MARKETING: How Oprah Lost It

How Oprah Lost It

For four months, Oprah Winfrey's faithful viewers watched as she shed some 70 lbs. as easily as a butterfly casts off its chrysalis. Her secret? Last week the talk-show empress revealed it was Optifast, a liquid-diet program from Minneapolis-based Sandoz Nutrition. In the hours after Winfrey's program, Sandoz fielded more than 200,000 phone inquiries about its crash-diet regimen.

The six-month Sandoz program, offered through 460 U.S. hospitals, is designed for patients who are at least 30%, or 50 lbs., over their ideal weight. Typical cost of the six-month program: $2,600.

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