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Let’s talk about the new weight loss injectables Wegovy, Ozempic and Mounjaro. There.is.so.much.to.say.
We have put together some thoughts, and there will certainly be more to come! Dana was live on Instagram recently talking about what she learned from Oprah’s “groundbreaking conversation with o*esity experts” discussing the merits of the meds that honestly felt more like an infomercial. We are worried. Some days it feels like the house of cards that holds up the weight loss industry is an unnatural force. Over and over again they bank on an unethical mix of misinformation, marketing, and minimal short term research to play on your hopes and scare you a bit. It’s pretty insidious. Let us say more.
Many of our colleagues such as Marquisele Mercedes and Ragen Chastain have provided information, research and analysis on these prescription medications for weight loss. They are smart AF. We encourage you to read their work and support them if you can.
We know we are living in a world that cannot let go of a fairytale-like obsession with weight loss. Most of us have believed (because we were told) that a magic pill could come and aleve us of the burden of living fat in a fat-hating culture. We have been told our entire lives that a better mousetrap was coming. Many among us hoped for a magic cure-all for our fatness. So these new medications create a challenging point of reckoning.
Every time some new weight loss med comes to town, it boosts hope for folks who have long loathed their bodies. Which is most people. The new med is marketed in a way that is wildly seductive to consumers who have been (sometimes literally) dying to achieve weight loss. There is a lot of speculation about who in Hollywood has used injectables. The New York Times reported that the highest rate of Ozempic prescriptions in New York City is in a neighborhood with “one of the highest life expectancies, and among the lowest rates of diabetes and o*esity” in the city.
We cannot ignore the timing of this medication’s popularity, while everyone continues to reckon with the impact of COVID on their lives, communities and overall health (including mental).
We have many concerns. Below are some that may be less obvious in the media circus surrounding them.
- The new medical-ese language regarding these injectables are new and are likely to further distance you from your body and your own knowing. As Dana mentioned on Instagram, there are language choices being made by proponents of these pharmaceuticals that mean less than they feel like they do.
- “Obe*ity” is no more a “brain disease” than strep throat, however if they call it that most consumers will believe their bodies are beyond their own expertise AND can likely be fixed with a medication. It creates doubt and possibility concurrently, which is an exceptionally manipulative form of marketing.
- It is important to note how people in the field of O*esity medicine are using the language of weight stigma to repackage a compassionate and more accepting medical care in conjunction with the marketing of the weight loss medications. The kinder physicians are learning that fatness is not your fault! It’s a disease! So they can be nice about it now. And they will still be focused on trying to help you fix it. This is not weight-inclusive medical care. This feels like another version of the same shit, rebranded. So ridiculous.
Fat bodies literally are up for public comment and debate everyday, before these weight loss injectables hit the market. Fat folks who are not opting into these meds, people who have lived with disordered eating, and those prescribed these medications for diabetes do not need to be part of weight loss conversations, confessionals, healthism, or general discussions that are now quite commonplace. And it is impossible to offer this type of protection because of the dominant weight paradigm’s narcissistic obsession with controlling body size and profiting off of it. They believe their dues should be coming and they have earned them.
So we’ve got our work cut out for us, especially with a New Year approaching.
Mark your calendars for January 12th from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. PST where we’ll host Sirius Bonner, Ragen Chastain, Lisa Du Breuil and Lisa Erlanger for a panel discussion about the new medications.
We will follow up with more soon!