Oprah Winfrey Apologizes For Contributing To Toxic Diet Culture

Oprah Winfrey Apologizes For Contributing To Toxic Diet Culture

Oprah Winfrey has apologized for her contribution to toxic diet culture throughout the years. The TV host, who has been fairly candid about her health and weight throughout her career, addressed the role that she has personally played in perpetuating diet culture over the years in a recent livestream.

Winfrey spoke to the in-person and virtual audience at the WeightWatchers’ “Making The Shift: A New Way to Think About Weight” livestream on Thursday, May 9 about reaching a “pivotal moment in the way we talk about and the way we think about our bodies.”

At the beginning of the livestream, Winfrey spoke candidly about her experiences influencing diet culture over the years.

“I want to acknowledge that I have been a steadfast participant in this diet culture through my platforms, through the magazine, through the talk show for 25 years,” Winfrey said. “I’ve been a major contributor to it. I cannot tell you how many weight loss shows and makeovers I have done and they have been a staple since I’ve been working in television.”

Winfrey recalled a moment from The Oprah Winfrey Show back in 1988 when she rolled a wagon of fat onto the stage, saying that it was “one of my biggest regrets.”

“It sent a message that starving yourself with a liquid diet and set a standard for people watching that I, nor anybody else, could uphold,” she said. “The very next day, I began to gain the weight back. Maya Angelou always said, ‘When you know better, you do better,’ so these conversations for me are an effort to do better.”

Winfrey continued, “I own what I’ve done, and now I want to do better.”

Oprah Winfrey Apologizes For Contributing To Toxic Diet Culture

She also shared her experience with yo-yo dieting, which happened after a 1985 interview with Joan Rivers on The Tonight Show, when she and Rivers made a pact to lose weight together. During the interview at the time, Winfrey also tells Rivers the different diets she’s tried.

“I was so embarrassed,” Winfrey said about that moment. “That was the start of a vicious cycle of yo-yoing that ended up with that liquid diet where I literally starved myself for months. And the result was that now famous wagon of fat moment.”

Winfrey continued and said, “It’s really hard to love your own body when the whole world is telling you it wasn’t worth loving.”

Before bringing on the first guests of the show, WeightWatchers CEO Sima Sistani and body acceptance advocate Katie Sturino, Winfrey shared that weight loss journeys are personal and implored others to “stop the shaming.”

“Whether you choose to start moving more, whether you want to eat differently, whether you want to change your lifestyle, whether you want to take the medications or whether you choose to do absolutely nothing — that you are satisfied exactly the way you are where you are,” Winfrey said. “That’s up to you, whatever your path, this has been a watershed moment for many people.”

The special comes almost five months after Winfrey shared that she is using medication to help her maintain her weight loss, which she said has been a work in progress for the past two years. Winfrey didn’t name the type of medication she is taking. Winfrey also announced earlier this year that she was leaving the board of WeightWatchers, after having served as a director since 2015. In April, Winfrey said in a statement regarding the live-streamed event with WeightWatchers, “As we reconcile the shame stories we have all experienced, I’m on a mission to keep this conversation going and help us better understand the complexity of weight health and how we can use the science and what we know now to enhance our lives.”

Tags: celebrity weight loss, oprah, oprah winfrey, top story, topstory, Weight Loss, WeightWatchers

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