the top-level effects. People with overweight or obesity who were treated with Semaglutide had a 20% reduction in major adverse cardiovascular events, including heart attacks, stroke and cardiovascular-related deaths.

We’ll not know the full details until the full study is published but, assuming the full study is deemed legitimate and in general reflects the headline, it’s hard to argue with the CEO of the Obesity Action Coalition who is quoted by the ConscienHealth blog:

Semaglutide for obesity is a life-saving medicine for a serious chronic disease. It is now crystal clear that making excuses to deny people the care they need for obesity is unethical.

Treatments for obesity are not about personal vanity, body shaming or anything along those lines. Sure, they can be misrepresented or misused, but so can a wide range of other less “controversial” medical treatments. But at the end of they day they are potentially life saving interventions and should be treated as such.