graphic image with wording 'anti-obesity study"

Loma Linda University School of Public Health has engaged with Novo Nordisk, a Denmark-based pharmaceutical company, to study a new anti-obesity medication (semaglutide) to assist individuals in losing and maintaining their weight.

Warren Peters MD, MPH, FOMA, director of obesity research, says this clinical study aims to tackle the biological challenges of weight loss by altering the brain’s chemistry to decrease hunger and increase satisfaction.

“This is a biological problem that can be countered with the use of medication in addition to the resulting lifestyle changes individuals make,” Peters said. “Diet and exercise are important, but we need to assist the individual by changing the brain chemistry.”

When individuals with obesity lose weight, a hormone that increases hunger moves up, and a hormone that provides satisfaction goes down. Even with a proper diet and exercise, this biological response is challenging for individuals to maintain a healthy weight.

The objective of this clinical study is to see how well the new anti-obesity medication lowers body weight compared to other medications on the market used to treat obesity across two U.S.-based employers. Peters says the goal is not to change weight severely but to see a significant five to 10 percent weight loss in individuals with obesity.

“With lifestyle changes by themselves, you can rarely maintain any more than three to five percent weight loss without weight regain, if we look at studies over six to 12 months,” said Peters. “These pharmaceuticals assist the person in eating a smaller volume and in continuing with an active lifestyle.”

The clinical study is available to nondiabetic employees at Loma Linda University and Inland Empire Health Plan between the ages of 18 to 75.

For more information about the clinical study and semaglutide, the new weight loss management medication, please visit their website at or call the Nutrition Research Center at 909-558-8382.