Oprah Insists Obesity Is A ‘Disease’ In New Doc Touting Ozempic

Oprah Winfrey
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TV host Oprah Winfrey is fully on board with Ozempic, insisting obesity is a disease and should be treated as such.

The 70-year-old celebrity has talked about her struggle with weight for decades and served on the board of Weight Watchers for nearly 10 years. Earlier this year, Winfrey admitted to using semaglutide injections for weight loss and expressed her desire to reduce the stigma associated with them.

On Monday night, the ABC special “An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution” further defended the use of medication such as Ozempic, Wegovy, and Zepbound to aid with weight loss, per HuffPost.

During the special, Winfrey said people should “stop the shaming and blaming” of individuals and themselves for weight gain because they could be battling a food addiction “disease” much like alcoholism. 

“The number one thing I hope people come away with is knowing that [obesity] is a disease, and it’s in the brain,” Winfrey said.

The talk show host also discussed her past struggle with maintaining a healthy weight, saying, “I have to say that I took on the shame that the world gave to me. For 25 years, making fun of my weight was national sport.”

She brought up the infamous moment in 1988 when she showed off 67 pounds of animal fat on camera to portray the amount of weight she had lost. But now Winfrey says she didn’t take weight off in a healthy way at the time, but rather opted to “starve” herself.

“After losing 67 pounds on liquid diet, the next day, the very next day, I started to gain it back,” she said. 

During the special, Winfrey interviews individuals who have used semaglutide drugs for weight loss. She also speaks with doctors to assess the safety of taking the drugs long-term.


“All these years, I thought all of the people who never had to diet were just using their willpower, and they were for some reason stronger than me,” Winfrey said during the special, per Time. She said taking these types of drugs had made her stop obsessing about food all the time. While Winfrey admits to taking the medication, she has not publicly revealed the specific brand she uses. 

This type of medication, which is usually prescribed to treat Type II diabetes, has exploded in popularity as it slows gastric emptying, leading to users feeling fuller for longer. Many users report a long-lasting feeling of satiety which curbs their appetite significantly, leading to weight loss results.

There are also reports of unpleasant side effects from taking the medication, including a potential risk of thyroid tumors and cancer associated with Ozempic, according to studies done with rodents. More common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and constipation, while more severe side effects of Ozempic and other similar drugs include gastroparesis, allergic reactions, changes in vision, and pancreatitis.

Some doctors may prescribe Ozempic to help individuals without diabetes lose weight, but this use is considered “off-label” because the drug is not FDA-approved for weight management. Also, studies show that users who stop using the drug regain the weight they lost in three to five years.

Winfrey closed the special by saying semaglutide drugs are not for everyone. She said, “for the people who think that this could be the relief and support and freedom…that you’ve been looking for your whole life… bless you.”

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