Oprah Winfrey Leaves Weight Watchers Board After Revealing Use of Weight-Loss Medication

The mogul will donate her shares of the company to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Oprah Winfrey is stepping back from her role with Weight Watchers after serving on the board of directors for a decade. The news comes shortly after the media mogul disclosed her recent use of weight-loss medication

"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," Winfrey said in a statement to ET.

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

According to Weight Watchers' last proxy statement, per The Hollywood Reporter, Winfrey's stake was valued at more than $18 million prior to the announcement of her departure. 

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The 70-year-old's figure once again became a topic of speculation after the talk show icon stepped out for the Hollywood premiere of The Color Purple looking svelte last year. Speaking with People, Winfrey detailed her approach to weight loss after "five decades" of weight fluctuations, "yo-yoing and feeling like why can't I just conquer this thing, believing willpower was my failing." 

Winfrey said she's "done with the shaming" surrounding weight-loss medication, revealing that she uses it as a "maintenance tool" for her own body. 

"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 told the outlet.

She added, "Obesity is a disease. It’s not about willpower -- it's about the brain."

After discussing it with her doctor, Winfrey was prescribed a medication and said she now uses it "as I feel I need it, as a tool to manage not yo-yoing." 

Speaking with ET earlier this month, Winfrey addressed her recent physical transformation when asked what she's been doing to get results.

"It's not one thing, it's everything," she said.

Winfrey emphasized just how much she's had to change with diet and exercise to look fantastic, and added, "I intend to keep it that way."

She continued, "I was on that treadmill today." 




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