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What is the 'Oatzempic' trend, and are its social media claims true?

Social media users are spreading claims that drinking an oat-based blended drink for days can lead to weight loss, but claims could be misleading.
What is the 'Oatzempic' trend, and are its social media claims true?
Posted at 9:49 PM, Apr 05, 2024

By now, if you're scrolling through social media, reading the news or watching television, you've probably already heard of two drugs — Ozempic and Wegovy — which have skyrocketed in notoriety amid their approved use for weight loss. 

In April, the warehouse retail giant Costco announced it would offer members a weight-loss program that included the drugs as it partnered with a virtual health care platform to make the trending weight loss solution available to more people. 

But, among growing concerns about the drugs, including possible counterfeit versions that have or could enter the market, are their cost and health risks. Scripps News reported on a shadow market that exists for diet drugs. 

Now, users on social media are picking up on the recognizable name for one of the drugs, promoting claims that a blended oat drink that can be made at home might be a new weight-loss option for people looking to easily shed pounds: "Oatzempic."

Some rolled oats, water, lime juice, and sometimes cinnamon, all blended in a blender, is what some on social media say they are drinking for days on end to try to lose weight. 

SEE MORE: The politics behind insurance companies covering weight-loss drugs

The Mayo Clinic says oats have various nutrients including beta glucan, which is a type of soluble fiber that can help to lower blood glucose and cholesterol. Regular consumption of oatmeal can lead to some weight management benefits, Mayo Clinic's Health System reported. There are also said to be some benefits to intestinal health, and healthy gut-bacteria maintenance as well. 

Oxford Academic said consuming more dietary fiber can help with feeling more satiated, or feeling that you are satisfied after eating. But, experts say the meal-replacement element is more at play here. 

Obesity researcher Dr. Melanie Jay told the New York Times the "Oatzempic" drink is more likely replacing higher-calorie meals or foods, and this would be the reason for the temporary weight loss results. 

Health authorities including the National Health Service in the U.K. say a balanced diet should include at least five portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Some beans, fish, eggs and other protein should also be included. 

And people should consume unsaturated spreads and oils in small quantities. 

Social media has been awash in recent months with claims about new weight loss methods using Ozempic's now-famous name to gain notoriety and clicks. Last year an active compound, found in plants like barberry, tree turmeric, and goldenseal, shot up in popularity with the help of social media users claiming that berberine was "Nature’s Ozempic."

Dr. Priya Jaisinghani, an endocrinologist and obesity medicine doctor at NYU Langone Health, said, "We have to be very careful when we're using an FDA-approved medication's name as a nickname for a supplement."

As reports continue to surface about the risks of malnutrition — among other negative effects — when using a weight loss drug like Ozempic, or a sudden dramatic dietary change, those time-tested nutrition guidelines about following a balanced diet continue to be a safe alternative to anything that is risky. 

This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released newly updated details on how health officials will be updating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which the agency calls "one of the best tools we have to help individuals in the United States get and stay healthy." 

As with any new change in your diet, it is essential to speak to your health care provider before making any adjustments or trusting any unverified claims on social media. 

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