Eli Lilly, which holds the patent to Tirzepatide and is sold under the brand name Mounjaro, and McDonald’s are both plays on the obesity crisis–that is, one of them being the solution and the other being a source of the problem. Either both or one of these companies is going to do really well. The expected value is still highly positive even if one of them fails. It’s like investing in tobacco companies in the ’70s, but also investing in smoking cessation drugs.
McDonald’s and other junk food is the 21st century version of drugs. It fills the same sort of purpose as stimulants from a century ago, but is deemed as ‘safer’ (which I find to be a dubious claim given that obesity is not without complications too) and does not fund cartels but rather makes shareholders rich. You don’t tear open a bag of Doritos or pop a can of coke to feel full, but rather to get that dopamine rush. When office workers need a ‘pick me up’ do they go for vegetables or sugary snacks?
The evidence would seem to suggest–both anecdotal from the stories online and studies– that Mounjaro works, even better than gastric bypass, but without the potential complications from invasive surgery. And also, people with bypass often regain the weight gradually as the stomach expands and old eating habits resume. Mounjaro fixes the underlying food addiction problem at the brain-gut level, not by artificially trying to make the stomach smaller. People on Mounjaro seem to lose interest in food, which is the exact opposite of what happens with dieting. On diets, people gain an heightened awareness of food and flavors, which makes staying on the diet that much harder.
Overall, I am more convinced than ever that this drug and similar ones is the future of solving the obesity problem in America and worldwide. It is a big threat to the fitness and wellness industry, which is dependent on selling overpriced and largely ineffective dieting and coaching programs, hence the resistance to this drug and alarmism over alleged muscle loss (lean body mass loss is not the same as muscle loss, and finding studies that disentangles these two is lacking, but one cannot assume they are the same, because they are not). That is not to say diet and exercise is completely futile–it works for some– but even if I did not use Mounjaro or similar drugs to lose weight, I like knowing the option still exists in case I need it. Having more options is not a crutch or ‘taking the easy way out’ (and given some of the side effects, which can be quite unpleasant, does not seem so easy to me anyway). Science is about creating options to make life better and easier.