BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Now that 25 years of the Oprah Winfrey Show has come to a close some Coast residents say what they'll miss most is how the Mississippi native was always so down to earth. Winfrey openly discussed her personal struggles to overcome child abuse and control her weight. At a health fair, people said her candidness has changed lives for the better.
Take Off Pounds Sensibly set up a booth at the Biloxi Senior health and Wellness Expo. The non-profit teaches that people who want to lose weight and keep it off shouldn't go on a diet but change their lifestyle. TOPS members credit Oprah Winfrey for bringing discussions about the battle of the bulge out to the open.
"It's very very good because she has been so open about it," said Jan Huey of TOPS. "The fact that she is overweight sometimes, the things that she's gone through and the different programs that she's tried. She has come to realize you don't put it on overnight and you can't take it off overnight."
Dr. Earl Malone is an optometrist. He said he appreciates Oprah for brining on countless medical professions as guest to show Americans how to take better care of their health.. and what warning signs to look for.
"It's very informative for people that don't know what's going on with their bodies," said Dr. Earl Malone. "Any time that you have a list of things that could go wrong and that helps a person look at that checklist and say 'I've got two or three or those and maybe I ought to get a checkup.' "
More than anything, people say they'll miss turning on their tvs five days a week and seeing her smile.
Kristina Allen watches the Oprah Winfrey Show every day. "I think she's very sincere and she's trying to make the world a better place. Very sad but she'll go on to something good. She'll still inspire students and everyone around her. "
"I'm going to miss Oprah. I think that she should stay on," said Dr. Malone. "But when you've had a run like she has maybe it's time to do something else."
Cybil Smith of Pascagoula is also an Oprah fan. "For one thing I like to Mississippi people do well and she has certainly done that. She has brought our state out. I enjoy Oprah's show.
Although many people said they are sad to see her talk show end they feel better knowing they haven't seen the last of Oprah.