In a candid discussion surrounding weight loss and the Type 2 diabetes medication, Ozempic, Oprah Winfrey recently voiced her views on the importance of reducing the stigma tied to discussions about weight. Given the considerable attention the medication has received for its weight loss effects, Oprah’s perspective sheds light on the broader cultural nuances associated with the topic.
Oprah’s Personal Journey with Weight
During “The State of Weight” panel on Oprah Daily’s “The Life You Want” series, the 69-year-old media mogul openly discussed her personal experiences with weight. “You all know I’ve been on this journey for most of my life,” she began. Oprah reflected on her peak weight, stating it was 237 pounds, and emphasized how public scrutiny of her weight fluctuations has been ceaseless over the years.
She lamented how society often equates weight with worth, observing that she experienced distinct treatment when her weight exceeded 200 pounds, in comparison to when she weighed less. Oprah highlighted the ingrained prejudice in society, noting, “This is a world that has shamed people for being overweight forever.”
Mindset vs. Willpower
A significant focus for Oprah was the distinction between mindset and willpower. She mentioned that, for years, she faced both self-imposed shame and external criticism for perceived lapses in willpower. Now, however, there’s a growing recognition of the complex factors at play, including how the brain processes food.
Public Figures and Ozempic
While Oprah did not specify if she had taken Ozempic, other public figures, like TikToker Remi Bader, have shared their experiences. Remi talked about her mixed feelings and the subsequent cycle of “bad binging” she attributed to the medication after stopping its use. On the other hand, celebrities like Kyle Richards of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills have categorically denied using Ozempic for weight loss, emphasizing the importance of diet and exercise in their personal journeys.
Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical company behind Ozempic, has clarified that the medication is primarily “intended to treat type 2 diabetes.”
The Broader Conversation on Weight
In a session held at the Hearst Tower in New York City, Oprah, along with obesity specialists and other experts, embarked on a comprehensive conversation about weight. The focus was to debunk myths surrounding obesity, underscore the necessity to recognize obesity as a chronic ailment, discuss new weight loss medications like Ozempic, and address societal prejudices. The overarching aim was to present the science and psychology underpinning the weight crisis and provide valuable resources for individuals to make informed choices about their health.