Last Updated on June 30, 2020
The 7 Most Iconic Diet Spokespeople of All Time
New year, new celebrity diet spokespeople. But although some diet ambassadors are completely forgettable—Mariah Carey was a Jenny Craig spokeswoman?—others have become just as iconic as the diets they’re promoting. Here’s a list of seven celebrity diet spokespeople who went all-in to promote their weight loss plan of choice.
Oprah Winfrey, Weight Watchers
Oprah Winfrey is an undeniable powerhouse in everything she does—including being a Weight Watchers spokeswoman. She’s gone all in, appearing in major Weight Watchers commercials and even buying stock in the company in 2015. All this while running her media empire, starring in A Wrinkle In Time and rumoring a 2020 presidential run.
Winfrey’s 6.4 million shares in the company—a nearly 10 percent stake—are now worth about $445 million. That’s more than a $400 million increase from what she paid for the stock in 2015.
But Winfrey has become an icon for Weight Watchers in more ways than one. Her success recently inspired DJ Khaled to join her in endorsing Weight Watcher’s new “healthy is the new skinny” brand.
Jennifer Hudson, Weight Watchers
“Sometimes I don’t even recognize myself,” the American Idol and Dream Girls star says of her weight loss journey. Hudson, who also found tremendous success in the Weight Watchers points system, began losing weight in 2010. She started the Weight Watcher’s Points Plus system soon after, losing more than 80 pounds and going from a size 16 to a size 6.
More than seven years later, Hudson’s transformation is almost unrecognizable—even to herself. And she continues to keep the weight off while promoting the Weight Watchers plan that helped her do it.
Marie Osmond, Nutrisystem
This famous singer, performer and Dancing With the Stars guest had struggled with her weight since childhood. As an adult, she was looking to become healthier and make a lifestyle change. She looked to Nutrisystem to help her make it happen.
Osmond has since become one of the most famous advocates for Nutrisystem. Her presence flooded infomercials and magazine ads for years, and still continues to this day. After working with the Nutrisystem program and appearing on Dancing With the Stars, she lost 50 pounds.
Jason Alexander, Jenny Craig
Jason Alexander is known for more than just playing the quirky George Costanza on Seinfeld. He also lost 30 pounds in just 18 weeks thanks to Jenny Craig, becoming a rare male spokesperson for the company. After debuting his new figure in 2010, Alexander wore a “mankini” for a Jenny Craig video ad campaign and encouraged men to join Jenny Craig and reap the same weight loss benefits.
Kirsty Alley, Jenny Craig
The Cheers and Look Who’s Talking star has undeniably hit some road bumps along her weight loss journey. Like Alexander, she was also a spokesperson for Jenny Craig. It helped her lose 75 pounds in two years—all of which she gained back.
But it isn’t all bad news for Alley. Since appearing on Dancing with the Stars and going organic, the star has lost 100 pounds and kept it off. Will she ever go back to Jenny Craig as a celebrity spokeswoman? Only time will tell.
Charles Barkley, Weight Watchers
Most of us know Barkley as a former NBA star and most recently as an ESPN commentator. But the basketball player also gained some visibility for joining up with Weight Watchers after gaining more than 100 pounds after his retirement in 2000.
After three months with Weight Watchers, Barley lost 38 pounds. But his weight loss wasn’t the only thing that sparked attention. In his infamous off-air rant about Weight Watchers, Barkley calls it a bigger scam than getting paid to watch sports.
In his defense, Barkley wasn’t saying that Weight Watchers was a scam—just his endorsement deal, which required him to lose one to two pounds per week to receive a bonus. But regardless of the context, this will go down as one of the more entertaining moments in diet spokespeople history.
Sharon Osbourne, Atkins
“As my 60th birthday was approaching, I didn’t want to be overweight,” said the TV host and matriarch of the Osbourne clan to US Weekly. “I want to be healthy and enjoy life.” Osbourne joined the Atkins low-carb diet program in 2012 and lost 28 pounds in three months. Today, the mom of three has kept the weight off and looks amazing.
With Weight Watchers winning the diet wars, it’s yet to be seen whether lesser diets will continue to pull in pricy celebrity spokespeople. But no matter where the diet industry goes next, these seven icons will live on in weight loss history.