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Oprah Winfrey exits WeightWatchers board months after revealing use of weight-loss medication

(The Hill) – Oprah Winfrey says she’s parting ways with WeightWatchers’ board of directors and donating her stock in the company to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The media mogul and former talk show host first joined WW International, Inc.’s board in 2015, before kicking off a high-profile 2020 marketing campaign as the weight loss and management company’s spokeswoman.

Shares of WW International Inc. tumbled more than 23% in Thursday morning trading, following news of Winfrey’s decision.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Winfrey said that she would “continue to advise and collaborate” with the brand and its leaders, and would work toward “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,” Winfrey said.

Regarding her donation to the Washington museum, she added, “I have been a long-time supporter of this worthy organization, and I am proud to continue my support.”

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is pictured on Feb. 8, 2020. (Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP, File)

The donation, WeightWatchers said, aims to support the museum’s “goal to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans and to eliminate any perceived conflict of interest around [Winfrey] taking weight loss medications.”

Winfrey, who’s been public about her health and fitness struggles throughout her career, made headlines last year after revealing that she was taking a weight loss medication.

“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, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for,” Winfrey, 70, said at the time.

“I’m absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself,” she said. Winfrey did not disclose which medication she was prescribed.

One in three American adults are overweight, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

In a poll conducted last August, 18% of adults surveyed said they were “very interested” in taking a weight loss drug, and 27% said they were “somewhat interested.”

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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