Oprah Winfrey is no stranger to endorsing products she thinks her fans will fall in love with—after all, her new slate of "Favorite Things" just arrived in time for holiday shopping. But disreputable companies have been known to fake Oprah's seal of approval, and she's setting the record straight on one nefarious example.
The media mogul took to Instagram on Monday to call out weight loss supplement brands for trying to attach her image and endorsement to their products in online ads and targeted email campaigns. Winfrey says she knew she had to come out and say something after five people approached her about the gummies over the course of a week.
"So it happened to me again today," Oprah explains in the brief video. "A woman came up to me and said, 'Can you help me get your weight loss gummies?' And I said, 'Ma'am, I don't have anything to do with weight loss gummies, and let me just tell you, you're the fifth person this week to mention it.' So I'm going to address it."
Online fact-checkers—from Snopes to USA Today—have debunked the advertisements in the past. To be clear, Oprah isn't hawking a line of CBD with Whoopi Goldberg, nor is she involved with keto gummies from Weight Watchers. A spokesperson from Oprah's team denied her endorsement of a diet pill to Politifact back in March. But that doesn't seem to stop scammers from spreading those lies on social media.
"It's come to my attention many times over," Oprah went on to say in her Instagram post. "Somebody's out there misusing my name, even sending emails to people advertising weight loss gummies. I have nothing to do with weight loss gummies or diet pills, and I don't want you all taken advantage of by people misusing my name. So please know: I have no weight loss gummies."
It makes sense that advertisers would want to tie Winfrey, who has been open about her health goals and journey in the past, to some kind of quick fix for weight loss. But while we might not always agree with Oprah's takes on health and wellness, her suggestions haven't typically leaned into diet pill territory—back in the days of Fen-Phen and Redux, Oprah was championing a more food- and fitness-based weight loss philosophy. Articles on her website still recommend a lifestyle of healthy eating and movement, only turning to supplements or pills in consultation with a doctor.
We at EatingWell would definitely have to agree—most over-the-counter supplements go unregulated, and the only way to judge their safety is by checking out the Department of Defense's Operation Supplement Safety Scorecard. Even if you find a safe supplement that piques your interest, there's a good chance the supplement will be ineffective or result in unsustainable weight loss, as EatingWell Nutrition Editor Jessica Ball, M.S., RD, has pointed out.
If you're really eager to lose weight, there are much healthier (and more sustainable) tips you can follow. For instance, transitioning to a customizable and varied eating pattern like the Mediterranean diet, which is chock-full of healthy proteins, fats and carbs, can help you balance your plate without feeling bored or stifled by eating the same dishes on repeat.
Finding a kind of exercise you enjoy—whether it's kickboxing, taking a walk or dancing around the kitchen—can also be key to helping you feel your best. You'd also do well to remember that weight loss isn't as important as your health, and the two things might not always go hand-in-hand. Unless a doctor has told you differently, your top priority should be your overall health, which you can take care of by eating a wide variety of foods, getting some exercise, sleeping and making time for your mental health. An internet gummy is no match for sustainable choices that support your wellbeing.