Oprah to address Ozempic craze on ABC special: ‘A very personal issue for me’

Oprah Winfrey is embracing the weight-loss injectables trend in a new primetime special.

ABC announced An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution, with Winfrey hosting a conversation with medical experts and patients about the radical impact of prescription weight loss drugs like Ozempic, Mounjaro and Wegovy. The show will mark Winfreys first prime time special in three years.

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It’s a very personal issue for me and for the hundreds of millions of affected people around the world who have struggled with weight and obesity for years, Winfrey said in a statement. This special will bring together medical experts, leaders in the space and people in the day-to-day struggle to talk about health equity and obesity with the intention of finally releasing the shame, judgment and stigma that surrounds it. the weight

Winfrey previously confirmed she was taking a weight-loss drug (without naming which one) in December after appearing on the red carpet for The Color Lila sporting a trim figure. Last week, Winfrey confirmed that she was also stepping down from the WW (formerly known as WeightWatchers) board of directors, a position she had held since 2015.

I realized that I had been blaming myself all these years for being overweight, and I have a predisposition that no amount of willpower will control, Winfrey previously said. people. The fact that there is a medically approved prescription for weight control and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like a relief, like a redemption, like a gift, and not something to hide and to be ridiculed again. I am absolutely done with shaming other people and myself in particular, I now use it as I feel I need to, as a tool to manage the non-me.

Winfrey has endured some criticism on this issue. First, she received backlash in September for suggesting that taking Ozempic was the easy way out during a discussion with WeightWatchers CEO Sima Sistani (Winfrey said her comments were taken out of context). Then, after using one of the weight-loss drugs herself, Winfrey came under fire for continuing to be a WeightWatchers ambassador.

According to ABC, the special aims to address the questions: Why is obesity designated as a disease? Who are the medicines really intended for? Who is eligible for weight loss medication? What should people ask their doctors? What are the short and long term side effects? What are the supply chain challenges and the impact on people with diabetes? Why is there shame in taking drugs and what is the future of these drugs in our society and culture?

We are thrilled to work with Oprah and the voices she has brought together to open a dialogue that de-stigmatizes and educates viewers about the important and polarizing topic of weight loss, said Craig Erwich, president of Disney Television Group. I can think of no one better to lead this meaningful conversation about such a critical issue that affects all of our lives.

From the official description: Speaking to a live studio audience, Oprah brings together the nation’s leading medical experts and everyday people who find themselves in the battle of one of the greatest health crises the world has ever known . For the first time in history, new drugs could prove to be the game changer in stemming the tide of people living with obesity, an epidemic that has grown exponentially since the 1970s and costs the United States alone $173 billion a year in medical costs Joining the conversation are medical experts such as Dr. W. Scott Butsch of Cleveland Clinics, ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News Medical Correspondent Dr. Darien Sutton, Dr. Amanda Velazquez of Cedars-Sinai Medical Centers and patients from all over the country who have several personal experiences with prescription weight loss drugs, including a teenager who was one of the first to take the new drugs and raises the question of whether these drugs should be given to minors. Oprah also invites the leaders of the two global pharmaceutical companies behind these revolutionary drugs to address what this means for the 100 million Americans and more than 1 billion adults worldwide living with a life-threatening disease.

An Oprah Special: Shame, Guilt, and the Weight Loss Revolution will air Monday, March 18 on ABC (streaming live online for free via DirecTV) and on Hulu the following day.

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