Thursday, May 23, 2024

Oprah Winfrey Steps Down from Weight Watchers Board After Revealing Use of Weight-Loss Medication

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Oprah Winfrey is saying goodbye to Weight Watchers after nearly a decade on the company’s board of directors. This decision comes on the heels of criticism Oprah faced for proudly revealing she uses a weight loss drug.

Weight Watchers made it clear in its official statement on Wednesday that there is no bad blood with Oprah. Her departure from the board is not due to any disagreements with the company or issues related to operations, policies or practices.

“While I and the rest of our directors will certainly miss her in our board meetings following the end of her current term, she remains a strong strategic voice and collaborator with WeightWatchers,” said WW CEO Sima Sistani.

That being said, Oprah’s departure comes just a few months after she admitted to using weight-loss drugs in December. This admission raised eyebrows, especially since she had spoken out against medications like Ozempic and Mounjaro months earlier.

Oprah Dropped 40 Pounds Using Weight Loss Medication

In 2023, Oprah revealed she dropped 40 pounds as part of her weight loss strategy which involved medication prescribed by doctors. However, she never revealed the name of the drug she used.

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Some people, most notably fitness guru Jillian Michaels, criticized Oprah for not being transparent that Weight Watchers had invested in a popular weight loss drug. There was speculation that Oprah stood to profit greatly from advocating for the use of such medication.

Oprah is directly addressing this criticism as she leaves the company. WW says she is donating her 1.4% stake in WW to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This is “to eliminate any perceived conflict of interest around her taking weight loss medications,” according to the company.

Oprah’s Departure Hurts Weight Watchers Stock

The announcement of Oprah leaving WW had an immediate negative impact on the company’s stock. It plummeted more than 20% right after the news broke on Thursday morning.

Wall Street’s perspective is that losing Oprah is never a good thing for any organization. However, from Oprah’s perspective, she is in the best place health-wise that she has ever been, both physically and mentally as she sheds pounds.

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A Look at Oprah’s Weight Loss Journey

Over the years, Oprah has been open about her decades-long battle with her weight. She became an ambassador for Weight Watchers in 2015 and purchased a 10% stake in the company, believing their program was the best way to finally win the battle.

She helped promote Weight Watchers on her talk show for years and inspired many people to sign up for the program. Oprah said she had lost more than 40 pounds by early 2016 thanks to Weight Watchers.

However, Oprah’s weight continued to fluctuate over the next several years. She admitted in 2018 that she gained back nearly 40 pounds and was struggling to keep the weight off.

Oprah’s Recent 40 Pound Weight Loss

In 2023, Oprah revealed she had lost 40 pounds again. She credited her weight loss to eating nutrient-rich foods, walking daily, resting well, and using weight loss medication prescribed by her doctor.

Oprah said she feels healthier and happier than she has in years. She is off her blood pressure medication and is full of energy. She aims to live to at least age 100.

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While Oprah achieved great results using medication, she had advised others against using drugs like Ozempic just months prior. This led to backlash when she admitted to using weight loss meds herself.

What’s Next for Oprah and Weight Watchers?

While Oprah is leaving Weight Watchers, she helped build the brand and inspired millions of people to improve their health. The company will certainly miss her star power and business acumen.

As for Oprah, she will continue her own weight loss journey and share advice with fans. She hopes to empower people to get healthy through lifestyle changes like diet, exercise and stress management – not just medication.

Though no longer tied to Weight Watchers, Oprah’s lifelong battle with the scale is far from over. She aims to maintain her 40 pound weight loss and remain mentally and physically fit into her later years.



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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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