Disclaimer: this post is my opinion only. I neither endorse nor condemn the opinions and advice of Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Oz or Dr. William Davis.
I’m sure all of you have seen the Weight Watchers commercial where Oprah looks into the camera with tears in her eyes and gushes “I love bread! I eat bread every day and still lost weight”. Such an Oscar worthy performance if I ever saw one.
I came across this article this morning in The daily beast–
I Love Bread’: Oprah’s Greatest—And Most Controversial—Act Yet
And since Oprah made roughly $20 million when she tweeted the commercial, I am sure she is laughing all the way to the bank.
I have never bought into the hype she causes when she endorses or disdains a product, person or thing….in fact, I put her in the same category as Dr. Oz. When you take your advice from a TV personality, beware the consequences.
To quote directly from the article:
So Oprah wins. Weight Watchers wins. We, those who like eating bread and also not being fat, win. But you know who really wins? Bread!
“It was a nice boost, psychologically, that wow, somebody of Oprah’s stature decided they were going to sing the praises of bread,” Robb MacKie, president and CEO of theAmerican Bakers Association, says. “It’s a nice change, if you will, from some of the environment we’ve been dealing with the past few years.”
That environment. The gluten-free environment.
It’s a climate in which nutritionists, doctors, dietitians, and your insufferable co-worker who won’t shut up about it keep trumpeting the health and weight-loss benefits of stripping gluten from your diet, basically turning bread and other grains into harrowing menaces to society that anyone who purchases a baguette is complicit in aiding and abetting.
Ah, now we come to it! The gluten free crusade. I have said before in my posts that I don’t advocate gluten free living unless you have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It’s not a diet for losing weight, or getting healthy. The gluten free movement is bane to the bread industry. Score one for them-Oprah eats bread and still loses weight! Wow!
I have found to the contrary. Eating carbs equals weight gain. Eating carbs on a diet is the road to failure. Fat does not make you fat. Carbs make you fat. And I am still eating carbs, albeit gluten free ones. And I am not skinny.
The article goes on to say:
Back in 2003, more than 100 relevant organizations, including the ABA, came together for what was ruled the “bread summit,” gathered to address what was labeled a crisis in the industry: The message that bread was bad for you was being propagated by popular low-carb diets like Atkins, Zone, and South Beach, and was having a catastrophic effect on sales.
The gluten-free hysteria of today is “similar and it’s different,” MacKie says, conceding that there’s been a softness in the market because of it. Having Oprah Winfrey proclaim to the world in the context of a diet commercial that she loves bread has, then, been an unexpected godsend.
But bread and Oprah are not in cahoots. No one in the bread industry knew about Winfrey’s ad ahead of time.
There’s been a spike in bread sales, MacKie says, since the commercial began airing but he can’t decipher Winfrey’s influence from that of the winter weather across the country, which causes Americans to horde bread and other groceries like deranged squirrels. Anecdotal evidence from bakers, though, suggests a noticeable change.
And no one should really need to explain the power of an Oprah endorsement. Whether it’s her book club, her Favorite Things specials, or a shill on Instagram, she has proven dictatorial-like power over our consumption and spending habits.
Bread has gotten a bad rap over the years through various fad diets and now, the gluten free diet. If Oprah said-stop eating bread-sales would plummet. She and other TV talking heads have way too much sway over people’s eating habits.
Of course, Dr. William Davis, of Wheat Belly fame, is outraged.
“It is dangerous and it is misleading,” says Dr. William Davis of the entire Weight Watchers campaign.
Dr. Davis is a cardiologist and author of the Wheat Belly books, which encourage the removal of wheat from diets. He also calls himself a “health crusader,” on a mission to not only expose the destructive nature of grains but also the agencies and powers that are doling out what he calls dangerous advice on their consumption.
You can imagine, then, his reaction to the most powerful person in media, who has an ownership stake in a weight-loss company, giving the impression that diets that embrace bread are great.
Dr. Davis, in a phone interview, carefully elucidates the science of grains, their chemical structure, and their effect on your body, all of which boil down to: They trigger your appetite. You’re never satisfied, and therefore need to snack and eat more—two things inarguably counterproductive to weight loss.
“When someone says, ‘I eat bread! I eat bread every day and this is part of a successful weight-loss program,’ it only works if you exert monumental willpower,” he says. “What she’s proposing, in effect, is to ingest an appetite stimulant and then fight it with willpower.
“Imagine if I said to you, ‘Take this appetite-stimulating drug and then reduce its effect with willpower,’” he goes on. “You’d have a lot of miserable people on your hands.”
I have read and commented on his theory that wheat is horrible for you. Again, I don’t endorse dropping wheat from your diet if you don’t have issues with it. But as I always say, do your homework, and do what is best for you.
We are all individuals with different needs, and whether the advice comes from TV, articles, news or even me, you must take that advice at face value and find what works best for you. Don’t believe everything you hear, read or see, especially when the advice comes from someone who is getting rich off of it. That in itself should be very telling.