The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug that it says works by activating a receptor in the brain that helps people feel full, CNN reports. It sounds a little like a miracle pill, but don't get too excited about using it instead of making lifestyle changes for last-minute swimsuit-season readiness.
Belviq, also known as lorcaserin hydrochloride, is designed for adults who have medical conditions because of their weight and is meant to be combined with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise — and its results for weight loss, while significant for health, are described by one expert as "quite modest."
Specifically, the FDA says, it is approved for overweight or obese adults who have one or more medical conditions due to their weight, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol …
In trials, 47% of patients without type 2 diabetes lost at least 5% of their body weight. By comparison, 23% of patients treated with placebo lost at least 5% of their weight. In people with type 2 diabetes, 38% of patients on Belviq lost at least 5% of their body weight compared to 16% on placebo, according to the FDA.
"The results overall are quite modest," said Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist and CNN's diet and fitness expert. "But most experts agree that even a 5% weight loss has significant implications in terms of reducing the risk of obesity associated diseases including heart disease and diabetes."
Read more at CNN.