Oprah Winfrey gets real about weight loss drugs in new special

Oprah Winfrey gets real about weight loss drugs in new special

'Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution' - Oprah Winfrey is addressing the stigma around weight loss drugs...

Oprah Winfrey wearing a blue long sleeved dress
Oprah Winfrey/ Instagram (@oprah)

Oprah Winfrey is getting real about how medication has assisted her in her weight loss journey. 

Weight loss drugs have been on the rise in recent years, with brands such as Wegovy and Zepbound - which are usually prescribed to people with obesity issues - becoming more popular. 

Demand has also grown for Ozempic, a semaglutide that comes in injection form and is typically given to people with type 2 diabetes. One of its side effects is weight loss. 

Oprah admitted to using weight loss drugs in 2023 but did not reveal which brand. The 70-year-old did not mention it in her new special, 'Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution', either. 

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The talk show host is determined to break the stigma surrounding weight loss drugs.

“I come to this conversation in the hope that we can start releasing the stigma and the shame and the judgement to stop shaming other people for being overweight, or how they choose to lose or not lose weight, and more importantly to stop shaming ourselves," The Telegraph quoted her as saying. 

Oprah got emotional while talking about her own weight loss battles. Her weight, which has fluctuated over the years, is often criticised or mocked. 

“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. This is what I got for the first time after I took the medication - 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. And now I realise y’all weren’t even thinking about the food.

“It’s not that you had the willpower you weren’t thinking about, you weren’t obsessing about it. That is the big thing I learned," she said.

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Over the past few years, celebrities have come under scrutiny for using Ozempic to lose weight as it is intended for people with diabetes.

Some have also been slammed for using Wegovy and Zepbound to lose weight when they are not considered obese or overweight. 

Several stars such as Chelsea Handler admitted to using Ozempic in the past. However, Chelsea said she thought she was "on semaglutide" and not Ozempic. 

"My anti-aging doctor just hands it out to anybody, and obviously, now I can't say her name. I didn't even know I was on it. She said, 'If you ever want to drop five pounds, this is good'," Chelsea revealed in an episode of 'Call Her Daddy'.

She has since stopped using it. 

Sharon Osbourne has also admitted to using weight loss drugs. 

"I was just fed up with going back and forth with my weight constantly. I've' tried everything," she told Good Morning Britain.

However, she said she is worried about younger people using it. 

"My only fear... I’m scared for like, 16 to 20-year-olds, because it is easy to say, ‘This is it, I can eat what I want if I keep taking this injection. It needs to be in the hands of older people who totally understand there could be side effects to this... The world we live in today, everybody wants to be skinny."

Sharon's daughter, Kelly Osbourne, came under fire after she claimed that people who criticise the use of weight loss drugs are upset they can't buy them. 

"People hate on it because they want to do it. And the people who hate on it the most are the people who are secretly doing it or pissed off that they can’t afford it," she told E! News. 

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Disclaimer:  According to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), “Ozempic is not registered in South Africa for use in weight-loss. Ozempic is only available on prescription and there are no generic versions of Ozempic registered in South Africa”. 

Read more here: FAQs – Semaglutide

Health-related information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat health problems. It is always advisable to consult with your doctor on any health-related issues.


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Main image credit: Instagram/@oprah

*This story was updated to add a disclaimer from SAHPRA about the use of Ozempic in South Africa,

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