One thing you can count on with Oprah, she puts her money where her mouth is. Recently, Oprah shelled out $43 million for a 10 per cent stake in Weight Watchers, which says a lot about her willingness to show by her actions and not just her words that she believes this particular weight loss brand can do for her (and potentially millions of her fans) what she’s been unable to do herself—lose the weight and keep it off.
Weight Watchers, the company, had been struggling for some time. No doubt Weight Watchers is thrilled all the way to the bank to partner with Oprah. It’s already paid off in a big way for both— the company’s stock price doubled earning Oprah $70 million in one day. The Weight Watchers brand and its investors stand to gain even more in the weeks, months and years to come as Oprah’s personal “Join me” pitch convinces millions of her fans to sign up.
The Oprah effect—An endorsement from Oprah can suddenly turn a small, unprofitable business into a multimillion-dollar company.
Like her favorite things, Oprah has picked an issue near and dear to the mind, body and soul of millions of Americans who have struggled all their lives to maintain a healthy weight. According to the Campaign to End Obesity two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children struggle with overweight and obesity. If obesity rates stay consistent, 51 percent of America will be obese by 2030.
Obesity is linked to more than 60 chronic diseases. According to the American Cancer Society, 572,000 Americans die of cancer each year, about one-third of these cancer deaths are linked to excess body weight, poor nutrition and/or physical inactivity.—Campaign to End Obesity
Like so many of us, Oprah has tried multiple times to achieve an optimal weight through exercise and healthy eating habits. Unlike most of us, Oprah had more help, including a personal chef, and fitness trainer, and still failed. And here’s why. Most weight loss studies have shown that healthy eating and exercise can jump-start the process of losing weight, but is no guarantee of permanent success. Being overweight or obese is about more than what you eat; it’s really about what’s eating you.
The causes of obesity are rarely limited to genetic factors, prolonged overeating or a sedentary lifestyle. What we do and don’t do often results from how we think and feel. For example, feelings of sadness, anxiety or stress often lead people to eat more than usual.—American Psychological Association
Like a Pied Piper, Oprah will entice millions of Americans to follow her in joining Weight Watchers. And as a result, some will lose weight for a time, and others will fail miserably. But in either case, if the underlying emotional and spiritual issues that helped put the weight on in the first place are not addressed, there can be no permanent solution to the overweight or obesity problem so many share.
Unless the emotional, cognitive, relational, and spiritual aspects of emotional eating are addressed, disordered eating and weight may be difficult to reduce.
[Support] groups are particularly important from a spiritual perspective, because they reconnect us to the human community, allow us to experience God’s love, forgiveness, and acceptance in a palpable way, and help us to feel less alone with our emotional burdens.—Darcy Tucker
America needs to treat obesity like the health epidemic (see video) it is—it’s everybody’s problem. So it will take all of us, as a nation, to solve. We have the socio-political means and the public health resources, but do we have the collective will?
Online Resources recommended by FreeWeightLoss.com
Because of all of the “lose weight quick” scams on the internet, it can be challenging finding reliable resources. Here are a few sites our editors found to be helpful:
- The World’s Healthiest Foods – To lose weight and keep it off you need to eat nutritious food. This website has everything you ever wanted to know about healthy foods.
- Mayo Clinic Weight Loss Information – Tons of great weight loss information written by Mayo Clinic staff.
- Calorie Counter Charts – This site has provided reliable calorie and fat information for many foods for over a decade.
- USDA Nutrition Reference Tool – The database here will tell you the nutritional data of just about any food.
- EatRight.org – This site has information about many health related subjects.
- Nutrition.gov – A website created and maintained by the US Government helping people lose weight.
- American Heart Association – This site has information about everything ranging from your heart and exercise to strokes and heart attacks.Resources for weight loss help:
- Sparkpeople.com – Customized menu planning with calorie and portion control