Enhancing the Language With Drugs

First came the “Ozempic face,” in which the buccal mucosa, or fat, goes away, leaving the face looking gaunt and aged, and which may or may not be reversible. Even with a loss as relatively minor as 20 pounds, women are left gasping at the appearance of the stranger in the mirror.

Predictably, the “Ozempic butt” was not far behind (haha). This is “the saggy, deflated appearance of the buttocks following rapid weight loss.” A quotation is attributed to Zsa Zsa Gabor: “As a woman, you have to choose between your fanny or your face.” Sadly, it seems that the -tide drugs do not leave room for even that choice, but remove fat indiscriminately from places where it needs to be:

Several frustrated users recently told The Post that their fingers and wrists are shrinking before their eyes, making it impossible to keep on their expensive wedding rings and bracelets.

Malnutrition is part of the picture, too. Depending on how much of a handicap the patient is burdened with, due to age and genetic makeup, this tragedy might be avoidable with slower loss goals, a very nutritious diet, and weight-bearing exercise.

The manufacturers are quick to declare “not our fault,” which is fair enough. The medication is not directly responsible, but shedding the pounds too fast definitely is. The condition can be helped by the surgical removal of extra skin, or the use of dermal fillers, and also by non-surgical means such as “radiofrequency, energy-based devices, and lasers.”

Psychological damage

Then, there is the term “Ozempic shaming.” Random citizens just love to hop on the nearest social media platform and vent about their disapproval of others who utilize the -tide family of pharmaceuticals for weight loss — especially when those others are celebrities.

If a media personality tells the truth about taking one of the -tide drugs, a legion of critics stand ready to pounce. If such a person is suspected of lying about it, the criticism is even more fierce. And if they take neither course, but just stay chubby, another contingent of judges descends upon them with harsh condemnation. Actor Emily Simpson (“Real Housewives of Orange County”) says the phenomenon boils down to, “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

Even Simpson’s admitted use of liposuction did not draw as much wrath as the mere suspicion of Ozempic use. Aimed at her and other media types, headlines tend to include some form of the word “accuse,” as if they were in danger of being arrested for something much, much worse.

And it hurts. Simpson, a three-time mother who happens to be an attorney, told the press,

I’ve done so many things in life and I’ve accomplished so many things, but the one thing that everybody wants to talk about is my size. And it’s just exhausting to me.

The accusers tend to be righteous, claiming that their concern is for diabetes patients endangered by shortages of the drugs. Or they are mad at anyone who “takes the easy way out” rather than working hard to earn a slimmer figure. Others want to decide exactly how overweight a public figure ought to be, before opting for the -tide drug option. Many angry randos resent the ability of celebrities to afford drugs when ordinary people cannot. Overall, it makes for an ugly situation.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Understanding Ozempic Butt: Can You Avoid It?,” HealthNews.com 06/19/23
Source: “Ozempic users spark spike in ER visits: Shocking new side effects,” NYPost.com, 06/19/23
Source: “Those experiencing ‘Ozempic shaming’ speak out about the backlash they faced,” ABC7NY.com, 08/09/23
Image by Mike Lewinski/CC BY 2.0

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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