Calorie consumption may increase after patients stop taking GLP-1s: Survey

New research points to a challenge patients may face once they stop taking a GLP-1 medication: The number of calories they consume may rise. 

In December, more than 600 U.S. consumers were polled as part of a survey conducted by Deutsche Bank. Seventy percent of the participants were taking a GLP-1 drug when surveyed while the rest had stopped taking the medication, according to the findings cited by CNBC in a Jan. 8 report. The survey was conducted as part of the investment bank's larger research on potential long-term implications weight-loss medications may have on the food and beverage industry. 

Among those still on a GLP-1, more than 50% said they ate less. When looking at those who have stopped taking the medications, a net 30% stated they were now eating more than they were prior to being on the medication. 

In a statement to CNBC, Novo Nordisk, the maker of Wegovy and Ozempic, said data from its clinical trials on Wegovy, which is approved to treat obesity, showed that "not unexpectedly, patients experience weight regain once they stop taking the medication." 

"This supports the belief that obesity is a chronic disease that requires long-term management, much like high blood pressure or high cholesterol, for which most patients remain on therapy long term in order to continue to experience the benefits of their medication." 

A spokesperson for Eli Lilly, which makes Zepbound, shared a similar comment: 

"We know that for some people living with obesity, diet, exercise and/or behavioral counseling often fail over the long term, and they need more to achieve their weight goals." 

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