It’s been almost a year since the hullabaloo began over the “new” class of weight loss drugs and as someone who has prescribed them for diabetes and weight loss for years, I thought it was time to weigh in.
One thing I have realized, much to my dismay, is that the popularization of these drugs brought along with it the re-emergence of weight bias in both obvious and not-so-obvious ways.
In fact, I recently saw a post by a nutrition expert accusing people with obesity for “stealing” drugs from diabetics because of diet culture. As someone who has helped people with obesity for nearly 2 decades, I am thrilled that there are effective tools to help people manage their life-long struggles with excess weight.
What is not clear to some is that these drugs are FDA approved for the treatment of diabetes and obesity, both identified as diseases by the American Medical Association. A disease is defined as when the body deviates from normal processes. And as I have discussed on previous podcasts, once people gain weight, their bodies and their hormones deviate from the norm, in ways that make weight loss challenging, and weight regain, common. So having effective therapies that help people adhere to dietary changes is a god-send.
More importantly though, we must acknowledge that shame is shame. Whether we fat-shame someone for having excess weight or shame those who seek out weight loss medication for support, it is fat-shaming. It’s time we stop stigmatizing both those who are ready to lose weight and those who are not.
So on this week’s HealthBite, I offer a primer on what these drugs are all about, tackle some myths as well as the shame-game that much of the media has embraced.
If you or someone you love is struggling with obesity, this episode is for you!
Wishing you a happy and healthy week.