#245 Ozempic. The truth about the side effects and risks of this Magic Pill with Johann Hari

01 May 2024

Johann Hari is back on the podcast today and he looks completely different to the last time I saw him. He’s lost an incredible amount of weight, his face looks completely different and it’s all because of a drug you’ve probably already heard of. Ozempic.

Also known as GLP-1 agonists, these drugs were initially used by doctors like myself in General Practice for type 2 diabetics, but have now found a use case to treat obesity.

For over a year, Johann has been self treating with the drugs and diving into the history of how these drugs were discovered and utilised. From the lab to the pharmaceutical companies & the doctors surgery to the popular pages of celebrity gossip columns; Johann tells the full story without shying away from the potentially dangerous reality of the sideffects and risks of these popular medications.

We talk about:

  • What Ozepmic and similar drugs do to your brain and gut
  • How it impacts addiction to food and other substances
  • What the potential risks are including cancer, pancreatitis and bowel obstruction
  • Why UPF and obesity are the main concern

You can purchase Johann’s newest book, ‘Magic Pill: The Extraordinary Benefits and Disturbing Risks of the New Weight Loss Drugs’, available on 2nd May 2024, here

Johann Hari is a New York Times best-selling author, his books include, ‘Chasing the Scream’, ‘Lost Connections’, and ‘Stolen Focus’. He has written for the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, and has twice been named ‘National Newspaper Journalist of the Year’ by Amnesty International.

🎬 Watch the podcast on YouTube here

📱 Download The Doctor’s Kitchen app for free*

*The Doctor’s Kitchen App gives you access to all of our recipes, with specific suggestions tailored to your health needs and new recipes added every month. We’ve had some amazing feedback so far and we have new features being added all the time - check it out with a 14 day free trial too.

Do check out this week’s “Eat, Listen, Read” newsletter, that you can subscribe to on our website - where I send you a recipe to cook as well as some mindfully curated media to help you have a healthier, happier week.

🥗 Join the newsletter and 7 day meal plan

📷 Follow on Instagram

🐦 Tweet me

We would love to get your feedback on the subject matter of these episodes - please do let me know on our social media pages (Instagram,Facebook & Twitter) what you think, and give us a 5* rating on your podcast player if you enjoyed today’s episode


Content Correction Note:

During this podcast with Johann Hari, discussing the new weight-loss drugs, (at circa 1m 44s) - Johann mentioned that the British food critic Jay Rayner took Ozempic and subsequently lost his pleasure in food. This comment was incorrect and it was, in fact, a different writer.

We apologise for any confusion caused here.

GUEST: Johann Hari

Johann Hari is the author of three New York Times best-selling books, and the Executive Producer of an Oscar-nominated movie and an eight-part TV series starring Samuel L. Jackson. His books have been translated into 40 languages, and been praised by a broad range of people, from Oprah to Noam Chomsky, from Elton John to Naomi Klein.

His latest book, ‘Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention’, was published in January 2022. It was named as one of the three best books of the year by Amazon.com, and it was named as a Book of the Year by the Financial Times, the New York Post, and the Spectator. It was also chosen as ‘Book of the Month’ by Britain’s biggest bookseller, Waterstones, and Australia’s biggest bookseller Dymocks. It won several awards, including being named as ‘Most Important Book of the Year’ at the Non-Essential Book Awards and ‘Best Book of the Year’ at the Porchlight Book Awards. It has been a best-seller on three continents.

Johann’s first book, ‘Chasing the Scream: the First and Last Days of the War on Drugs’, was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film ‘The United States Vs Billie Holiday’. It has also been adapted into a documentary series which is available to view now.

His second book, ‘Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions’ was described by the British Journal of General Practice as “one of the most important texts of recent years”, and shortlisted for an award by the British Medical Association.

Johann’s TED talks have been viewed more than 93 million times. The first is named ‘Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong’. The second is entitled ‘This Could Be Why You Are Depressed or Anxious’.

He has written for some of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the Spectator, Le Monde Diplomatique, the Sydney Morning Herald, and Politico. He has appeared on NPR’s All Thing Considered, HBO’s Realtime With Bill Maher, The Joe Rogan Podcast, the BBC’s Question Time, and many other popular shows.

Johann was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and when he was a year old, his family moved to London, where he grew up and where he has lived for most of his life. His father – a Swiss immigrant – was a bus driver, and his mother was a nurse and later worked in shelters for survivors of domestic violence.

He studied Social and Political Science at King’s College, Cambridge, and graduated with a Double First.

Johann was twice named ‘National Newspaper Journalist of the Year’ by Amnesty International. He has also been named ‘Cultural Commentator of the Year’ and ‘Environmental Commentator of the Year’ at the Comment Awards.

He lives half the year in London, and spends the other half of the year traveling to research his books

with Johann Hari

get started

The Doctor’s Kitchen App

Download our app to get access to all of our recipes, with specific suggestions tailored to your health needs.


Free 7 day meal plan

Sign up to our newsletter and receive a free copy of our breakfast, lunch and dinner plan to kick start your healthy eating.