Richard Simmons on Stars' Battle With the Scales

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," May 17, 2006, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: "The Da Vinci Code" makes its debut to mixed reviews. But forget the movie. Did you happen to get a close look at Tom Hanks? All the talk is that it looks like Tom has put on a few pounds -- not that I'm one to complain, but anyway.

From Britney Spears to John Travolta, stars do appear to be gaining a little bit of girth. So, what is going on here?

With us right now is fitness guru Richard Simmons.

Hey, Richard.


I came to the studio and you were not even here.

CAVUTO: No. I regret that, too. But I'm glad I'm not in this case, because, you know, I would be sticking my stomach in. You know, I would be hiding behind like a Ring Ding or something.

SIMMONS: Now, have I ever mentioned anything? No. That's not the way I am.

CAVUTO: No, you have not. You're kind and a gentleman. But let me ask you, I have noticed this trend among some of the superstars: they're just getting a little beefier. What's going on?

SIMMONS: I think, as people get older, their priorities change. And they shift. They go in to different roles, where they could be maybe a little bit heavier.

I think we forget, you know, that we need to eat healthy. We need to exercise. And I think that people just get very busy. I mean, there are so many people out there who are having these problems of not being able to manage their time to get everything in.

CAVUTO: But what happened to Matthew Perry? I mean, that's from a few years ago on the left. And now, today, he has put on a few.

SIMMONS: Oh, well, Neil, this is not like you, to be this controversial. What is wrong?

CAVUTO: No, no, look, I'm in a huge glass house here. And I'm Miami, so I'm being careful.

But, I mean, is there a trend, as we take a look at other stars?

SIMMONS: Well, I think there are many stars who are going to the gym, having personal trainers, having people cook their food for them.

And I think other ones -- you know, it happens. As you get older -- I mean, I will be 58 this year -- as you get older, pounds seem to come on. Your metabolism changes. Women go through menopause. I think a few actors go through menopause, too.

But, you know, your body changes. And, for me, if I didn't exercise an hour and 15 minutes a day, and eat 1,800 calories, I would put the weight back on, too, Neil.

CAVUTO: Yes, but you don't. So, what's the message?

SIMMONS: The message is that you have to love yourself, unconditionally, and that you have to work very hard on this.

I get about 10,000 e-mails a month at from people who are having trouble with their weight. And I try to give them the best advice as I can.

But I want to break this conversation for a second. And I need to ask you a favor, if I can, because you know -- no, no, come on, a little smile on your face. You are too serious today.

CAVUTO: Sure. Tell me. What's your favor?

SIMMONS: I just need a favor.


SIMMONS: You know, President Clinton came out. He did this whole thing about the sodas being taken out of school. That's going to happen in 2008. And, then, when you are in high school, you can have colas again and diet...

CAVUTO: Mmm-hmm.

SIMMONS: This is a Band-Aid for what is happening in our school system, where the kids are so overweight.

Until we have physical fitness brought back into our schools in the United States, our kids will get larger and larger. Now, you know, you know all the famous people. I mean, I can't go to President Bush, because I don't think I'm his cup of frappuccino.


SIMMONS: But I would go to Clinton, President Clinton.

You know, Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't do anything with the President's Council on Physical Fitness.

I want to do something. We have to get fitness back into schools. Tell me who I can call. If anyone can give me information, e-mail me at

CAVUTO: We are on it, Richard.

SIMMONS: And I will be happy to take this information. Who should I talk to?


I will talk to you off air, All right, my friend?

SIMMONS: Yes, sir. Take care.

CAVUTO: Very good.

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