Oprah Winfrey Takes Accountability In Toxic Diet Culture

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JUNE 30: Oprah Winfrey speaks onstage during the 2023 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture™ at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on June 30, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images FOR ESSENCE)

Oprah Winfrey has recently taken a bold step towards accountability. In her candid conversation during WeightWatchers’ “Making The Shift: A New Way to Think About Weight” event, she acknowledged her role in perpetuating harmful diet culture.

Oprah Winfrey Takes Accountability

Acknowledging her past involvement, Winfrey expressed remorse for the impact of her actions. She confessed, “I want to acknowledge that I have been a steadfast participant in this diet culture through my platforms, through the magazine, through the talk show for 25 years.”

Reflecting on a regretful moment from her talk show’s history, she shared, “That famous ‘wagon of fat’ moment on the Oprah show is one of my biggest regrets.” This symbolic display, intended to celebrate weight loss, inadvertently promoted unhealthy ideals.

Winfrey emphasized her commitment to growth, quoting Maya Angelou: “When you know better, you do better.” She stated, “So these conversations for me are an effort to do better.”

Transitioning away from her previous roles, Winfrey resigned from her position as director at WeightWatchers. Instead, she aims to participate in public forums to advocate for a broader understanding of weight health.

However, Winfrey’s journey to this point has been marked by personal struggles. She revealed, “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.”

Her perspective on weight management has evolved, recognizing obesity as a disease rather than a matter of willpower. She emphasized, “It’s not about willpower — it’s about the brain.”

In her pursuit of holistic health, Winfrey now incorporates regular exercise, lifestyle adjustments, and even weight-loss medication. Her journey serves as a testament to the complexities of weight management and the necessity of a compassionate approach.

Through her journey, Winfrey exemplifies the importance of acknowledging past mistakes and striving for positive change. As she takes accountability, she paves the way for a more inclusive and empathetic discourse surrounding weight and health.