GLP-1 Drugs and Celebrities

In the old days, meaning the late 60s and early 70s, adherents of the fat acceptance movement could be found at public protests, throwing diet books and pictures of Twiggy into bonfires, as if they were draft cards. Nowadays, writer Shane O’Neill suggests, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance has mellowed into a group that aspires to influence legislation and end discrimination. Other people with similar feelings have gravitated to the more ambitious and militant Body Positivity movement.

For instance, when activist Virgie Tovar received partnership offers from various weight-loss companies, she notified her Instagram followers, “I don’t want Ozempic.” Tovar is not alone in that sentiment. Many people feel that too many body-positive and fat-positive influencers have transmogrified into advocates for weight loss. Their followers feel betrayed. The reporter describes the internet talk show, “It’s Bigger Than Me” produced by pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk.

Of course, the drug company has a justification:

We are not here to denounce body positivity or detract in any way from the strides we, as a community, have made in inclusivity. The reality is that two truths exist — obesity can impact health, but the discrimination, stigma and shame experienced by people living with obesity for their weight is also very real.

Meanwhile, if there is one thing the average American loves more than weight loss, that other thing is celebrity worship. A shocking number of average folk want — nay, demand — to know which famous people are using the trendy GLP-1 drugs, for how long, and why, or why not. And how many pounds they have lost, and how often they throw up, or stay home because they are afraid they will throw up.

It has also been open season on celebrities who say the wrong thing about other celebrities’ weight-loss drug use, whether they express criticism or approbation — and out there in the zeitgeist, there is no shortage of either.

Men are more rarely heard from

In the spring of last year, Mark Wahlberg put his feelings on the record. The actor is known for his strict fitness regime which includes rising at 2:30 AM for the first of several daily workout sessions. Wahlberg, of course, is not a normal person, having gained and lost large amounts of weight for film roles. He does it all with exercise and correct eating, saying, “You’d be surprised what you can accomplish when you’re willing to do the work.” He does not judge others harshly, but would definitely prefer them to choose the “good old-fashioned way.”

In the recent past, Wonderwall.com has contacted show biz professionals and recorded their Ozempic experiences. Sharon Osbourne reported taking an unnamed weight-loss drug for four months, feeling nauseated through most of it, and losing 30 pounds. Then in September, she appeared on a talk show and confessed, “I didn’t want to go this thin” — which, apparently, was under 100 pounds.

Actor and “internet personality” Samantha Jo took Mounjaro, and described how peaceful her inner life had become since the “food noise” quieted down, and she understood for the first time what it was like to be a normal person not constantly besieged by thoughts of eating. Jo also told the public that all the positive attention she had attracted was not always comfortable, although her audience had increased and more advertisers sought her out.

There were resentful thoughts, like, “I wasn’t good enough for you then. And the only thing that has changed about me now is my weight… I don’t see how your weight should indicate how you’re treated or if you’re worthy of respect.”

Writer and editor Samhita Mukhopadhyay stopped using Mounjaro because of the expense but also has philosophical objections. Namely, prying into the lives of celebrities as if we had the right, is just a “weird witch hunt, and all these discussions only prove how determined humans are to invent “more tools to judge each other with.”

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “New marketing push by Ozempic and others sparks body-positive backlash,” WashingtonPost.com, 02/14/24
Source: “Mark Wahlberg Is Not A Fan Of The Ozempic Weight Loss Fad,” Yahoo.com, 05/04/23
Source: “Stars Who Have Admitted,” Wonderwall.com, 09/22/23
Source: “Rocker’s Famous Wife,” Wonderwall.com, 05/08/23
Source: “Food is one of life’s great pleasures. Will weight-loss drugs end that?,” WashingtonPost.com, 10/02/23
Source: “‘You look great! Ozempic?’ The new minefields of weight-loss etiquette,” WashingtonPost.com, 06/25/24
Image by Hollywood Branded/ATTRIBUTION 2.0 GENERIC

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The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

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:

Presentations

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.

Food & Health Resources