Oprah's "Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution" Special To Air March 18th

In the upcoming ABC primetime television event, "An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution," Oprah Winfrey is set to host a groundbreaking panel discussion that delves deep into the burgeoning world of prescription weight loss medications, with a special focus on prominent drugs like Ozempic and Semaglutide. Scheduled for Monday, March 18 at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC, and subsequently available on Hulu the next day, the broadcast is poised to tackle a broad spectrum of vital issues—ranging from the medications' effects on public health and the economy, to their influence on individual lifestyles and societal values. Against the backdrop of a live studio audience, Oprah will engage with America's leading medical experts, along with individuals personally navigating through the complexities of this health care predicament, in a dialogue meant to illuminate and challenge the current understanding of obesity management.

This pivotal conversation arrives at a moment when novel pharmaceutical solutions, particularly Ozempic and Semaglutide, emerge as potential game-changers in the fight against the obesity epidemic—an issue that has seen a dramatic escalation since the 1970s, and which now burdens the United States with approximately $173 billion in annual medical expenses. "This topic holds a place of profound significance in my heart, and it resonates with the experiences of hundreds of millions around the world who have grappled with weight control and obesity for decades," Oprah shared in a preparatory statement. "Through this special, we aim to convene a panel of medical professionals, industry leaders, and individuals who are living with these challenges daily, to foster a conversation about health equity and obesity. Our goal is to eradicate the stigma, judgment, and shame that too often accompany discussions about weight."

The special will spotlight a diverse panel, including renowned experts like Dr. W. Scott Butsch from the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' chief medical correspondent, medical correspondent Dr. Darien Sutton, and Dr. Amanda Velazquez of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. These discussions will be enriched by the stories of people from across the nation who have personal experiences with weight loss medications, including a young individual among the first to benefit from treatments like Ozempic and Semaglutide, raising critical questions about their use in younger populations. Moreover, the conversation will extend to executives from the pharmaceutical companies that have developed these cutting-edge medications, aiming to shed light on what these developments mean for the over 100 million Americans and more than a billion individuals worldwide living with obesity.

In an effort to provide comprehensive insights, the special will address a series of pressing questions:

  • How is obesity officially defined as a disease?
  • Who are the primary candidates for medications like Ozempic and Semaglutide?
  • What criteria determine eligibility for these weight loss treatments?
  • What essential discussions should patients have with their healthcare providers?
  • What are the known short-term and long-term side effects of these drugs?
  • How do supply chain issues impact patients with diabetes, and what are the broader implications for society?

Furthermore, the program will explore the societal stigmas associated with taking medication for weight loss and contemplate the future role of these pharmaceuticals in our culture.

Mark your calendars for an enlightening evening with "An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution" on Monday, March 18, on ABC at 8 p.m. EDT. This special aims not only to inform and educate but also to transform the conversation around weight loss, health equity, and the societal implications of the latest advancements in medical treatments for obesity.