An injection which makes people feel full could solve the obesity crisis in the next 10 years, according to scientists.
Researchers at Imperial College London say the painless jab reduces appetites by as much as 30% and represents a cheap alternative to bariatric surgery.
Gastric bands deliver digested food further down the gut, releasing the mix of hormones that makes people feel full.
But the hormone injection has proved to trigger the same sensation without the need for surgery, which carries a one-in-500 risk of death.
Sir Steve Bloom, professor of medicine at Imperial College, told the Mirror he thinks the treatment could bring an end to obesity in the next year 10 years:
“They’ll have the injections, they will be painless, with no side effects and will actually be really inexpensive and freely available – I think this is going to make an enormous difference.”
Speaking to HuffPost, Prof Bloom said it would also have a significant impact on diabetes: “If we succeed in developing this therapy it could easily end up halving the number of diabetics and those with life threatening complications.”
The injection has been in development for years, but a recent trial has delivered some startling results.
After being injected with the hormones, two obese men were presented with a bowl containing three supermarket chicken curries.
Both ate about 280 fewer calories than after taking the placebo injection. Respectively, they said they were “not hungry at all” and “comfortably full”.
Patricia Tan, a researcher on the project, told the Mirror: “With these injections of hormones, the patients are eating up to 30% less.”
The injection of OXM, PYY and GLP1 hormones must be administered before each meal. But scientists are looking to create a longer-lasting jab.
In England, 24.8% of adults are obese and 61.7% are either overweight or obese, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre.