On this week’s Watch What Happens Live, Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Dolores Catania admitted to Andy Cohen that she was on the new class of weight loss medications. Catania did not hesitate to say yes to being on the drug when Cohen asked “Ozempy?” in reference to her recent 15-pound weight loss.
Later Catania clarified that she’s on Mounjaro, another medication that is similar to Ozempic. Incretin medications, like semaglutide (Ozempic) and tirzepatide (Mounjaro), were initially created for Type 2 diabetes. Along with Wegovy, which is FDA approved for weight loss, these medications have recently been prescribed to treat obesity. The weekly injections help suppress hunger and have helped users lose an average of 15-22 percent of their body weight.
Soon after her admission social media users blasted Catania for promoting an unhealthy practice, stating she didn’t need it. In an interview with Today, Catania’s own doctor, New York board certified endocrinologist and obesity specialist Rocio Salas-Whalen, MD spoke out about many of the misconceptions about the drug, including who should and shouldn’t be taking these medications.
Her Doctor’s Response
While she can’t speak specifically about Catania’s personal health, Dr. Salas-Whalen says there are many factors that can contribute to someone’s propensity for obesity, including genetics, hormones and insulin resistance. You simply cannot look at someone and tell if they are the right candidates for these medications. “Whenever we see somebody that we may think they don’t need the medication, unless you’re their doctor, you don’t know their medical history,” she told TODAY.com. “You don’t know what medications they’re taking, you don’t know their internal health and the reasoning for a patient…to be on this type of medication.”
We reached out to Dr. Salas-Whalen for comment and she adds that the backlash is not surprising as it stems from societal misconceptions about thinness and health. “There is a backlash because we, as a society, keep associating weight loss with being thin or thinness with being healthy. When somebody thinks that people are sourcing a medication to be thin, they may think that it’s crazy. They may ask ‘Why would you take medication to look a certain way?,’” she explains. What the conversation is missing, she says, is the focus on internal health. “They’re reducing your risk of disease and improving current diseases they may currently have. Weight loss itself is not the main point for somebody who has obesity or is struggling with weight.”