A BREAKTHROUGH slimming pill that fights middle-age spread could help millions of Brits shed weight.
The new drug is three times more effective than dieting alone and cuts the risk of diabetes by a fifth.
In trials, those who took the pill twice a day shed an average of nine pounds over 12 months and had kept it off two years later.
Dieters who didn’t take it lost just three pounds.
Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, hailed the new treatment as the “Holy Grail” in the fight against flab.
And obesity expert Prof Jason Halford, of Liverpool University said: “We have a massive gap between lifestyle advice and surgery.
“This could be widely prescribed if approved.”
Two in three Brit adults are overweight or obese, raising the risk of type two diabetes, heart disease and several cancers.
The US study found that the Lorcaserin pill is almost twice as effective as Orlistat, the only slimming pill which is currently available on the NHS.
It works by boosting the level of hormones sent out by our brain to tell us to stop eating when our stomach is full. The older we get, the longer it takes for these “satiety” hormones to be produced, which leads to overeating and middle-age spread.
Dr Erin Bohula, from Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told the European Society of Cardiology conference in Munich: “We can report that this is the first and only weight loss agent to show long-term cardiovascular safety in a high-risk population.”
The £220-a-month drug is already approved for use in the US under the name Belviq.
Manufacturer Eisai says it is “evaluating options” before applying for a European licence.
6-8hr kip heart tip
SIX to eight hours’ sleep a night is best for the heart, researchers suggest.
More or less could increase the risk of coronary artery disease or a stroke, analysis of more than a million adults from 11 studies revealed.
Study author Dr Epameinondas Fountas, of Athens, said: “We know sleep influences processes like glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and inflammations, which impact cardiovascular disease.”