We have updated our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. By using this website, you consent to our Terms and Conditions.


Monte Nido’s Response to the Oprah Special and GLP-1s Being Media Darlings

The constant media attention around GLP-1 medications like semaglutide and others are making their popularity soar while taking a toll on those at risk for or living with eating disorders. The countless stories of famous people who are using the medication for weight loss exacerbates the preoccupation with changing our bodies to fit the thin ideal and continues to permeate daily media coverage, social media feeds, and real-life gossip.

There is no escape from these mostly one-sided stories that perpetuate diet culture, weight stigma, and anti-fat bias, which can fuel the development or continuation of an eating disorder. This lack of consideration for the negative impact on people with disordered eating is putting lives in danger.

And very few in the mainstream media are talking about this.

While we believe in the importance of every individual’s personal journey and body autonomy, Oprah’s prime-time special, “Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution” helps to perpetuate diet culture and anti-fat bias, which can be argued is contradictory to the goal of her sharing her story – to release the stigma and the shame around weight and weight loss.

Furthermore, there was no mention in Oprah’s Special about the potential harm from weight-loss interventions particularly for those with eating disorder history or a predisposition for disordered eating.

GLP-1 Medications and Eating Disorders

We know that eating disorders are on the rise and have the second highest mortality rate of any mental illness (STRIPED, Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) and Deloitte Access Economics). Thus, we believe it is the media’s duty to share this side of the semaglutiude story, too, and include eating disorders in this crucial conversation.

The long-term impact of GLP-1s on individuals who are taking it for weight-loss are unknown, however, recent research has shown that individuals without diabetes who take GLP-1s for weight loss have an increased risk of developing serious medical complications, including pancreatitis, gastroparesis, bowel obstructions, and gallbladder disease (Sodhi, et al., 2023; He, et al., 2022).

Not only do these side effects complicate eating disorder treatment, but these drugs also fuel the harmful societal norm of valuing thinness over body acceptance.

At Monte Nido, it is our clinical recommendation that promotion of weight loss is antithetical to the evidence-based treatments of eating disorders, and we stand with the Collaborative of Eating Disorders (CEDO) recommendation that every person considered for a GLP-1 prescription is screened for disordered eating and eating disorders.

Our team has tried without success in asking mainstream media to cover this side of the GLP-1s story and to include eating disorders in their reporting. We believe it is the media’s ethical responsibility to include eating disorders and mental health in the conversations around GLP1 use. It is critical to have an open dialogue and share all information with the general public.