What Effect is Ozempic Having on Fatphobia?

The headlines squeal with delight: Latest wonder drug will “cure” obesity. We’ve encountered these headlines before. Time and again, dubious and ineffective solutions for obesity gain prominence. Pills, tonics, elixirs, Zumba, Noom and now Ozempic.  The latest wonder drug is a semaglutide drug invented to help diabetics regulate blood glucose levels, but has the notable side-effect of severe weight loss — for which it is prescribed off-label. It has been heralded by many to culminate in the elimination of fat bodies.

The fatphobia that undergirds such a proclamation isn’t new. What makes this moment different from the others, however, is the dangerous rhetoric in which it is lodged. This rhetoric elevates the banal and commonplace fat-shaming that fat people must endure and resist to an unprecedented level. 

Even before this, fat people have been seen as having disposable lives not worth saving. For example, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic amid fears of bed shortages for COVID patients, the Ontario government drew up draft triage protocols that prioritized people assumed to be more likely to survive COVID-19. 

Excerpted from The Conversation

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