Intermountain Health Experts Issue Warning About Using Weight Loss Drugs as Part of New Year’s Goals

Intermountain Health experts suggest sustainable focus nutrition and physical activity better than quick fix

(PRUnderground) January 29th, 2024

Losing weight and improving health is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions people set for themselves, but most people eventually fail for a verity of reasons. The recent popularity of prescription weight loss drugs could change that, but experts at Intermountain Health say it isn’t a “cure-all” and needs to be monitored closely.

Doctors at Intermountain’s Lifestyle Medicine & Wellness Centers say for patients who may want to use prescription weight loss drugs as an option their first step should be seeing a health provider to see if it’s the right choice.

“For anyone wanting to focus on weight loss or health my first recommendation is to get their annual physical because it gives them baseline measurements for several health factors and can determine the best options moving forward,” said Jake Veigel, MD, sports medicine physician with Intermountain Health’s Lifestyle Medicine & Wellness Center. “Those measurements will help determine if a weight loss drug is right for a person and which one they should be taking.”

The baseline data may also determine whether insurance will cover the drug for patients. These weight loss drugs can be expensive for those paying out of pocket, and some insurers require a patient to be diabetic or pre-diabetic to qualify for coverage.

Dr. Veigel notes even if a patient does start taking a weight loss drug they still need to focus on nutrition and physical activity.

“This is just another tool in the toolbox and focusing on all aspects of health including diet and exercise are still a vital part of becoming healthier,” said Dr. Veigel. “The good news is this is showing promise and giving hope to people who have tried to lose weight for years and been unsuccessful.”

The drugs themselves work in different ways and can have different effects on hormones in the body. Most notably, Dr. Veigel says they make a person feel full for longer which helps reduce feeling of being hungry and lowers calorie intake.

Even with all its benefits for weight loss, doctors say it’s important patients only take the amount prescribed and to have regular check-ins with their doctors.

“Like any medication there can be side effects and when we’re dealing with something so new it’s important to regularly check in with your primary care physician to make sure it’s working properly,” said Dr. Veigel.

Along with medications doctors can also help guide patients to the proper resources for nutrition and exercise. Dr. Veigel notes there are so many sources of information on this topic your primary care physician can help decide what’s right for certain people depending on their situation.

For more information, visit the Intermountain Lifestyle Medicine & Wellness Centers.

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

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