Campaign: Inclusive Obesity Care Initiative
Companies: Novo Nordisk
Agency Partners: FleishmanHillard
Duration: August 30, 2023 — ongoing

In recent years, there has been significant discussion about the way society and healthcare providers treat people who are obese. That includes discussion over whether the body positivity movement, which encourages people to accept their body, no matter the size, is a healthy idea. It has faced questions, in part, because there are now drugs, like Ozempic, which have been shown to help people lose weight. 

Amidst that conversation, the drug’s manufacturer Novo Nordisk has launched a campaign to reduce bias and stigma for people living with obesity. 


The Danish drug maker has seen its profits surge in the last year because of Ozempic and Wegovy, another Novo Nordisk drug. Both drugs contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide.

Still, the pharmaceutical company argues that “the fear of being judged may stop many” people with obesity from seeking help from a healthcare provider. 

People with obesity often face contemptuous, patronizing and disrespectful treatment from healthcare providers which can “negatively influence patient engagement with primary healthcare services,” according to a study in the journal Primary Health Care Research & Development.

As such, the drug maker is promoting “inclusive obesity care,” which means encouraging “an understanding that loving yourself can also mean safeguarding your health,” Liz Skrbkova, Novo Nordisk director of commercial communications, stated in an email to PRWeek. “It shows the need for empathy for individuals living with obesity to receive healthcare that is compassionate, attentive and respectful.”


To further that effort, the company hired Queen Latifah to serve as a spokesperson for the initiative. 

“Queen Latifah has always been passionate about using her voice and platform to amplify, educate and inspire,” Skrbkova wrote. “The Inclusive Obesity Care initiative is all about spotlighting the need for a judgment-free environment, and Queen Latifah is the ideal partner in advocating for this.”

The campaign included a three-city tour featuring panel discussions hosted by Queen Latifah with people who work in the weight loss and body image space and a four-part video series moderated by actress and comedian Yvette Nicole Brown.

They also produced an advertisement in which people with obesity share how they have had negative experiences when seeking care from doctors and fear being judged by their appearance. 

The video then shows the patients and doctors discussing care for people with obesity. A voiceover from Queen Latifah then tells them to write a word on a paint bucket that would have improved interactions between patients and providers. They then throw the paint on a canvas.

Queen Latifah then appears and peels strips off the canvas to reveal the campaign symbol. 

“It was important for us to visually show the energy of the doctors’ and patients’ stories merging, each color blending and building upon each other – working together to form the ally marker that represents inclusive obesity care,” Skrbkova stated. 

To promote the campaign on social media, the company also worked with body positivity influencer Anna Obrien and plans to work with Martinus Evans, another influencer in the movement.


Queen Latifah’s campaign reels on Instagram generated 182,000 views and 7,000 likes. 

The YouTube video series hosted by Yvette Nicole Brown received more than 16,800 views. 

The Independent and Parade covered the campaign.  

This article originally appeared on PRWeek US.