Newsflash Oprah – Bread Can Make You Fat

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OK, is anyone else as cheesed-off as I am at Oprah Winfrey’s tweet that you can eat bread everyday and still lose weight?  If you’re not, you probably should be.

Following Oprah’s tweet, Weight Watchers stock rose 20%, closing at $13.29 a share.  As USA Today points out, if you factor in her recently acquired 3.5 million Weight Watchers stock option, she made a staggering $19.2 million, or nearly $5 million an hour, after her single tweet.

To quote the Good Life Goddess, “Whaaatttt?“.

It’s no secret that millions of people follow Oprah’s advice – whether it’s what tea to drink, book to read or now, how to eat bread every day and still lose weight.

I can’t help but to think that Oprah’s reputation as a guru of living an authentic life carries with it a huge burden of responsibility to those following that advice.   That said, I find it completely unethical to recommend to your following a solution which may (at best) work only for some and which (at worst) will put thousands (possibly more) people on a course for potential disappointment and ill health.

I would have been much more impressed at her ethical efforts had she:

  1. Ensured she in no way financially benefited from her statement
  2. Included the multiple disclaimers needed to explain that not all metabolisms are the same, the amount and types of bread that are better to consume, etc…

In fact, People Magazine (of all publications) did a reasonable post-mortem on Oprah’s twitty-tweet, breaking down the reasons why Oprah’s exhalations can’t be taken at face value and shouldn’t be a license to bread-binge.  While I don’t agree with dietitian Keri Glassman’s conclusion that there are healthy breads that most people can consume in moderation, I at least agree with her attempt to qualify why bread may need to be avoided and how eating any bread needs to be integrated into a more controlled eating program.

But you know there’s someone out there – probably quite a few someones – who is just taking Oprah’s words at face value and chomping on a loaf of bread before their Weight Watchers meeting.

Interestingly, the otherwise irrational stock market seems not to be buying Oprah’s proclamation, with the LA Times reporting of Weight Watchers stock fading in light of the “Oprah Effect” and because of ongoing flagging membership.  Could it be that investors and consumers understand the impact of carbohydrates on insulin resistant metabolisms or is it just that they know snake-oil selling when they see it?

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