Pakistan Lacks Weight Loss Medicine Despite Increasing Obesity

In Pakistan, where a quarter of the population is obese, most modern weight-loss medications are not available. This leaves patients to rely on unproven treatments and remedies.

Healthcare professionals stress that while lifestyle changes such as a low-calorie diet and regular exercise are the most effective ways to lose weight, medication is necessary in cases where the BMI exceeds 27.5. However, the country lacks access to many modern drugs, including GLP-1 analogs specifically designed for weight loss.

Dr. Nadeem Naeem, a leading endocrinologist, stated that in Pakistan where 8 out of 10 overweight individuals have a BMI above 27.5 weight-loss medications are essential.

However, most modern weight-loss drugs are not available in the country. These drugs were initially developed to treat Type-2 diabetes but became popular among overweight individuals due to their effectiveness in promoting weight loss. This led to a global shortage as supplies were redirected to countries where demand and prices were high.

Renowned diabetologist Prof Zaman Shaikh recommends adopting a balanced diet and engaging in daily exercise. He suggests following a low-calorie diet, avoiding junk food, increasing the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, and making exercise a regular part of one’s routine.

This approach not only aids in weight loss but also helps manage diabetes and blood pressure, and reduces the risk of heart attacks.

Prof Shaikh emphasized that losing 15 to 20 percent of body weight can reverse diabetes. In the absence of modern weight-loss medications, diet control, and exercise are the best options.

However, some diabetologists argue that there are lesser-known but FDA-approved drugs available in the market that can effectively aid in weight control and the prevention of various non-communicable diseases (NCDs) when combined with lifestyle modifications.

Source: Pro Pakistani