Anna Richardson has admitted she considered trying a weight loss jab (Picture: Channel 4)
Anna Richardson was close to trying out a weight loss jab after hearing the success stories peddled by not only celebrities, but close friends.
The TV presenter, 52, is best known for her role fronting the dating game show Naked Attraction, as well as several documentaries over the years.
This week she is at the helm of The Truth About The ‘Skinny’ Jab, a documentary which takes a deep dive to discover the truth behind the drugs semaglutide and liraglutide, which have become the centre of a weight loss frenzy.
Stars like Amy Schumer, Sharon Osbourne and Elon Musk have all admitted taking injectable weight loss drugs despite the fact they are meant to be prescribed to manage blood glucose levels for people with type 2 diabetes.
However, Anna said she very nearly got caught up in the hype herself.
‘Because there has been such a hype around it, at the beginning of the year I was looking into it myself anyway, even before I signed up to do the documentary,’ she told Metro.co.uk.
She went on to investigate ‘skinny jabs’ for a documentary (Picture: Channel 4)
‘I was doing my own research because in my family history I have diabetes on both sides of my family and I have quite high blood sugar at the moment and am menopausal, so in truth I was looking into it and wondering if I could take one of these jabs and just shift a few (kilos).
‘Lots of my friends are on it so I thought maybe I could get skinny like everybody in Hollywood.’
However, she added that since taking part, her opinion had shifted significantly.
While Anna now knows she is not eligible to take these drugs, concerns were raised about how they are being used by many for a ‘quick fix’.
In the documentary, she speaks to several people who have used these drugs and discovers how the demand has fuelled a black market.
She even visited several medical clinics to see if she could get a prescription despite not being obese, which didn’t appear to matter to several doctors who were happy to provide her with the drugs, a practice she labelled ‘dodgy as f***’.
Part of the process involved discovering the black market that has developed (Picture: Channel 4)
‘While we were filming the documentary the narrative shifted quite dramatically and there were news stories coming out and the Department of Health said there was a shortage and that clinics were no longer to prescribe it for weight loss,’ she explained.
‘The more that we started to look into it for the show, the more shocking the revelations we uncovered were.
‘People are really putting themselves at risk buying things that they have no idea what it is.’
Speaking about the social media frenzy surrounding these drugs, Anna said those peddling them had a lot to answer for.
What are liraglutide and semaglutide?
Liraglutide (also called Saxenda) and semaglutide (also called Wegovy) are weight loss medicines taken as an injection that work by making you feel fuller and less hungry.
Liraglutide is taken once a day, and semaglutide is taken once a week.
You can only take liraglutide or semaglutide if they’re prescribed for you by a specialist weight management service. A doctor might recommend that you take one of these medicines if diet and exercise changes have not worked on their own.
Before prescribing liraglutide or semaglutide, your doctor will talk you through the benefits and limitations, including any side effects you might get.
‘Look if you have any kind of public profile, regardless of who you are, and you are broadcasting on social media to thousands of people saying, “look how skinny I’ve got with this medication”, that is utterly irresponsible in my view and it is also immoral,’ she said.
‘They have a responsibility towards other people – they are effectively pushing prescription medication on people who don’t need it. It’s drug dealing.’
She said people getting the drugs to drop a few pounds were putting others at risk.
‘It’s shocking because if you think about people with Type 2 diabetes who are reliant on something like Ozempic, the fact they can’t get hold of their medication to control their blood sugars is potentially dangerous for them and then you have people out there on social media saying “oh I just want to get into my wedding dress” or whatever and using the skinny jabs, it is so selfish.
‘We are driven by this insane desire to get slim and will go to any means possible to drop a dress size, it’s massively self-interested and is putting other people’s health at risk.’
While Anna sympathised with those wanting to see instant results, she said the focus should be on ‘education, eating healthily and exercising’ if they didn’t actually need them.
‘I understand that drive to get slim, I get it. I am a woman like everybody else who thinks at times I could do with dropping a dress size, but I hope that anybody who watches who is thinking about buying it will think again because it is potentially incredibly dangerous,’ she said.
‘Even if it is genuine, this is very powerful prescription medication that people should not be taking [unless they need it].’
Anna’s podcast It Can’t Just Be Me is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you find your podcasts.
The Truth About The ‘Skinny’ Jab airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 4.
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