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Statement Following Oprah Winfrey Special: Relying On Medication Alone To End The Obesity Crisis Will Fail

March 18, 2024

Chicago – Academy President Dr. Lauri Wright, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND, released the following statement on anti-obesity medications following the Oprah Winfrey hour-long ABC primetime special tonight. The Academy recently released a statement on anti-obesity medications (AOMs) and announced that they will be issuing a white paper on these prescriptions and the role of lifestyle interventions delivered by registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN) in the spring.

“Oprah’s special was a testament to the fact that obesity impacts every aspect of a person’s life. It is well known that the physical and financial consequences of obesity have led to the loss of millions of lives and billions of dollars. What is too often overlooked is the emotional toll of obesity that magnifies the detrimental effects of this complex, chronic and progressive disease.

Anti-obesity medications have the potential to play a significant role in ending the obesity epidemic if it is part of a larger strategy that involves a collaborative, interprofessional approach. To enhance the efficacy and safety of these medications, we must remove the barriers for each individual to receive the tools and support they need from qualified RDNs and health practitioners. Relying on medication alone to end the obesity crisis will fail unless every person has access to both lifestyle interventions and safe and effective medications.”

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