Oprah Leaves WeightWatchers, Sinks Stock Price After Admitting Truth About Weight-Loss Drug

Oprah Leaves WeightWatchers, Sinks Stock Price After Admitting Truth About Weight-Loss Drug

TV producer and former daytime talk show powerhouse Oprah Winfrey has left the board of weight-loss company WeightWatchers after revealing that she uses drugs as a “maintenance” plan to maintain her weight.

Winfrey admitted last year that she began using pharmaceutical drugs and not just dieting programs to maintain her weight loss and to avoid “yo yoing” up and down in weight, CNBC reported.

Winfrey said, she initially had “shame about it” but is now accepting the drug use and openly admitting it.

“I now use it as I feel I need it, as a tool to manage not yo-yoing,” she told People magazine.

“The fact that there’s a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift,” Winfrey added.

This month, Winfrey announced that she will not run for re-election to the board off WeightWatchers and will leave the company. It was not revealed if her admission to the use of pharmaceutical drugs as part of her weight maintenance regime is the reason for leaving, CNBC reported.

Winfrey acquired a significant stake in the company after using the company’s weight loss program. She became a board member in 2015 and has been an active promoter of WeightWatchers, appearing in many commercials and print advertisements for the company.

But now, Winfrey said she is leaving the board and even donating her sizable shares to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Oprah owns about 10 percent of the company’s stock and is their single largest shareholder, ABC News reported.

Shares in WeightWatchers tumbled by as much as 25 percent in trading after the news of Winfrey’s departure broke.

In her announcement of her decision to leave the company and divest her interests, Winfrey said, “I look forward to continuing to advise and collaborate with WeightWatchers and CEO Sima Sistani in elevating the conversation around recognizing obesity as a chronic condition, working to reduce stigma, and advocating for health equity.”

“Weight health is a critically important topic and one that needs to be addressed at a broader scale. I plan to participate in a number of public forums and events where I will be a vocal advocate in advancing this conversation,” the TV mogul added.

“In addition, I have decided to donate my interest in WeightWatchers to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I have been a long-time supporter of this worthy organization, and I am proud to continue my support.”

WeightWatchers said it was supporting of Winfrey’s decision to leave the weight-loss company.

“Ms. Winfrey is making the donation to support the NMAAHC’s goal to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans and to eliminate any perceived conflict of interest around her taking weight-loss medications. In addition, Ms. Winfrey intends to donate the proceeds from any future exercises of her WW stock options to NMAAHC,” WeightWatchers said in a statement.

The company, though, has been on a downward trend over the last few years.

On Wednesday, WeightWatchers released its fourth-quarter report from 2023 and revealed that it lost $88.1 million, more than twice the loss during the same period in 2022.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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