A hormone injection that imitates the gastric band could be the "most exciting" treatment for obesity.
Trials being conducted by scientists at Imperial College London reportedly found that patients ate 30% less food after being given a monthly jab and some were able to come off diabetes medication.
Prof Sir Steve Bloom, the lead researcher and head of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism at Imperial, said he hoped that within five years a monthly injection could be as effective as bariatric surgery.
"It is going to be the most exciting agent for improving health that has yet been discovered," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"Obesity has become a tremendous burden on our society.
"It increases your risk of cancer. Your chances of heart disease and stroke increase with obesity.
"If you are arthritic, it is worse.
"Almost everything is worse."
His team is due to publish its research in a medical journal shortly, the paper reported.
The new therapy is said to reproduce satiety hormones produced after a gastric band is fitted, meaning that patients are able to reduce the amount they eat without the need for surgery.
The trial involved 20 patients who took three hormones through a patch and a pump for 28 days and saw weight losses of between 2kg and 8kg, almost as high as from surgery.
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