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Oprah to Examine Prescription Weight Loss Drug Phenomenon in Primetime ABC Special

Less than a month after her headline-making departure from WeightWatchers’ board of directors, Oprah Winfrey will host a primetime special dedicated to the topics of weight loss and obesity, namely the current trend of popular prescription weight loss drugs.

An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution will air Monday, March 18, at 8/7c on ABC and next day on Hulu. In a conversation with leading medical experts and those who have taken prescription weight loss medications, Winfrey will examine “the radical impact” of drugs like Ozempic, Mounjaro and Wegovy, diving deep into “the prevailing questions and concerns surrounding the impact on our health care, economy, lifestyle and culture,” according to Thursday’s announcement.

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“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 in a 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.”

Winfrey’s special comes on the heels of her late February announcement that she would not stand for reelection to WeightWatchers’ board of directors after nearly a decade in that role. At the time, Winfrey said she would donate her stake in the weight loss company to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and planned to “advise and collaborate” with WeightWatchers to continue “elevating the conversation” around obesity and health equity.

In the wake of Winfrey’s announcement, WeightWatchers’ stock fell nearly 25%, adding to existing financial woes the company has experienced amid the rise of Ozempic and other weight loss medications.

Relatedly, in a December 2023 interview with People, Winfrey shared that she had added a weight loss medication to her own health regimen.

“I had an awareness of [weight-loss] medications, but felt I had to prove I had the willpower to [lose weight],” she said at the time. “I now no longer feel that way… The fact that there’s a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for. I’m absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself.”

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