On the Rebound, Continued

(Continued from our previous post, “On the Rebound“)

Patient Yolanda Hamilton lost 60 pounds on Wegovy, before a change in employment forced her to switch insurers. Suddenly her prescription cost nearly $1,400 unaffordable dollars per month. She soon gained back 20 pounds, with no end in sight. People reporter Vanessa Etienne wrote,

A study in the Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics found that a majority of people who take semaglutide gain most of the weight back within a year of stopping the medication.

One news source cavalierly dismissed this whole matter with a single sentence: “Anecdotally, many patients have had their weight rebound back soon after stopping.” But the writer compensates for it, sort of, by noting that “these are not medications to be used for vanity purposes,” meaning that its purpose is supposed to be to save lives.


Obesity expert Dr. Christopher McGowan told journalist Alyssa Northop about semaglutide, “[M]ost people will regain much of that weight if they discontinue using it.” Dr. Rekha Kumar, another weight-care expert, said, “[S]topping Ozempic completely will likely lead to regaining most of the weight lost within several months.”

The rebound effect is, basically, to be expected. Ania Jastreboff, M.D., Ph.D., and obesity expert at Yale University, explains why no one should be shocked by the body’s tendency to pile the weight back on again:

If you have a patient who has high blood pressure, they have hypertension, and you start them on an antihypertensive medication, and their blood pressure improves, what would happen if you stopped that medication? Well, their blood pressure would go back up — and we’re not surprised. It’s the same with anti-obesity medications.

What else is there?

All these things under discussion here are quite ugly. It’s like every cliché about being caught between a rock and a hard place, between the devil and the deep blue sea. Even with today’s inflation, $1,400 per month is an amount that makes a person sit up and take notice. So it’s that, or quit the drug and go through an embarrassing “withdrawal” that everyone can see, as the pounds relentlessly reclaim their old territory.

Many people live with debilitating physical conditions, but concerning obesity, the last word has not been said. It may not be inevitable. Disease or choice? For people who absolutely are imprisoned by genetics or unchangeable physical circumstances, all help should be extended. But it is also fairly obvious that an individual can do a lot to prevent obesity or to escape it before the chances get used up.

The most accessible escape route is childhood, before the body and mind are too set in their ways. Just as a window of time exists when languages can be easily absorbed, maybe there is a golden era in human life when we can truly be a product of our choices rather than our circumstances. And never need to face the threat of a “rebound effect” in our lives.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Ozempic Rebound Is Real,” People.com, 01/30/23
Source: “How promising are new drugs to treat obesity and who should — and shouldn’t — use them?,” CNN.com, 05/05/23
Source: “Ozempic For Weight Loss: Risks, Side Effects And More,” Forbes.com, 04/26/23
Image by Abdullah Bin Sahl/CC BY 2.0

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

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The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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