Diets are more effective in men, but drugs work better for women trying to lose weight, according to a study revealed today.
Researchers in Australia looked at the difference in pounds lost in overweight or obese men and women who were given appetite suppressant drugs.
According to the team at the University of Sydney, women lost about a fifth of their body weight, but men taking the same drugs lost only 13 percent.
Meanwhile, a review of about a dozen weight loss studies among people who adhered to a healthier diet and exercise regimen found that men almost always lost more weight than women.
The researchers said the mechanism behind their findings is unclear, but needs further study to give people personalized weight loss treatment.
Researchers in Australia looked at the difference in pounds lost in overweight or obese men and women who were given the same appetite-suppressing drugs. While women lost about one-fifth of their body weight, men taking the same drugs lost only 13 percent, according to the University of Sydney team.
People willing to pay more than 30% more for healthy food, study show
People prefer healthier products and are willing to pay more for them, according to a study.
Australian researchers reviewed 15 studies conducted over the past two decades into consumers’ willingness to pay for healthier food.
They showed that eight out of ten people are willing to pay more money for healthier food.
People said they would pay an average of 31 percent more for healthier versions of mainstream products.
Volunteers would also pay an average of 35 percent more for meals and snacks containing whole grain or extra fruits and vegetables, according to the results.
However, the results were mixed for products with a low salt, fat or sugar content, with fewer people willing to pay more for them.
The researchers, from Deakin University in Victoria, said this may be due to people underestimating the effect of salt, fat and sugar on their health.
They may also be concerned that these options won’t taste as good, the team suggested.
Lead author Dr Moosa Al Subhi said: ‘These findings could increase our understanding of consumer preferences for healthier products, and also provide retailers and food manufacturers with information on how to respond to customers’ increasing health and wellness concerns.’
The findings will be presented this week at the International Congress on Obesity in Melbourne.
The team noted that the effect of weight loss interventions — such as diets and medical treatment — are usually not reported separately for men and women.
This is despite physiological and biological differences between the sexes that can affect fat loss efforts.
To find out whether gender affects the success of weight loss attempts, the team looked at data from three studies involving a total of 16,428 people.
The first included 1,961 overweight people who had at least one health condition due to their size.
The volunteers were given either 2.4 mg injections of semaglutide — which hijacks the body’s appetite-regulating system to reduce hunger cravings and calorie intake — or a placebo shot for 68 weeks.
The results showed that those taking semaglutide lost an average of 16.9 percent of their body weight, while the placebo group lost only 2.4 percent.
However, when segregated by gender, women taking semaglutide lost a third more weight than men — 18.4 percent of their body weight, compared to 12.9 percent.
In the second study, 3,723 overweight or obese adults were given a 3 mg dose of liraglutide — another weight loss injection that suppresses appetite — or a placebo for 56 weeks.
The researchers said women had “more weight loss.”
The latest study enrolled 10,744 over-55s overweight or obese with type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. They were given the appetite suppressant tablet sibutramine or a placebo pill.
After one year, those taking the drug lost an average of 4.5 percent of their body weight, compared to two percent in the placebo group.
But women who took the drug lost 5.2 percent of their body weight, compared with 4 percent in men.
The researchers said their findings, to be presented this week at the International Congress on Obesity in Melbourne, are at odds with a review of 11 studies that looked at lifestyle interventions — such as eating healthier and exercising more.
It was found that men lost more weight than women in 10 out of 11 papers.
Although men lost more pounds, women still recorded “significant” weight loss, meaning a healthier lifestyle should still be recommended for those trying to lose weight, they said.
The authors said: ‘Gender differences in weight loss interventions with pharmacological treatment have not been extensively studied.
‘Our findings suggest that women lose more weight than men on pharmacological weight loss interventions, although the mechanisms for this are unclear.
This finding conflicts with most dietary regimes where, if a gender difference is detected, men tend to lose more weight than women.
“The identification of gender-related variables may improve the personalization of anti-obesity drug treatment to achieve optimal weight loss outcomes for patients.”
Research co-author Dr. Samantha Hocking, an endocrinologist at the university, said women may lose more weight if they take appetite suppressant drugs because of the drugs’ pharmacokinetics — how they are absorbed and metabolized by the body.
“Physiological variations between sexes often result in differences in the way drugs are absorbed, handled, distributed and excreted in the body,” she said.
Professor John Wilding, head of clinical research on obesity at the University of Liverpool, who was not involved in the study, said: ‘A possible explanation for the greater response in women to pharmacological interventions may be that (in general) women are lighter than men.’
Because both men and women receive the same dose, women may receive a slightly stronger dose relative to their body weight and therefore have a stronger response to the drug, he said.
Professor Wilding added: ‘It is more difficult to explain why men may do better in response to lifestyle interventions.
“But this may have to do with social factors and differences between men and women who choose to participate in research trials.”