A merican talk show host, Winfrey was a favorite of daytime television views in the 1980s and beyond. Though Winfrey most certainly does not lead an ordinary life, she finds a way to relate to her audience, making people all across the world dedicated fans. Winfrey's network of businesses has capitalized on various facets of life, and, in turn, she manages to find a way to reach interests of all of her fans. Weight loss, diet, exercise, and health in general have been broad topics that Winfrey has broached many times on her show, as well capitalized on through other means.
Since The Oprah Winfrey Show first aired nationally in 1986, Winfrey has also publicly battled with her weight on television. When in i988 she revealed to her i2 million viewers that she had lost 67 pounds by using a liquid supplement, "very-low-calorie (VLC) diets" came to be the rage. The following year, when she announced that she had regained her lost weight and "would never diet again," the use of the VLC diet declined sharply (Wadden and Berkowitz 2002: 534). Winfrey has been emotional about the struggles she has had accepting her body, allowing her audience to really feel like they know her as a person. Her eventual acceptance and respect of her body has inspired many of her fans to lose weight and become happier and healthier people. In the August 2004 issue of O Magazine, Winfrey stated, "Getting my lifelong weight struggle under control has come from a process of treating myself as well as I treat others in every way" (Winfrey 2004).
Due to Winfrey's public accounts of her dieting tribulations and successes, she has become somewhat of a dieting guru to a portion of her fan base. Not only are various Oprah shows focused on dieting successes and failures, but her website www.oprah.com provides a plethora of information on a variety of different health, dieting, and exercise topics. Winfrey and her trainer, Bob Greene, have also coauthored two books that share their secrets to a better body and a better life. In addition to Winfrey and Greene's books, Greene's "Boot Camp," which Winfrey successfully completed, has become a route to weight loss and body acceptance for many of Winfrey's and Greene's fans. Winfrey admits, weight loss is not easy, but it is attainable and worth the hard work. After losing 33 pounds again in 2002, Winfrey stated, "I'm still striving every day toward a healthier me . . . I feel great. I'm sleeping well. I'm loving myself" (Winfrey 2003).
See also Very Low Calorie Diets
Winfrey, Oprah (2003) "This Month's Mission," O, The Oprah Magazine, January. Online at <http:// www.oprah.com/omagazine/20030i/ omag_20030i_mission.jhtml> (accessed June 23, 2007).
-(2004) "This Month's Mission" O, The Oprah
Magazine, August. Online at <http://www.oprah.com/ omagazine/200408/omag_200408_mission.jhtml> (accessed June 23, 2007). Wadden, T.A. and Berkowitz, R.I. (2002) "Very-Low-Calorie Diets," in Christopher G. Fairburn and Kelly D. Brownell (eds), Eating Disorders and Obesity: A Comprehensive Handbook, 2nd edn, New York: Guilford Press, pp. 534-8.
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