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Plain English with Derek Thompson

America Isn’t Ready for the Weight-Loss-Drug Revolution That’s Coming

We have historically thought about weight as the mere outcome of our deliberate choices about diet and exercise. We have not typically thought about weight like a disease. But in the past 18 months, there’s been an extraordinary revolution in weight-loss medication that's putting in our hands a therapy that can help people easily shed weight without major side effects. You may have heard these drugs go by the name Wegovy or Ozempic.
What happens when you take a country obsessed with self-image and diet and tell them that the mystery of weight loss has now been reduced to a daily injection? You change a lot more than body mass index. You change society. Today’s guest is Susan Z. Yanovski. She is the co-director of the Office of Obesity Research and the program director of the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition at NIH. We talk about the stakes of anti-obesity medication, why diet and exercise doesn’t work for so many people, how these weight-loss drugs could help American health care, strain American insurance, and revolutionize America’s sense of willpower, responsibility, and diet.
Host: Derek Thompson
Guest: Susan Z. Yanovski
Producer: Devon Manze
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Plain English with Derek Thompson
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