This Was the Year Ozempic Changed How People Saw Food

Bon Appétit

In 2023, these two impulses—the desire to consume and the desire to mitigate that consumption—came to a head, and Ozempic sits at the center. Semaglutides work by triggering a hormone that controls satiety—patients report feeling fuller faster, having reduced cravings, and being able to control eating in ways they have long struggled with. Emerging research suggests that they may even help control our overall desire to consume—not just food but also alcohol, cigarettes, and even what we buy. Ozempic is, potentially, a magic bullet not just for weight management, but our consumption anxieties.

The science is increasingly clear—if you struggle with overconsumption and the potential consequences that come from it, it is not a failure of personal responsibility. It is, instead, largely a product of circumstances—what triggers you’re exposed to, what neighborhood you live in, your genetic predispositions, your stress load, your affluence. Most of these factors, which play a large part in determining our health outcomes, are socio-economic conditions—not personal choices.

But the logic of Ozempic turns that on its head: You can choose to take one of these drugs, and you can control your fate. You could unlock not just the ideal physical appearance but everything that comes with it—the job you want, expensive clothes that you always dreamed of fitting into, the steady stream of suitors that will now miraculously appear. What’s more, all of this is apparently within reach regardless of what or how much you currently eat. (What’s a little constipation and nausea—the most common side effects—in the face of those possibilities?)

In the most basic sense—Ozempic is a trend because so many people are vying for it. The hype is not all that different from the Chai Frappe Burst (now at CosMc’s), Supreme Oreos, or Doritos hooch. Or, on the other hand, the latest wellness trends: the detox or low-carb repackage of the moment (keto, Whole30, internal showers, rinse repeat), Peloton bikes and their corresponding Instagram star trainers, biohacking (you don’t already check the PH of your urine?), and, apparently, just plain running. Or the newest physical enhancements: CoolSculpting to freeze off fat, buccal fat removal to reshape your face, and, of course, Botox to smooth it out.

Ozempic has been revolutionary for those who need it. But the frenzy may feed into the very same culture of consumption some people use it to solve for. As more and more celebrities admit to taking these drugs, they will become normalized as a way to maintain and reify untenable body standards, diets, and lifestyles in the face of our ever louder, ever more insistent consumption and diet cultures—so you can’t escape the Grimace Shake, but now it really is your fault if you consume too much. Having excised our innate, human desire to consume, though, we may start to long for it, especially as a way of connecting with others. After Thanksgiving, a friend texted to tell me hers was ruined because she had taken her Ozempic shot a few days before, and she had no appetite. When I asked her about it, she said that Ozempic had changed her life. However: “Sometimes, I just want to enjoy the food.”

Article Source:

Author:Samhita Mukhopadhyay |

Latest News

Creamy Gochujang Gnocchi

For my birthday last year, deputy food editor Hana Asbrink made a large pot of rosé tteokbokki, a cream-drunk version of the popular Korean rice cakes. Hana’s skillet was crowded

Read More »