(DAILY MAIL) — A new slimming pill could help millions fight middle-age spread, a major study has found.

Scientists say lorcaserin – labelled the ‘holy grail’ of weight management – is three times more effective than dieting alone. The twice-a-day tablets boost the brain cells that control appetite, which can become less effective with age.

A US trial of 12,000 overweight people found those taking the drug lost an average of 9lbs 3oz in the first year – triple the 3lbs lost by those who relied on weight-loss advice alone – and kept the weight off for at least the three years of the study.