Oprah Winfrey Reveals Her Departure from WeightWatchers

WeightWatchers (Credits: Getty Images)

On Thursday, Oprah Winfrey made headlines by announcing her departure from WeightWatchers and her decision to donate all her shares in the company to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

This move comes after the renowned TV personality disclosed that her significant weight loss was attributed to the use of new weight-loss medications.

In a statement released by the company, Winfrey, who has been a prominent figure for WeightWatchers since 2015, expressed her intention to eliminate any perceived conflict of interest surrounding her use of weight-loss medications by relinquishing her shares.

Her stake in the company, valued at over $18 million according to financial statements, will now benefit the museum.

Oprah Winfrey (Credits: Getty Images)

Despite parting ways with the company, Winfrey, aged 70, will continue her involvement with WeightWatchers as an advocate for weight health and obesity issues, focusing on promoting awareness about obesity as a chronic condition, combating stigma, and advocating for health equity.

The apparent conflict arose in December when Winfrey disclosed to People magazine that she incorporated GLP-1 drugs, including brands like Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy and Eli Lilly’s Zepbound, into her weight loss regimen alongside regular exercise and lifestyle adjustments.

She emphasized her rejection of external and self-imposed shame regarding the use of prescription weight-loss drugs, reflecting on her decades-long struggle with weight fluctuations and societal scrutiny.

Oprah Winfrey (Credits: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

While WeightWatchers traditionally advocates a non-medical, points-based approach to food intake, it has ventured into the clinical space of the $142 billion weight-management industry.

Last March, the company acquired Sequence, a firm specializing in combining clinically-proven medications with access to healthcare professionals to facilitate weight loss for customers.

The prevalence of obesity in the US, affecting 39% of Americans according to the FDA, underscores the urgency for effective weight management solutions.

The market for GLP-1 drugs, projected to exceed $100 billion by 2030 by JP Morgan, reflects the growing demand for obesity medications. This trend is expected to impact various sectors, including biotech, while potentially posing challenges for industries such as food and beverage.

Nate O'Hara
Nathan is a seasoned commerce writer with a passion for unraveling the intricacies of the business world and distilling them into engaging narratives. During his academic journey, he delved deep into subjects like economics, marketing, and entrepreneurship, honing his analytical skills and developing a keen understanding of market dynamics.