So here's my thought What if...... a group of us Paleo zealots got together a bunch of money, made a public challenge to Oprah to try the Paleo diet and offered to donate the 'bunch of money' to a charity of her choice if she tried it for a few months...?
If she did it Paleo would get massive publicity and would in turn probably help a lot of people. If she didn't, well then, she would be in jeopardy of being accused of hating puppies (of whatever charitable cause the donation would have been the beneficiary)
It'd be a cheap trick but I'm more of a end result kinda of guy.
I'd throw a few hundred toward it... How about you ?
Disclaimer -- This is only a partially serious question
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Here's what I see happening. Oprah doesn't have time to read a dozen books on the topic like most of us have done. Instead, she goes to Google and types "what is Paleo". Like the "experts" that Time hired for their "best diets" report, her initial reaction is probably: but where am I supposed to get my fiber? She decides to humor us and proceeds to eat a large plate of bacon for breakfast, a ribeye for lunch, and a dozen eggs for dinner. She doesn't realize that this isn't really Paleo but whose to blame her - we see it all the time on here (usually in questions related to "why is my cholesterol so high"). She's metabolically damaged already so no doubt she'll have her cheats and won't eat the 6-9 cups of fruits and veggies a day that you'd find recommended in variants like Wahl's, PHD, and Cordain. She's very busy so she certainly won't be ordering naturally raised meats and probably half those meals come from McDonald's. At the end of the day she'll become sicker and announce that Paleo is a sham. The media will be full of it and none of us will hear the end of it from our non-Paleo friends and family, nevermind that experiment was completely broken. For some reason, her name carries a lot of respect and if she says so then others will accept it as truth. For others it will be truth-washed through other semi-respectable channels like CNN, who will no doubt bring in their traditional nutritionists to chime in on the issue. Of course, they'll review the content first to make sure that none of their sponsors will object to it. Just like raw dairy, politicians start to notice and add barriers in place for us. We'll only be able to order naturally raised meat if we drive to the farm ourselves and not even that in every state. Courts will deem Paleo parents unfit to raise children. Mayan prophecy comes to fruition and the world ends in a few days.
Your intentions were good though :) Bill Clinton might make a better target.
Thank goodness you included your disclaimer, because my main reaction is: NO. No, no, no, no, and NO!! It's bad enough that "Paleo" is catching on widely enough that you're starting to see it everywhere -- on all kinds of "Paleo" processed snacks. If Oprah were to publicize an experience with it, fuhgeddaboudit. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry looking to make a quick buck (or a zillion quick bucks) could easily take advantage of Oprah's legions of adoring fans, who will buy and do just about anything if O gives it her seal of approval.
That being said, there is a part of me that would love her to try it and have GREAT SUCCESS. Not only because she, herself, has struggled for so long with her own weight and fitness, but because she does have those legions of fans, and how many millions of them are probably living with conditions that could likely be hugely improved by a Paleo approach? Joint pain, depression, infertility, obesity...she could reach a lotta, lotta people.
And, of course, it would be pretty damn funny to watch the battle that would ensue between her and Dr. Oz, of "hearthealthywholegrainsandsoy" fame. =)
IMHO, Oprah has serious food issues. It would not surprise me in the least if she failed to lose weight on paleo. And I don't really think it's all that hard to stay within the "rules" of paleo and not lose weight (just read the frequent "why aren't I losing" posts here), or even gain weight.
She will be a tough one to bribe. Her net worth is $2.7 billion (with a B). You might have to throw in more than a few hundred.
Also, from what I remember of her shows that were nutrition related, she seems to lean a lot more towards vegetarian/vegan.
Oprah would be publicity, but given she doesn't have a regular show anymore except on her 'O' network, it may not be as convincing. I would suggest Dr. Oz (who got his start through Oprah). The Dr. Oz show is entirely based on health.