When talk show host Andy Cohen complained that some celebrities were dropping extreme amounts of weight, he unveiled Hollywood’s worst-kept secret.
“Everyone is suddenly showing up 25 pounds lighter,” he tweeted.
“What happens when they stop taking #Ozempic?????”
He was referring to semaglutide, which is sold under the trade name Ozempic, a drug developed to treat type-2 diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and regulating insulin.
Taken in the form of weekly injections, it has been hailed as a game changer for American diabetics because of its effectiveness and ability to improve a patient’s quality of life.
However, more recently, it has become known for its side effect: weight loss.
One study, funded by the manufacturer, found the drug helps suppress hunger and prompts the stomach to empty more slowly.
In the past year, the injectable drug has become increasingly popular with celebrities, tech moguls and TikTok influencers as a quick and effortless way to lose weight.
Twitter owner Elon Musk told fans that he credits his “fit, ripped and healthy” appearance to a combination of fasting and injections of the drug.
Hollywood trade publication Variety claimed that celebrities are forking out $2,200 every month for an off-label prescription of the drug to transform their bodies.
However, as TikTok influencers hail the “skinny pen” as a quick weight-loss fix, diabetic patients who need the drug to manage their condition — and those who have been advised to lose weight for their health — are left in a desperate situation.
If you or anyone you know needs help with an eating disorder:
There is now a severe shortage of semaglutide in many countries around the world.
Australians who rely on it have been told they may have to go without until at least March.
Hollywood’s obsession with weight loss and the rise of this drug
The rush on semaglutide and its popularity on TikTok has coincided with what style writers claim is a global resurgence of the “skinny trend”.
With Y2K-inspired low-rise jeans back in fashion and the hashtag #SkinnyLegend doing the rounds on TikTok, health experts feared a surge in toxic diet culture was imminent.
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