If you're overweight and have been struggling to diet for some time, this could be the late Christmas present you've been waiting for. A Danish drug company could hold the key to solving the obesity epidemic, with a new diet drug producing 'phenomenal' results in trials.
The drug, called liraglutide, is already in use as a diabetes treatment. But after its performance in more recent tests, the manufacturer claims it could help you drop two dress sizes in six months. You'll have to wait a bit longer for it to become available, however, as the trials are set to carry on until 2013.
So how does it work? Liraglutide is injected into the skin using a pen device (like those used for injecting insulin) and works by telling your brain that you're full. In early tests, volunteers using liraglutide lost an average of a stone and a half over six months, which was twice as much as the volunteers taking another widely-prescribed weight-loss drug.
As well as losing the weight, women in the trial who took liraglutide lost an average of three inches from their waistline too. But that's not all. As well as preventing and treating diabetes, the drug is also thought to help lower blood pressure and increase your level of 'good' cholesterol.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, perhaps. As with any drug there are potential side effects, including nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting (seen with its treatment as a diabetes drug). It's also been linked with thyroid problems, but it's too early to say how seriously.
Would you try the jab when it's available?