Oprah Defends Her Use Of Weight Loss Medication: ‘Obesity Is A Disease’

Oprah Winfrey
Eric Charbonneau/Getty Images for Warner Bros.

Oprah Winfrey defended her use of weight loss medication on occasion, saying “obesity is a disease” and is not due to a person’s lack of willpower.

The 69-year-old billionaire TV personality has publicly discussed her weight loss struggles for decades. She most recently shared her thoughts during an interview with People that was published Wednesday.

“It was public sport to make fun of me for 25 years,” she said of the media’s fixation on her fluctuating weight over the years. “I have been blamed and shamed, and I blamed and shamed myself.”

Winfrey said that after “five decades” of obsessing over losing weight and “believing willpower” was her “failing,” she experienced a turning point after undergoing knee surgery in 2021.

“After knee surgery, I started hiking and setting new distance goals each week. I could eventually hike three to five miles every day and a 10-mile straight-up hike on weekends,” the TV talk show host told People. “I felt stronger, more fit and more alive than I’d felt in years.”

Of her eating habits these days, Winfrey said, “I eat my last meal at 4 o’clock, drink a gallon of water a day, and use the WeightWatchers principles of counting points. I had an awareness of [weight-loss] medications, but felt I had to prove I had the willpower to do it. I now no longer feel that way.”

“I was actually recommending [the medication] to people long before I was on it myself,” she added.

Winfrey said she changed her thinking about the use of weight loss medication during a panel discussion called “The State of Weight,” which is part of Oprah Daily’s “Life You Want” series.

“I had the biggest aha along with many people in that audience,” she said of doing the panel in July. “I realized I’d been blaming myself all these years for being overweight, and I have a predisposition that no amount of willpower is going to control.”

“Obesity is a disease. It’s not about willpower — it’s about the brain,” Winfrey told People. 

As for using weight loss medication herself, the media mogul said she let go of “shame” when she started using it. She also didn’t disclose which specific one she’s been using. 

“I now use it as I feel I need it, as a tool to manage not yo-yoing,” Winfrey told the outlet. 

“The fact that there’s a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for. I’m absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself.”

She explained how she utilized the medication ahead of Thanksgiving, for example. “Because I knew I was going to have two solid weeks of eating,” Winfrey said, adding that “instead of gaining eight pounds like I did last year, I gained half a pound.”

“It quiets the food noise,” she said.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Oprah Defends Her Use Of Weight Loss Medication: ‘Obesity Is A Disease’