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Post: Oprah Winfrey: Weight-loss drugs gave ‘hope’ after years of public ridicule – National



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After decades of being publicly ridiculed, shamed and scrutinized for her fluctuating weight, Oprah Winfrey said she is “really excited” about the availability of weight-loss medication.

The media mogul’s latest one-off TV program, An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame, and the Weight Loss Revolution, aired Monday night.

The hourlong broadcast saw Winfrey, 70, candidly discuss obesity and how weight-loss drugs have provided her with “hope.” Winfrey spoke highly of the medications — without mentioning specific name brands like Ozempic — and said she wanted to eliminate the “stigma and the shame and the judgment” around using weight-loss drugs.

In front of a studio audience, Winfrey said she’s been berated for her weight throughout most of her career.

“I have to say that I took on the shame that the world gave to me,” Winfrey said. “For 25 years, making fun of my weight was national sport.”

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The talk show host recalled a 1990 cover of the magazine TV Guide that featured her photo and the accompanying headline: “Bumpy, lumpy, and downright dumpy.”

Winfrey went on to read aloud several more disparaging tabloid headlines about her weight, including “Oprah: Fatter than ever” and “Oprah warned diet or die.”

“In an effort to combat all the shame, I starved myself for nearly five months,” Winfrey revealed. “And after losing 67 pounds on a liquid diet, the next day, y’all, the very next day, I started to gain it back.”

Winfrey called obesity “a disease, not a character flaw.”

“In my lifetime, I never dreamed we would be talking about medicines that would be providing hope to people like me,” Winfrey championed.

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She said the medications, as well as causing her to lose weight, helped Winfrey “no longer blame” herself for her body fluctuations.

“When I tell you how many times I have blamed myself because you think, ‘I’m smart enough to figure this out,’ and then to hear all along it’s you fighting your brain!” Winfrey said of weight loss.

She said the medication has helped her stop “constantly thinking about what the next meal is going to be.”

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Winfrey added she also hikes three to five miles (about five to eight kilometres) every day, while regularly running and eating a heathy diet to maintain her slim figure.

The TV special featured several interviews with medical professionals about weight-loss medications. Patients who, like Winfrey, have utilized these drugs to combat obesity were interviewed as well. Many of the users spoke highly of the medications, though some users also expressed critical opinions.

Still, Winfrey noted weight-loss drugs may not be for everyone.

“For people who feel happy and healthy in celebrating life in a bigger body and don’t want the medications, I say: ‘Bless you,’” Oprah signed off at the hour’s end. “And for all the people who believe diet and exercise is the best and only way to lose excess weight, bless you too if that works for you.”

An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame, and the Weight Loss Revolution aired only weeks after Winfrey announced she will leave her role on the WeightWatchers board of directors. Winfrey, who had been one of the company’s most prevalent spokespersons, decided not to stand for board re-election after she publicly revealed she was taking an unnamed weight-loss medication.

Winfrey donated her shares in the company to the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

In December 2023, Winfrey told People magazine she was using a weight-loss drug as a “maintenance tool” for her fluctuating weight. The disclosure came after Winfrey’s social media followers speculated that the star may be taking Ozempic or another similar medication.

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Winfrey said she uses weight-loss drugs “as a tool to manage not yo-yoing.”

Due to popular demand, the manufacturers of several drugs, including Ozempic, have experienced shortages that have continued into 2024. The shortages have affected many Canadian patients with Type 2 diabetes, who treat the condition with drugs like Ozempic. Some diabetics who had been using Ozempic have since been forced to change their medications.

Click to play video: 'Ozempic shortage impact on Canadian patients with Type 2 diabetes'

Ozempic shortage impact on Canadian patients with Type 2 diabetes


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Lora Helmin

Lora Helmin

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