Oprah Winfrey Shines Spotlight on Obesity Treatment Breakthroughs

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Oprah Winfrey highlights advancements in medical treatments to help people struggling with obesity

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The subject of obesity is often associated with shame and guilt as many people assume that becoming and remaining overweight is simply the result of personal choices. The thinking goes that if people would just eat less and exercise more, then their weight-loss struggles would simply vanish. However, as greater understanding about obesity has increased, studies have revealed that personal choice is a minimal factor for many people.

Oprah Winfrey recently hosted a new primetime special to talk about this subject, and to speak candidly about her own personal struggles with obesity. In addition, she used this special to help educate viewers about the new weight-loss medications that have emerged in recent years.

Premier Health Now spoke with Alice Wang, MD, bariatric surgeon and obesity medicine specialist with Premier Weight Loss Solutions, to get a better understanding about obesity and its treatment, and to learn more about the impact of specials like this to help people overcome the shame that is often associated with this disease.

Fighting Stigmas & Overcoming Misconceptions

According to Dr. Wang, many of the old stigmas surrounding the subject of weight loss still linger in people’s minds even though the American Medical Association (AMA) has designated obesity as a disease. However, as more celebrities such as Winfrey speak up, the more it encourages people to successfully come to terms with obesity’s realities, and to seek out effective treatment.

“I have asked my patients that if someone like Oprah, with all of her resources, cannot lose weight on her own, how can the rest of us?” says Dr. Wang. “When it comes to treating obesity, many people will need either medications or surgery in addition to lifestyle changes.”

Winfrey talked extensively about the role that medications known as GLP-1 Agonists, have played in helping her maintain a healthy weight. Though previous weight loss medications have been around for years, none has been as effective as the GLP-1’s to help patients fight a winning battle against obesity.

Though these results have been truly encouraging, Dr. Wang mentions that medications are just one tool in a broader arsenal that can help patients lose and keep off the weight.

“The cornerstone of weight management remains diet and exercise,” says Dr. Wang, “However, these alone won’t result in sustainable weight loss for the long term, and there are many studies that support this.”

Dr. Wang advises her patients that weight loss treatment is a life-long journey and that it is important to work closely with their physician to determine the proper treatment, whether that includes medication, surgery, diet and exercise, or a combination of each.

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