On February 28th, Oprah Winfrey announced that she would be parting ways with WW after nearly a decade in partnership. According to The New York Times, “Her decision was not the result of any disagreement with the company on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies or practices,” Weight Watchers said in the filing.

Oprah waves goodbye
photo credit: lev radin/shutterstock
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When Oprah initially signed on in 2015, there was a positive impact on the company’s stocks and general value. In fact, Business Insider says that WW’s value grew by 13% in just 3 years after her sign-on. So, with someone so influential leaving the company, what does this mean for the future of Weight Watchers? And how can this transition impact its users?

Prediction 1: Weight Watchers Will See Users Decline

Forbes has ranked Oprah Winfrey as one of the most successful and powerful women. Her influence is so vast that it would not come as a surprise if WW’s numbers declined. It’s only been a few days since the news broke, and the stocks of Weight Watchers have already been affected.

ABC7 reports, “Shares (WW) plunged 25% in premarket trading Thursday and would be down 85% for the past six months if the premarket losses hold.” Although the company might experience temporary losses, WW members should not worry about it on a personal level.

It’s important to remember that this is not a problem for us to stress about! Even if the number of members decreases, it does not mean that you have to follow suit. You should stick to your personal program. We plan to continue providing daily recipes, WW guides, and helpful information for you. Our community is committed to supporting you in achieving your goals and staying on track!

Prediction 2: More People Will Use Ozempic And The New GLP-1s

More people will likely talk to their doctor in person or get in touch with a telemedicine doctor through WW to talk about whether GLP-1s are right for them. This is especially true now that certain medications are available in tablet form.

WW estimates there will be 140,000- 160,000 subscribers to the new WeightWatchers Clinic by the end of this year. That doesn’t mean every person will begin medications, but it shows that the interest is there. Of course, WW reiterates that weight loss is a personal journey, and connecting with a professional can help you receive the right treatment.

At the end of the day, what matters most is your journey, regardless of whether or not you plan on taking GLP-1s. If you prefer to work the program without GLP-1s, we are here to give you new and exciting recipes and offer support. And if you choose to use medications, the same rule applies. We will provide you with nourishing food options that can complement your personal treatment!

Prediction 3: The Stigma Around Weight Loss Drugs Will Be Reduced

Oprah Winfrey’s decision to be transparent about using medication to help with her weight loss is a step towards breaking the stigma that surrounds using such medications when needed. There has been a certain amount of public backlash towards people who take these medications, which can make them feel ashamed and embarrassed.

Instead, there is another way to look at the medications. Winfrey 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, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for. I’m absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself.”

As we know, WW has been updating its position on weight loss medicines, as mentioned on its website: “For some, biological factors can block weight loss. Medical weight care can help—and healthy lifestyle changes are key for long-lasting results.” Last year, WW CEO Sima Sistani even apologized in an interview for how the program may have caused certain members to feel ashamed or disheartened, as the Points program and other healthy habits alone were not enough for weight loss in some cases.

The bottom line is that there is no reason to feel ashamed of how your personal journey looks!

Prediction 4: We Will Still See Oprah Collaborating With WW

If you’re a fan of Oprah and her work, you’ll be happy to know that although she isn’t on the board of directors anymore, it isn’t the last time you’ll see her work with WW.

In the initial announcement, Winfrey stated, “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.”

There are many live events and pre-recorded videos featuring Oprah’s time with WW. You can watch these videos to gain insight into her experiences. On the Weight Watchers YouTube channel, you can find different playlists with encouraging words from Winfrey and other members. And, of course, you can take inspiration from current WW ambassadors, such as Tia Mowry or Nina Parker!

Prediction 5: The Weight Watchers Program Will Continue To Exist In Some Form For a While

It’s true that WW International bet big on the Ozempic boom with their new tele-health program as well as their new program designed for Ozempic users.

And it does seem that this program could be in trouble with some of the new direct to consumer programs that big pharmaceutical companies have launched. (Like EliLilly recently launched LillyDirect which is effectively cuts out the need for companies like WW International to have telehealth services)

But, WW has been around since 1963, and it remains a popular weight management system in over 15 countries. And even if WW international is in trouble, the core WW program is still a valuable service.

So I expect that at least some form of the WW plan will stick around for a while. Although it has had ups and downs, it continues to evolve and withstand the test of time.

And the good news is that even if WW were to completely end, a large community of people can hold each other accountable (like those of us here at DrizzleMeSkinny), so you’re not alone. And we can figure it out together.

Many individuals in the community have made lifelong commitments to this type of lifestyle. Therefore, if the program is no longer live, it won’t hinder their progress. Together, we can motivate and support each other while sharing good news, delicious recipes, and personal accomplishments!

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