(Bloomberg) -- Drugs used for weight loss like Ozempic pose a real risk to companies ranging from fast food restaurants to cigarette makers, and credit market prices don’t fully reflect the potential downside, according to a report from Barclays strategists.    

Pharmaceuticals known as GLP-1 agonists help people lose weight while anecdotal evidence suggests they also cut urges to consume addictive substances, including alcohol, and cigarettes. The growing popularity of the drugs could hurt demand for companies including PepsiCo Inc., the maker of Pepsi soda and Lay’s potato chips, McDonald’s Corp., and Altria Group Inc,, the cigarette maker, according to Barclays strategists led by Jigar Patel in a note on Tuesday.  

Those concerns may be reflected in stock prices: an index of packaged foods is down by about 14% this year, even as the S&P 500 index has risen by around 10%. But in credit derivatives markets, investors seem to believe most of these companies have grown less risky. For example the cost of insuring McDonald’s debt against default for five years has fallen about 6 basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, over the last year to 36 bps. 

“The impacts of GLP-1s potentially introduce disruption into a number of industries,” the strategists wrote. 

Some companies will benefit from the proliferation of these drugs, the strategists wrote. CVS Health Corp., for example, could benefit if more consumers get prescriptions for these drugs, and its Aetna health insurance division could benefit if people lose weight. A spokesperson for Pepsi declined to comment, citing a quiet period before earnings. Representatives for Altria, McDonald’s, and CVS didn’t respond to requests for comment.   

Barclays suggests selling credit protection on a basket of companies that might benefit from GLP-1 drugs and buying protection on those that might get hurt. The prices on these two baskets are only about 5 basis points apart, the tighter end of the one-year range, signaling that now is a relatively good time to enter the trade.

Management teams are still determining how the drugs will affect their businesses. Steve Cahillane, the chief executive officer of Kellanova, the snack maker recently separated from cereal maker WK Kellogg Co., said on Monday that the company is studying the impact of these drugs on consumer diets so it can adjust its business as necessary.  

Read more: If Ozempic Leads People to Eat Less, Maker of Cheez-It Will Be Ready

The rise of GLP-1 drugs is one theme that Barclays is focusing on for the next several years, along with the rise of artificial intelligence, energy transition, and telecom, media and technology disintermediation. 

--With assistance from Cynthia Koons and Madison Muller.

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