NEW YORK — A passionate Oprah Winfrey declared “I love bread!” this week in a 30-second video advertisement for Weight Watchers (http://www.ispot.tv/ad/AtWY/weight-watchers-bread-featuring-oprah-winfrey).
Ms. Winfrey set off a media firestorm Jan. 26 when she tweeted to her 30 million followers — “Eat bread. Lose weight. Whaaatttt?” Shares of Weight Watchers International, Inc., New York, were jolted upward by $2.17 per share, or 20%, in Nasdaq trading the day she sent the message.
Ms. Winfrey partnered with Weight Watchers beginning last October, and owns 6.4 million shares, or 10%, of the company.
“Weight Watchers has given me the tools to begin to make the lasting shift that I and so many of us who are struggling with weight have longed for,” she said last year. “I believe in the program so much I decided to invest in the company and partner in its evolution.”
The media mogul has been described as one of the most influential figures of the past generation.
The 30-second advertising clip for Weight Watchers, featuring Ms. Winfrey speaking in an intense and deliberate voice, is devoted entirely to discussing bread.
“This is the joy for me,” Ms. Winfrey emphatically says in the clip. “I love bread. I love bread.
“I just manage it. I don’t deny myself. I have bread every day. I have bread every day. That’s the genius of this program. I lost 26 lbs, and I have eaten bread every single day.”
Christine Cochran, executive director of the Grain Foods Foundation, echoed Ms. Winfrey’s claims to bread’s health merits.
“We’ve known for years that grains and bread are nutrient-dense foods that are a vital part of a balanced diet — even a diet resulting in weight loss,” she said. “Given a large majority of our nation is missing out on essential nutrients such as fiber, folate and iron, it is important to note that grain foods are a key source of these nutrients, without being as carbohydrate- or calorie-dense as many consumers seem to think.”