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Oprah Winfrey to Host ABC Special Exploring Impact of Prescription Weight Loss Drugs

Oprah Winfrey will explore the radical impact of prescription weight loss medications in a new primetime special for ABC.

For the first time in history, new drugs could prove to be the game changer to stem the tide of people living with obesity, an epidemic which has grown exponentially since the 1970s, costing $173 billion per year in medical costs in the United States alone.

“An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution,” will answer key questions, including why obesity is designated as a disease, who the medications are intended for, who is eligible to receive them, what patients should ask their doctors, the short and long-term side effects of the drugs, the supply chain challenges, the impact on patients with diabetes, why there is shame surrounding taking the medication, and what the future of the medicines is in our society and culture.

“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.”

Medical experts who will be featured in the conversation in front of a live studio audience include Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. W. Scott Butsch, ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News medical correspondent Dr. Darien Sutton, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Dr. Amanda Velazquez.

Additionally, the special will include patients from around the country with a range of personal experiences with prescription weight loss medications, including a teenager who was among the first to take the new drugs and begs the question whether these medications should be given to minors.

Oprah also invites leaders from the two global pharmaceutical companies behind these revolutionary drugs to address what this means for the 100 million Americans and over 1 billion adults worldwide living with a deadly disease.

“We are thrilled to work with Oprah and the voices she has assembled to open a dialogue that destigmatizes and educates viewers on the important and polarizing topic of weight loss,” Disney Television Group president Craig Erwich said in a statement. “I can think of no one better to lead this meaningful conversation about such a critical issue that touches all of our lives.”

“An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution,” will air on the broadcast network on March 18 from 8 to 9 p.m. ET and stream next day on Hulu. The special is produced by Harpo Productions, with Winfrey and Tara Montgomery serving as executive producers.

The post Oprah Winfrey to Host ABC Special Exploring Impact of Prescription Weight Loss Drugs appeared first on TheWrap.