Oprah Winfrey hosts a special about the impact of weight-loss medications

After admitting that she uses weight-loss drugs as a 'maintenance drug', Oprah Winfrey brings the conversation to TV.

On Thursday, ABC announced that the media mogul will host a special primetime event featuring sit-down conversations about the radical impact of prescription weight loss drugs. Premieres on March 18 An Oprah Special: Shame, Guilt, and the Weight Loss Revolution aims to “dig into the prevailing questions and concerns surrounding impact [of weight-loss medications] on our healthcare, economy, lifestyle and culture.”

According to a press release, Winfrey will speak to a live studio audience as she brings together the nation's top medical experts and everyday people “embroiled in the fight against one of the greatest health care crises the world has ever known.”

“For the first time in history, new drugs could prove to be the game changer in turning the tide of obesity, an epidemic that has grown exponentially since the 1970s and costs $173 billion a year in the United States alone. medical costs. ,” the release said.

“It is a deeply personal topic for me and for the hundreds of millions of people around the world who have struggled with weight and obesity for years,” Winfrey said in a statement. “This special will bring together medical experts, leaders in the space and people in the everyday struggle to talk about healthcare equity and obesity, with the intention of ultimately releasing the shame, judgment and stigma around weight.”

“We are pleased to partner with Oprah and the voices she has collected to open a dialogue that destigmatizes and educates viewers on the important and polarizing topic of weight loss,” said Craig Erwich, president of Disney Television Group. “I can't think of anyone better to lead this meaningful conversation on such a critical issue that affects all of our lives.”

The special includes appearances by Dr. W. Scott Butsch of Cleveland Clinic, ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News Medical Correspondent Dr. Darien Sutton, Dr. Amanda Velazquez of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and patients from the across the country reporting a series of personal experiences with prescription weight loss medications, including a teenager who was one of the first to use the new drugs, raising questions about whether these drugs should be given to minors.

The special will address several questions, including why obesity is labeled as a disease that the drugs are actually intended to treat; who is eligible to receive weight loss medications; what should people ask their doctors; what the short and long term side effects are; what the supply chain challenges are and the impact on people with diabetes; why there is shame around taking medications; and what the future of these medicines is in our society and culture.

Kevin Winter

The special comes shortly after Winfrey stepped back from Weight Watchers board of directors for a decade after she made her recent announcement use of weight loss medications.

According to Weight Watchers' latest proxy statement, per The Hollywood ReporterBefore the announcement of her departure, Winfrey's stake was valued at more than $18 million.

The 70-year-old's figure became a subject of speculation again after the talk show icon stepped out for the Hollywood premiere of The color purple looked slim last year. Speak with PeopleWinfrey detailed her approach to weight loss after “five decades” of weight fluctuations, “yo-yoing and feeling like, why can't I just get over this thing, believing that willpower was my failure.”

Winfrey said she's “done with the shame” surrounding weight-loss drugs, revealing she uses it as a “maintenance tool” for her own body.

“The fact that there is a medically approved prescription in my lifetime to manage weight and stay healthier feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift, and not something to hide behind and be ridiculed all over again,” she said. Winfrey to the outlet.

She added: “Obesity is a disease. It's not about willpower, it's about the brain.”

After discussing it with her doctor, Winfrey was prescribed a medication and said she now uses it “as I think I need it, as an aid not to yo-yo.”

An Oprah Special: Shame, Guilt, and the Weight Loss Revolution airs March 18 on ABC and the next day on Hulu.

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