Cassius Life Featured Video
81st Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Source: Tommaso Boddi/Golden Globes 2024 / Getty

Oprah Winfrey‘s decades-long struggle with weight, often chronicled on her long-running talk show seemingly came to an end in the last year when she was photographed with a noticeably slimmer appearance.

Earlier this year, Winfrey revealed that prescription weight loss drugs had helped her shed pounds. She resigned from Weight Watchers after the admission, although the company now has programs that incorporate the drugs available to assist with weight loss.

Winfrey announced that she’ll be hosting a prime-time ABC special on the controversy around weight, weight loss and the pros and cons of mediations, which sometimes come with challenging side effects. An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution will   air on ABC on March 18 and again on Hulu the next day.

As she’s done so many times, Winfrey will host the special in front of a live TV audience. Guests include Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. W. Scott Butsch, ABC News medical correspondents Dr. Jennifer Ashton and Dr. Darien Sutton and Cedars-Sinai’s Dr. Amanda Velazquez, along with patients who have used weight loss medications for better or for worse.

“It is a very personal topic for me and for the hundreds of millions of people impacted around the globe who have for years struggled with weight and obesity,” Winfrey said statement. “This special will bring together medical experts, leaders in the space and people in the day-to-day struggle to talk about health equity and obesity with the intention to ultimately release the shame, judgment and stigma surrounding weight.”

In 2023, the annual Trust for America report found that 41.9% of adults overall are considered obese, with an increase to 49.9 % for Blacks and 45.6% for Hispanics. Since the report’s inception in 2004, obesity rates have increased dramatically.

Ozempic, Mounjaro, Trulicity and other weight loss drugs have become popular recently. Once available for diabetic patients only, they are now approved for anyone trying to lose weight and have found favor with Hollywood celebrities. That has increased demand to the point that diabetics who need the drugs are finding them harder to get.

Danish company Novo Nordisk which makes Ozempic and Wegovy reported a $500B market value in 2023, due to the increasing demand for their products to combat obesity.