Over the last year, it seems like Black celebrities have shifted into the limelight in terms of representing weight loss products. With Charles Barkley joining Jennifer Hudson as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and Janet Jackson repping Nutrisystem, it’s clear that weight loss companies are beginning to target the Black American demographic for its consumer potential. As Black Americans continue to have high obesity rates and weight-related illnesses, there’s a dire need for effective, inspiring weight loss programs that can catalyze a shift in health consciousness. However, most of these programs are not affordable for the average family. And thus, it’s unlikely for Black celebrity spokespersons, regardless of status, to inspire the average individual to purchase these products.

The majority of people struggling with weight issues are underprivileged with limited access to fresh food and fitness programs. Thus, how likely is it for a thousand-dollar weight loss program to make it into the hands of those who need it most? Of course, celebrities primarily take on endorsement contracts for financial gain. But it’s also possible that Barkley, Hudson, and Jackson truly have an affinity for promoting healthy lifestyles and want to help people take back control of their bodies.

The problem is that many of these celebrity campaigns aren’t realistic in terms of what the average person can do, afford, and get from participating in these weight loss systems. Yes, these celebrities have used the weight loss programs that they’re promoting, and their bodies have benefited from the products. But they also have thousand-dollar celebrity trainers that have complemented their new dietary lifestyles, and helped them shed numerous extra pounds.

To truly shift the health consciousness of the average community, celebrity spokespersons would be better served volunteering their voices for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign or local community programs. Or taking notes from social entrepreneurs, if they created their own businesses that catered to low-income demographics that have high obesity rates, not only would they benefit financially from their investments, but they’d also save lives.

Indeed, “saving the world” is no easy feat, and likely not the ultimate goal for any of the celebrities above. It’s certainly easier to collect a check, smile for the cameras, get press, and flaunt their new figures, as they certainly have earned them and paid for the benefits. But for once, it’d be wonderful to see a celebrity promoting accessible health solutions for weight loss, not something that’s once again unaffordable for the communities that need weight loss inspiration the most.

Are you inspired by celebrity weight loss spokespersons? Can you afford any of the products that they’re promoting? Or do you believe that your health is an investment and these weight loss systems are worth the price? Weigh in.

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  1. i think it’s nice and all, a healthier lifestyle is always a win win, but these types of endorsements just don’t speak to me. my feelings are the same as yours, arielle. first of all, you have money already so you can pay someone to do your menus, prepare your meals, work you out and even knock food out your hand if you so desire. and you are being paid for your endorsement. heck i could lose every spare lb i have and keep if off forever with all that assistance.

    even with their getting more dreadful by the day jhud commercials (who i don’t knock for what she’s done, but see all the above lol), i truly believe in weight watchers. they helped me when i was so desperate and lost. and what i like abt them most? the “real life” people who have changed their lives and remain involved with the program. over half the people @ the mtg i was going to had lost their weight long ago, but continued coming to offer support/tips/advice/love to the members still in “losing weight” mode. now that’s real and that’s what speaks to me.

  2. It’s too hard to keep up with all the celebs and their pitches. It doesn’t sway me one way or the other because I recognize most celebrities will sell their mama’s if the price is right. Weight loss is a great way to get press. the classic redemption story.

  3. If n*ggas can’t see this is a set up then we all deserve what is coming to us. You got Charles Barkley over here telling men to lose weight with what got J HUD looking like a bobble head. If you think Weight Watchers or Nutri System is going to help you then you probably believe drinking milk is good for your bones. C’mon son

  4. Obesity has to be the story of the year

  5. Hell no, they do not inspire me or anyone that I know. It actually annoys me because they have every resource available to lose weight. They have the ability to hire trainers and nutritionist and chefs. All the while, everyday people are really struggling with their weight and don’t have these resources. They are getting some type of kickback; a check,k free food, other endorsements, something. I don’t feel they have made any real sacrifices and had to put forth any effort. PERIOD!

  6. It’s interesting how the cost of these weight loss programs is questioned when so many of the “underpriviliged” folks targeted by these products think nothing of spending the same money on their hair, faddish clothes, jewelry, etc. People need to get their priorities straight and invest in their health, instead of spending money on things that are superficial and won’t last.

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