Fair warning—this article might get a little bit spicy.

Because I recently watched Oprah’s big weight loss special and I have a LOT of thoughts.

In case you missed it, let me fill you in: The special was called, “Shame, Blame, and the Weight Loss Revolution,” and for lack of a better word, it was basically an hour-long infomercial for Ozempic and other weight loss drugs.

Oprah’s “revolution” is that Ozempic is amazing, and that everyone—including children—should be clamoring to take it without hesitation, nevermind the fact that it’s ridiculously expensive, comes with a ton of scary side effects, and you have to commit to taking it for life.

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Suffice to say, I was not a fan. Honestly, the whole thing made me feel sick, knowing just how many women love and adore Oprah, and trust her to give them what they think is good advice.

Because this was not good advice. And today, I want to talk about why.

But let me start by saying that it’s not that I don’t understand the struggle.

As a 46 year old woman who struggled with my weight for years, that’s the part of Oprah’s special I could relate to so much, and what so many other women probably relate to as well.

Because so many of us have struggled for so long.

And while my own struggle wasn’t 30 years like Oprah, and my battle with my weight wasn’t exactly a “national sport” like hers was, it did consume a big part of my life for close to 12 years.

So I understand the pain and the shame and the blame.

I understand the frustration of trying one diet after another, always hopeful that this next one was going to be THE one. And sometimes I’d lose a few pounds, maybe even 10 or 15.

And then I’d gain it right back. Over and over and over.

And if you’re reading this because you too are struggling with this, then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. How not feeling good about your body and the way that you look and feel starts to impact everything else in your life.

You don’t feel good in your clothes, you’re always self-conscious and self critical. You don’t even want to go shopping, because it’s just a depressing exercise. You start avoiding pictures or even wanting to look in the mirror. You start saying no. You start hiding. It basically starts eroding your confidence and your life.

And on top of that, you just don’t feel good. You’re tired all the time. You feel bloated and gassy. You struggle with heartburn and indigestion, or sometimes even chronic pain and headaches and inflammation.

Believe me, I get it. Because that was my life for many, many years.

This secret battle that I was too ashamed to talk about.

And, like Oprah, I blamed myself. Maybe you do too.

I thought the problem was that I was weak. That I just didn’t have enough willpower to lose the weight. That if I could just manage to cut my calories and stick to a diet for LONG enough, I’d finally lose the weight and be happy.

But I’d always fail. I’d get so hungry that I couldn’t focus, and then I’d fall of the wagon YET AGAIN, and go right back into that shame spiral.

So when I say that I think Oprah is full of shit, it’s not because I think she’s lying about her own experience.

I believe her when she talks about her struggle. I can relate to her when she talks about how long and how hard she struggled. I feel it, because I’ve felt it too.

But to me that’s also what makes her message so dangerous.

And that’s what’s I want to unpack a little bit more today—exactly where I think Oprah went wrong in her weight loss special, and what I believe is the REAL weight loss revolution that no one—especially not Oprah—is willing to talk about, because it’s just not as profitable.

Because the reality is that this special was a lot of things, but it wasn’t journalism.

It certainly wasn’t fair and balanced.

The clearly stated goal was to convince women everywhere of the same carefully crafted message that the pharmaceutical companies—the makers of these drugs—have put together, which basically breaks down to this:

  1. Your struggle with weight loss is not your fault because obesity is a disease.
  2. If you have a disease, you take medication to treat the disease. It’s not a moral failure—it’s just what you do.
  3. If you have a disease that requires medication, it’s normal to take that medication for life.

And I’ve got to admit…it’s a pretty effective message, because on the surface it seems so logical and compassionate.

But it’s not. It’s actually completely manipulative.

Oprah’s special was a snow job. A classic, “look here, not there” maneuver. So let’s talk about why.

Issue #1: Emotional Manipulation

The first big issue was the blatant emotional manipulation that started with Oprah’s recounting of her own emotional and highly relatable struggle with weight loss, and that continued throughout the show through the sharing of other people’s stories.

And I get why they went that route. I’m a writer, a podcaster, and a business owner. I understand the power of stories. Personal stories are compelling. They’re emotional. They’re what we relate to as humans. Facts and figures don’t sell products. Stories do.

And the stories Oprah chose to highlight in this special were very much designed to manipulate us, the viewers, into accepting the narrative.

  • That obesity is a disease, and that it’s not your fault you’ve struggled.
  • That weight loss drugs are the only answer to a disease.
  • That taking this medication for the rest of your life is clearly the only answer.

And the thing is, every single story she highlighted was compelling. It was emotional. I found myself getting choked up multiple times, because I could relate so much to the experiences that were being shared.

Most of us probably could.

And that’s what makes it so manipulative. Because when we’re being driven by emotion, we lose our ability to make critical judgments.

How could we not be rooting for these women, or for this poor 15 year old girl whose whole life has been transformed? We’re not monsters.

But the stories were one sided. No one was invited to share a story that didn’t fit the narrative.

In fact, multiple times during the course of the special, Oprah said things like, “and if diet and exercise works for you, then that’s great for you, but it’s because you clearly don’t have the same disease that we all have.”

What she was doing was subtly setting up a strawman argument, and an “us versus them” dichotomy. All to fit the agenda.

And it was powerful. But that’s also what makes it so dangerous. Because when you’re getting swept up into the emotion and personal interest story, you don’t realize you’re actually being manipulated.

So that’s my first big issue—the emotional manipulation. But definitely not my ONLY issue.

Issue #2: Doctors With an Agenda

The next big issue I had with Oprah’s infomercial—and we might as well call it that, because that’s really what it was—is the fact that the ONLY doctors she had appear on the show were representatives of the pharmaceutical companies.

Are you kidding me?

They actually had to show a disclaimer on the screen stating that both doctors are employed by Big Pharma.

If that’s not a huge red flag, then I don’t know what is.

You simply can’t have an honest discourse about weight loss when you’re only talking to two doctors who are being paid to push a specific agenda.

Frankly, you can’t trust anything they say, because they’ve been bought and paid for.

Just like Oprah.

But honestly, that’s the biggest problem with the medical industry today—it’s all funded by Big Pharma.

Because the two doctors that appeared on the show definitely aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits from this so-called “weight loss revolution.”

And if you read the article I wrote a few weeks ago, about Big Food and Big Pharma, and how they are basically conspiring against us to keep us sick and fat, and how they have been for a long time, then this isn’t entirely new information.

But the entire medical industry is largely funded by Big Pharma. 70% of medical schools are directly funded by pharmaceutical companies. They are literally writing the textbooks that doctors learn from.

And if you’ve watched any of those recent movies about the Opioid crisis—Pain Hustlers was one, and PainKiller was another one—you’ve seen a glimpse of what I’m talking about.

Doctors get paid big money to push certain drugs.

And at least on Oprah’s show, they showed a warning. When you go to your own doctor, there’s no disclaimer. But that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

And I’m not saying that every single doctor out there is bought and paid for by Big Pharma, but a lot are. It’s a huge problem.

And it also means we can’t really trust what the doctors are telling us because they have an agenda. So that’s issue #2.

Issue #3: Glossing Over The Downside

The third big issue with Oprah’s infomercial was how they basically just glossed over the downside of this medication—the severe side effects, and also the fact that you have to continue taking the medication FOR LIFE or you’ll basically gain all the weight back.

Even when one guest spoke about the fact that she had to stop taking Ozempic because she was so sick that she started throwing up blood, they quickly panned away and the doctors—the same ones who are paid for by the Pharmaceutical companies—quickly dismissed the concerns as irrelevant.

This is not just dangerous, it’s completely irresponsible.

Because the reality is that these drugs have MANY side effects that are already known, including severe digestive issues, cramping, severe nausea, the risk of permanent stomach paralysis, and depression, just to name a few.

It’s been shown that these drugs not only take away your desire to eat, but your desire for ANY sort of pleasure—for sex or connecting with friends or even shopping. It takes away your drive and your motivation and the thing that makes you human.

And that’s just in the short term. There’s no telling what the long-term effects of these drugs could be, because they haven’t been studied long enough.

But we’re okay with telling teenagers that they need to be taking them for the rest of their life.

And again, I’ve written about this before, but my real issue with the pharmaceutical industry is that they have no real interest in actually healing people.

They’re happy to talk about the fact that obesity is a disease, but their solution is to get you on drugs that you have to stay on for life.

And that’s always their solution, for every drug.

Because their goal is profit, not healing. And if they healed you, they would make less money. The only way to ensure real, long-term profitability is to make sure you stay totally dependent on their drug for relief.

So that’s my third big issue with this whole thing—the fact that everyone is so willing to just gloss over the insanely dangerous side effects and the fact that you have to stay on these drugs for life if you want to keep seeing the results.

Issue #4: Campaigning for Insurance Coverage

My fourth big issue with this whole thing was a piece that was a little more subtle, but definitely there if you were paying attention. And that was the clear push—basically the campaign—to have these drugs be covered by insurance for as many people as possible.

Because the one downside that they did talk about is the fact that these drugs are expensive, and what a travesty it is that so many people who could benefit from them can’t actually afford to take them because they’d have to pay out of pocket.

And that comes right back to the narrative, right?

If obesity is a disease, then medication is required. And if medication is required, then the insurance companies should be paying for everyone to have it.

And think about it—what more could the pharmaceutical companies possibly want?

If the only thing that’s holding back millions and millions of people from taking their drugs is the fact that it’s not covered by insurance, getting insurance companies to start paying for it has got to be their number one goal.

It will be an instant windfall.

And frankly, when that happens, we’ll all be lost.

So that’s my fourth big issue with this bullshit infomercial.

And don’t get me wrong here, because I actually agree with the premise that your weight struggles are NOT your fault.

But I don’t believe that pharmaceuticals are the answer.

And that’s what brings me to my fifth and final issue, which is probably my biggest beef of all with this whole thing.

Issue #5: No Alternative Viewpoint

It is the fact that in this whole hour-long infomercial parading as a piece of legitimate journalism, there was no alternative viewpoint given.

There were no emotional stories shared of women who have lost weight and gotten healthy by changing the way they eat, by reversing their insulin resistance and healing their gut and balancing their hormones.

And I know those stories exist in spades, because I see them every single day in our program.

There were no interviews with doctors and experts who haven’t been bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical companies—people like Dr. Benjamin Bickman or Dr. Mark Hyman or Gary Taubes or Dr. Steven Gundry or Dr. Will Cole.

Doctors and experts who actually understand that Big Pharma is a huge part of the problem, not the solution.

Because, Iike I said, I actually agree wholeheartedly with the premise that your weight loss struggles are NOT your fault.

But what I don’t agree with is why.

Because what I believe, what I KNOW, is that as a society, we have been lied to for YEARS, by both Big Food and Big Pharma, and also by the media and the government, and in this article, I included citations of all the documented research to back it up.

But that’s why I don’t agree with the rest of the narrative.

And why in fact I know that it’s bullshit.

Because the obesity epidemic in this country is not the result of some mysterious “obesity disease.”

It is the direct result of a 50+ year push by Big Food to fill our diets with highly addictive ultra-processed, chemical laden food that is literally toxic. The high fructose corn syrup, the refined sugars and carbohydrates, the preservatives and fillers, the inflammatory seed oils….it’s all led to rampant insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance, which has in turn caused this obesity epidemic.

But guess how many times “insulin resistance” was mentioned in a special about weight loss.


A condition that is known to affect nearly 90% of the population—a condition that is actually treated by the drugs that they were working so hard to convince us to take, was not even mentioned one time.

But Oprah didn’t want to talk about insulin resistance, or about hormonal imbalance, or about the importance of gut health and the fact that 90% of the population is also experiencing some form of leaky gut syndrome.

Because if she did talk about that, she’d probably have to talk about the very thing that Big Pharma doesn’t want us to know—is that there IS a way to actually heal your body and balance your hormones without drugs and without dieting and without making you miserable.

And that’s the REAL Weight Loss Revolution.

That you can actually HEAL your body—not just treat the symptoms—but HEAL yourself—reverse your insulin resistance and balance your hormones and heal your gut, just by changing the way that you eat.

And you don’t have to restrict your calories. You don’t have to deprive yourself. You don’t have to starve. You just have to eat the right things.

You’ve got to cut out all the processed crap food and start eating a diet filled with whole foods and nutrient dense protein and healthy fats.

That’s it. That’s the solution. That’s the revolution.

Because the way most of us have been eating our lives is what’s killing us.

And honestly it makes me sick that OPRAH of all people—the woman who has held herself up as a champion for women, as a person of integrity and someone we should trust and admire and believe, is shilling this crap.

And it makes me even sicker that so many women who are desperate for a solution will fall for it. Because like I said at the beginning, I understand that struggle. I understand the desperation.

Honestly, if Ozempic had been around a few years ago, I probably would have been first in line.

I wouldn’t have even cared how much it cost. I just wanted something that worked.

So I get it, and I have no judgment for any woman who is struggling with this part of your life.

But I also know now that there is a MUCH better way.

A real solution that will heal your body, not force you to take drugs for the rest of your life.

A solution that will allow you to live your best and most vibrant life, not a half-life dulled by pharmaceuticals that fix one problem but cause a dozen more.

Because to me pharmaceuticals should always be a last resort.

And I’ll say this too, because I think it’s important.

If you’re already taking some sort of weight loss drug, it’s not too late for you. We have women in our program who have successfully come off those drugs because they’ve learned how to actually change the way they eat, and they’ve done the work to actually heal their body.

And you can do that too.

And by the way, if you want more information about HOW to start changing the way you eat and help creating a plan that will allow you to heal your body and lose weight and get healthy for LIFE, then please go check out my free training. It’s called Healthy, Happy and Free and it’s really good. 

I know this was a lot today, but I had to get it out.

I hope it was helpful, and if you know anyone else who would benefit from hearing this—and hearing an alternative viewpoint, then PLEASE pass it along and share it with everyone you know.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again—I am on a mission to change the world by helping women transform their health. Not with drugs. Not with dieting. But by actually HEALING your body. Because to me this isn’t actually about weight loss, it’s about FREEDOM.

The freedom to look and feel your best. The freedom to NOT be controlled by food addictions or by Big Food or Big Pharma ever again. The freedom to pursue ALL your big goals and dreams because your health and your weight are no longer holding you back.

But I can’t achieve this mission on my own. It will take an army of women like you who dare to speak up and question the narrative. Who aren’t afraid to call out the bullshit, And who are willing to spread the word.

So share this and keep talking about it.

Don’t let Big Pharma win. They might have Oprah, but we’ve got Truth on our side.

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One Comment

  1. I usually read all your articles, Ruth. I just don’t usually comment. This one is excellent, as well as the one about freedom over 40. I had no idea that obesity is now considered a “disease.” How ridiculous.
    So few people use their platform to teach others about the connection between big food and big pharma! And doctors are taught NOTHING about nutrition! Thank you for exposing the lies and the fakes. I don’t know who originally said it, but “you can pay the farmer now, or you can pay the pharmacy later” and there is NO OTHER OPTION.