Charles Barkley talks weight loss and managing Type 2 diabetes

The NBA icon is taking a new anti-diabetic medication that also has resulted in weight loss.

Charles Barkley is opening up about his weight-loss journey and how he is managing his Type 2 diabetes, People reports. 

The NBA legend, 60, appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show” recently and shared a few of his tips for trying to reach a healthy weight.

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Three
Charles Barkley looks on before Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat on May 21, 2023 at Kaseya Center in Miami. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

“I’m working out, I’m taking my shot once a week,” he said, referring to the injectable medication, Mounjaro.

According to a news release, Mounjaro is “not indicated for weight loss,” but many users have experienced significant “weight reductions.” 

“I started at 352 [lbs.],” Barkley told McAfee, People reports. “And I’m down to 290. I’m starting to feel like a human being, not a fat ass anymore.”

Barkley is inching closer to his weight loss goal of 270 pounds. 

“My doctor told me, she says, there’s a lot of fat young people. Ain’t a lot of fat old people, they’re all dead,” he said.

Barkley admitted to taking Mounjaro for weight loss, but when McAfee asked, “Do you know what it’s doing to you exactly?” Barkley responded … “I have zero idea what it does!” 

According to Dr. Cecilia Low Wang, a UCHealth expert on endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, Mounjaro “suppresses appetite and makes you feel more full. It changes the rate at which your stomach empties.”

Continued Low Wang, “It’s a completely new drug class. Instead of being a single-receptor agonist, Mounjaro activates two receptors at the same time. That’s why it’s called a ‘dual-agonist.’”

According to UCHealth, these receptors trigger weight loss by stimulating hormones that reduce appetite and controlling blood sugar levels. Mounjaro can also cause “unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects.”

The injections seem to help people lose weight faster than a single-agonist medication, UCHealth reports. In clinical trials, those who took the highest doses (15 milligram) of the drug lost as much as 21% of their body weight. Researchers found that study participants were also able to “keep their diabetes symptoms in check.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Mounjaro in 2022 for patients with diabetes but has not yet approved it for weight loss, according to UCHealth.

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