A diabetes injection appears more effective at promoting weight loss than one of the leading obesity drugs, according to tests results.
Patients receiving liraglutide, which contains a satiety hormone, were twice as likely to lose significant amounts of weight as those on orlistat.
Not only does the drug appear to curb hunger, it also reduces type 2 diabetes risk factors, the Lancet study found.
The study author is a paid consultant of the company which produces the drug.
There are limitations: the drug must be injected every day as it would otherwise be broken down in the gut, and it is expensive - £500 for six months of treatment.
Further studies are needed to establish the longer term risk-benefit ratio as this trial on 564 patients ran for just 20 weeks.
Over this period, three groups of patients in 19 hospitals were put on a diet reduced by 500 calories a day and asked to exercise.
One set received a placebo, the second orlistat - available by prescription as Xenical - and a third liraglutide, also known as Victoza.
Over the 20 weeks, more than three quarters of those on 3mg of liraglutide lost more than 5% weight, compared with 44% with 120mg of orlistat and 30% with a placebo.
This on average translated as more than a stone in weight.
BBC News has contributed to the report.
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