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Oprah, Weight Watchers, and Big Food Shilling

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JP Rushton

Richard Lynn

L:inda Gottfredson

Goodreads

1250 words

The stock of Weight Watchers rose 19 percent after Oprah endorsed their ‘diet system, claiming to have lost 40 pounds. Keep in mind that Oprah has a history of ‘eating bread’ to lose weight. Oprah, ‘the most powerful black woman in the world’, according to Pumpkin Person. She does all of these good things, so she’s such a good person! Well, I don’t think a ‘good person’ would shill for Big Food at the expense of the health and metabolisms of the people she supposedly cares about so much.

One reason why this (usual) endorsement by Oprah for Weight Watchers is that, to be frank, Weight Watchers is a garbage company who wants nothing other than their clients’ money and not for them to ‘succeed’ in their goals. Because to them, a repeat customer is a good customer. They don’t want to keep a revolving door of clientele, all they want to do is keep the same suckers and fool them into spending more money on magic diet secret #494949228742874827482….. This, however, is where Oprah, Big Food Shill comes in.

The stock for Weight Watchers soared in recent weeks, when it was announced that Oprah had lost 40 pounds eating “pasta and tacos” (I’ll return to that later). Last October, Pumpkin Person reported that Oprah stood to make 100 million dollars in 36 hours due to the stocks she bought in WW, not even thinking about how horrible of a company WW is.

Oprah has said herself that she’ll “never quit Weight Watchers“, but if you had a stake in Weight Watchers worth 77 million dollars, wouldn’t you say that you would ‘never quit Weight Watchers’? Notice how she’ll be ‘counting points’ the rest of her life and she said absolutely nothing about the quality of the food. She claims she ate ‘tacos and pasta’ to lose weight, and if that’s any indication of how she did it, she’ll be back up sooner rather than later.

Oprah herself has a long history of yo-yo dieting. Though studies are mixed, in some large-scale studies there is a relationship between yo-yo dieting (weight fluctuations) and increased mortality and cardiovascular disease. I lean towards there being a considerable shift in metabolism, slowing the metabolism. Because if you diet our of the set-point, your metabolism slows down as seen in The Biggest Loser study.

At the start of the show the average RMR was 2,607 +/-649 kcal per day, falling to 1,996 +/- 358 kcal per day at the end of the 30-week competition. Only one maintained weight loss after the 6 years and l regained weight as well as more fat that they bad previously (shocking, I know). The mean rate dropped to 1,996 +/- 358 per day with the researchers noticing that those who lost the greatest amount of weight had the biggest metabolic slow down. Despite then regaining their weight, their metabolic rate was 1,903 +/- 466 kcal per day.

Based on individual weights, the researchers concluded they were burning around 500 kcal less than would be expected of people that size. The one who lost the most weight, Danny Cahill, was burning 800 less kcal than a man his size who has never been obese.

This is not the only study showing this. Numerous other studies show that the body matches metabolism to how much one is ingesting. This is what the hawks at WW don’t tell you.

Put simply, Oprah has no idea how to diet nor has she ever tried a true low-carb diet. Oprah herself admittingly says that she only has ever tried the CAD (Carbohydrate Addicts Diet) with no success. The CAD diet is where one eats no carbs all day long until the end of the day where they’re allowed to consume carbohydrates for one hour. People assume this is a low-carb diet, but it’s really not. According to Dr. Micahael Eades, Oprah tried the CAD diet, the only ‘low-carb’ diet she’s ever tried, and she asked the authors of the book for the CAD diet if she can eat macaroni and cheese in her one-hour carb window (Dr. Oz, another Big Food shill pushes nutrition myths). The authors told her she most definitely could, and that she should toss in some apple pie while she’s at it. Dr. Eades says she was probably eating somewhere in the range of 300 kcal, which is why he so-called ‘low-carb diet’ didn’t work. She eats low-fat diets, complaining of hunger. She’s obviously ignorant to the fact that fat is a filling macro, and a very important one.

All of these advertisements and ad campaigns are to line her and Weight Watchers’ pockets even more. If someone like Oprah is pushing something, it’s best not to buy into it because it’ll probably largely be bullshit, especially if it’s for a multi-billion dollar company who stands to gain a ton from the publicity. Of course, Oprah does as well which is why she’d doing it, a company that she has a 77 million dollar stake in.

Big Food shills are rampant today. From Oprah to Mark Haub who pushed the twinkies diet who claims to have lost 27 pounds while eating 66 percent of his diet from junk food. But it recently came out that Haub was paid by Coca-Cola who, of course, had a vested interest in seeing a ‘positive’ result. Coca-Cola released a list of researchers who took funds from them in 2016 due to pushes for transparency by the public. His name was one of the names on the list.

If Haub’s claims are to be taken on the fact that it ‘worked for him’, then why don’t we take this n=1 claim? Scott Feltham didn’t gain any weight eating 5000 kcal a day for 21 days. Fact of the matter is, look into who funds what. Big Food (Coca-Cola) funds studies and people pushing questionable things? Look into it. Oprah is running shill advertisements for Weight Watchers despite being a yo-yo dieter her whole life? Look into her claims as well.

Here’s the truth about dieting: it doesn’t work. Table 1 shows 9 studies in which there were self-reported weights in comparison to a lab weighing. Table 1 also shows that the studies that had the highest percent n in follow-ups had the lower mean weight loss. This obviously suggest that study participants who don’t show a difference in weight don’t show up to follow-ups.

Also looking at table 1 we can see that for the studies with the most significant weight loss, they were 100 percent self-reported. They showed their analysis of 2 studies that fit their criteria; people would underestimate by 4.5 pounds, a statistically significant result that would skew results.

Also the average weight loss over those 5 years, is that something to celebrate? Six pounds? Self-report reports for weight are not good measurements for aj honest assessment of any possible weight lost. Low follow-up rates seriously hamper these studies, because if all people returned to them, the difference would be even worse.

The fact that there are Big Food shills such as Haub or Oprah are telling. They want to prey on the ignorance of the average American person who doesn’t know anything about dieting. The claim that diet quality does not matter is incorrect. People will vehemently deny that kcal quality is meaningless over kcal quantity.  Traditional diets do not work. But that doesn’t stop Big Food shills like Oprah and Haub from pushing their garbage. This is where they know that the average person won’t take a look beyond what these highly embellished news stories write about sample sizes of one. They also believe anything Oprah says, like the low information people they are relying on the word of a woman who has never “succeeded” in the game of dieting because, as shown, they do not work.

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