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Oprah Winfrey Opens Up About Her Weight-Loss Journey: The FDA-Approved GLP-1 Medications

Christopher Polk / Variety via Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey Opens Up About Her  Weight-Loss Journey: The FDA-Approved GLP-1 Medications (Wegovy, Ozempic, ZepBound, Mounjaro)

Dec 21, 2023


Oprah Winfrey's recent disclosure about her weight-loss journey, incorporating the GLP-1 medication, highlights a broader discussion on medications for weight loss. With obesity affecting nearly 42% of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the emergence of drugs like Ozempic, Mounjaro, ZepBound, and Wegovy has reshaped the landscape of weight management.


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  • "You can empower your weight loss journey with medicines to control your appetite,"

Diabetes Medications Transforming

In a society grappling with rising obesity rates, medications originally designed for individuals with Type 2 diabetes, such as Ozempic and Mounjaro, have gained popularity due to their weight-loss benefits. The drugs operate by enhancing insulin production in the pancreas, facilitating the transfer of sugar from the blood into body tissues. Additionally, they slow down stomach movement and suppress appetite, contributing to weight loss.

Both Ozempic and Mounjaro have received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating Type 2 diabetes. Wegovy, another medication featuring semaglutide, the main ingredient in Ozempic, has obtained FDA approval explicitly for weight loss. Recently ZepBound, a medication featuring Tirzepatide, the main ingredient in Mounjaro, has been FDA approved for weight loss. This further underscores the potential dual benefits of these medications in managing both diabetes and obesity.

Approaches and Medication Choices

The availability of FDA-approved medications, each with its unique mechanism of action, offers individuals a range of choices in addressing obesity. As Oprah Winfrey's journey sheds light on the significance of personalized approaches, the combination of lifestyle changes and medication emerges as a viable strategy for those navigating the complexities of weight management.

In the evolving landscape of weight-loss medications, Oprah Winfrey's openness, combined with Dr. Sadeghi's insights, contributes to a more comprehensive and informed understanding of obesity. This evolving discourse encourages individuals to explore diverse options under the guidance of healthcare professionals, fostering a culture that prioritizes health and well-being. 

Dr. Sadeghi, expressing appreciation for Winfrey's candor, emphasized the multifactorial nature of obesity, dispelling the notion that willpower alone is a sufficient solution. "I appreciate what Oprah said about willpower because when it comes to weight loss, willpower alone doesn't work," Dr. Sadeghi remarked. "Obesity is a multifactorial disease and has a lot to do with genetics." 

Dr. Sadeghi, a weight-loss physician and leading gastroenterologist, highlighted the challenges faced by individuals who, despite concerted efforts through lifestyle modifications, struggle to achieve significant weight loss. She empathetically addressed the feelings of guilt and self-blame that many experience in their weight-loss journey.

  • "…please know you have options. You can empower your weight loss journey with medicines to control your appetite,

The spotlight of this paradigm shift in weight management is on Zepbound, a novel GLP-1 and GIP receptor agonist. Dr. Sadeghi provided valuable insights into the medication, noting its initial approval for diabetes under the name Mounjaro and its current indication as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults.

Zepbound is particularly recommended for individuals with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater, or 27 kg/m2 or greater in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition. These conditions may include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, or cardiovascular disease.

Acknowledging potential concerns about side effects, Dr. Sadeghi reassured that, in most cases, the benefits of weight loss and the potential to reverse metabolic risk factors far outweigh any associated risks. This perspective aligns with a growing recognition in the medical community that weight-loss medications can be a valuable tool when used judiciously in combination with a healthy lifestyle.

Oprah Winfrey's decision to incorporate a GLP-1 medicine into her weight-loss strategy reflects a departure from conventional perceptions and embraces a more comprehensive and personalized approach to wellness. Dr. Sadeghi's endorsement further reinforces the notion that weight-loss medications are not a shortcut but a strategic element in a broader plan for improved health.

As discussions around weight management evolve, Oprah Winfrey's openness about her journey and Dr. Sadeghi's professional insights contribute significantly to destigmatizing weight-loss medications. Together, they encourage a more compassionate and informed approach to tackling the complex issue of obesity, offering hope and empowerment to those navigating their own paths to a healthier, happier life.

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