Who’s Driving the Craze for Ozempic, Other Weight Loss Drugs

Extensive media coverage and high obesity rates are fueling interest in prescription weight loss drugs, writes deputy head of industry intelligence Nicki Zink
Ozempic featured image
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October 25, 2023 at 5:00 am UTC

Key Takeaways

  • 28% of U.S. adults said they are interested in taking prescription GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic, Mounjaro or Wegovy for weight loss, a share relatively consistent with August and April surveys.

  • Consumers who have heard “a lot” about the drugs, have weight-related health conditions or have higher incomes are most likely to be interested in taking the medications.

  • The impacts of weight loss drugs on the health industry are clear, but other sectors, like food and retail, are likely to feel the effects of changing consumer preferences. Brands that create products and services to help support a more health-conscious consumer will be best-positioned to weather disruption from Ozempic or future weight loss drug innovations.

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GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic continue to make headlines and generate social media chatter as a game-changing weight loss solution, and for good reason. Doctors are writing more prescriptions for them, the drugmakers are generating massive profits and new markets, like obese children as young as 6, are being explored. 

One thing that isn’t moving as quickly as the news cycle? Consumer interest in the drug. About 3 in 10 U.S. adults (28%) said they are interested in taking GLP-1 medications like Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro to help lose weight, on par with 26% who said the same in an August survey. The sustained interest in injectable medications for weight loss marks an important point to dig deeper into the demographics driving that interest and what it means for brands across key industries.

Who’s most interested in weight-loss drugs?

Much has been written about some celebrities’ and influencers’ use of prescription weight loss drugs, but less is known about the treatments’ appeal among the general population. There is great potential for widespread interest, given obesity is a condition that impacts over 100 million U.S. adults, and losing weight — especially large amounts — and keeping it off is no easy task.

Weight Loss Drug Interest Driven by Millennials, High Earners and Informed Consumers

Shares of U.S. adults who said they are interested or not interested in trying GLP-1 prescription drugs such as Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro as a weight loss method
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Survey conducted Oct. 16-19, 2023, among a representative sample of 2,210 U.S. adults, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Specific demographics at scale: Surveying thousands of consumers around the world every day powers our ability to examine and analyze perceptions and habits of more specific demographics at scale, like those featured here.

Why it matters: Leaders need a better understanding of their audiences when making key decisions. Our comprehensive approach to understanding audience profiles complements the “who” of demographics and the “what” of behavioral data with critical insights and analysis on the “why.”

Four key groups interested in weight-loss drugs:

  • People who have heard a lot about them: A steady stream of buzzy headlines is piquing the interest of consumers. A third of U.S. adults (34%) who have heard “a lot” about weight loss drugs said they are “very interested” in trying them, 22 percentage points higher than the general population. 
  • People who have weight-related health conditions: Comorbidities are common with obesity, especially Type 2 diabetes, so it makes sense that people with weight-related health conditions are more interested in GLP-1s. Compared with the general population, this group is more than 20 points more likely to say they’re interested in medications like Mounjaro or Wegovy to help lose weight.
  • High-income earners: The most common weight loss injectable medications have a list price of about $1,000 a month. Plus, many insurers don’t cover the drugs for weight loss, putting them out of reach for scores of consumers. But when price isn’t an issue, interest is high: 22% of consumers from households that make over $100,000 annually said they’re “very interested” in trying GLP-1s for weight loss, and 18% said they’re “somewhat interested.”
  • Millennials: Losing weight is always a challenge, but it’s one that typically gets even more difficult with age. Many millennials may be confronting this reality, leading them to look for a helpful solution. Nearly 2 in 5 millennials (38%) said they’re interested in trying a brand like Ozempic for weight loss, 10 points higher than the general population and higher than any other generation surveyed. 

Despite high interest from these groups, the intensity among consumers who are uninterested in weight loss drugs is notable. Nearly half of U.S. adults (48%) said they are “not interested at all” in GLP-1s for losing weight. One reason for this could be the greater interest in more traditional weight loss methods. For example, consumers were much more likely to say they’re interested in increasing the amount they exercise or trying a specific diet to help lose weight. Myriad concerns about the high price tag and potential long-term side effects could also be halting wider interest. 

The impact of GLP-1s will be felt in more than just the health and wellness industry 

While there may never be a silver bullet to combat obesity, weight loss drugs are moving us closer. As their popularity soars, their impact will be felt by much more than the dieting industry: For example, Walmart recently said it has seen a “slight pullback in the overall basket” of people who are taking weight loss medications. 

Brands that create products and services to help support a more health-conscious consumer will be best-positioned to weather disruption from Ozempic or future weight loss drug innovations.

A headshot photograph of Nicki Zink
Nicki Zink
Deputy Head of Industry Analysis

Nicki Zink is deputy head of Industry Analysis. Her team identifies trends affecting key demographics across food & beverage, travel & hospitality and financial services. Prior to joining Morning Consult, Nicki served as the head of digital intelligence at Purple Strategies, a corporate reputation and strategy firm. She graduated from Miami University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication. For speaking opportunities and booking requests, please email [email protected].

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