Oprah Apologizes For Contributing To Toxic’ Diet Culture’ Over The Years

by Grace Somes
Oprah Winfrey || Image credit: @oprah

“I own what I’ve done, and I now want to do better,” the media mogul confessed. 

Oprah Winfrey has been taking responsibility for her role in promoting diet culture for the last 30-plus years.

During WeightWatchers’ May 9 live stream, “Making The Shift: A New Way to Think About Weight,” the billionaire media mogul shared her candid thoughts and acknowledged her role as a “major contributor” to the diet culture.

Oprah Winfrey apologized for her over 25-year career role in “diet culture” after her retraction on weight loss medications like Wegovy and Ozempic.

Winfrey opened the live stream by being open about her experiences over the years influencing diet culture.

“I want to acknowledge that I have been a steadfast participant in this diet culture through my platforms, the magazine, the talk show for 25 years,” Oprah Winfrey began.

“I’ve been a major contributor to it,” she continued. “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 on television.”

Winfrey recalled an incident from The Oprah Winfrey Show in November 1988, where she rolled 67 pounds of fat on a wagon on stage

She did it at the time to justify her dramatic weight loss, which she attributed to six weeks of fasting “without cheating.”

“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.


Winfrey felt it was “important” to tell viewers with the visualization “because I had starved—literally starved —for four months, four and-a-half-months, and thought: ‘Well, everybody is going to want to know how you lost the weight so you might as well tell them.'”

Winfrey says that disclosing her weight loss in that manner sent a negative message and that she is now dedicated to improving.

“I own what I’ve done, and I now want to do better, so I know now that that ‘wagon of fat’ moment was set into motion after years and years of thinking that my struggle with my weight was my fault,” Winfrey continued. “And it has taken me even up until last week to process the shame that I felt privately as my very public yo-yo diet moments became a national joke.”

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