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WeightWatchers CEO Sima Sistani Talks Modernizing Weight Loss Management With Prescription Medication in Oprah Winfrey’s ‘Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution’

Following her departure from the WeightWatchers board of directors last month, Oprah Winfrey has explained why she decided to leave the company in her new ABC special, “Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution.”

In the hourlong program, which aired on Monday, Winfrey elaborated on her usage of weight loss drugs. While she hasn’t specified which ones she used, Winfrey’s special highlighted the effects of Ozempic, Wegovy, Zepbound and Mounjaro.

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AN OPRAH SPECIAL: SHAME, BLAME AND THE WEIGHT LOSS REVOLUTION - Oprah Winfrey hosts a sit-down conversation around the radical impact of prescription weight loss medications in the primetime event, “An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution,” airing MONDAY, MARCH 18 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC and the next day on Hulu. The special delves into the prevailing questions and concerns surrounding the impact on our health care, economy, lifestyle and culture.(Disney/Eric McCandless)
OPRAH WINFREY, MAGGIE ERVIE, ERIKA ERVIE
Oprah Winfrey on “An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution.”

“I recently made the decision to not continue serving on the board of WeightWatchers,” said Winfrey, who served on the board for nearly a decade after acquiring a 10 percent stake in the company in 2015. “I made that decision because I wanted no perceived conflict of interest for this special,” she added, referring to her interview with WeightWatchers’ chief executive officer Sima Sistani.

Sistani discussed WeightWatchers’ shift in strategy after purchasing Sequence, a telehealth company that specializes in prescribing weight loss medication, in 2023. Part of this shift, according to Sistani, also emphasizes reframing obesity as a disease.

“We are the most clinically tested, evidence-based, science-backed behavior change program, but we were missing the third prong which was biology,” Sistani told Winfrey. “There could be somebody who needs medication because they have that biological underpinning, and what’s so important for us is to provide that care and also help people release the shame.”

AN OPRAH SPECIAL: SHAME, BLAME AND THE WEIGHT LOSS REVOLUTION - Oprah Winfrey hosts a sit-down conversation around the radical impact of prescription weight loss medications in the primetime event, ÒAn Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution,Ó airing MONDAY, MARCH 18 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC and the next day on Hulu. The special delves into the prevailing questions and concerns surrounding the impact on our health care, economy, lifestyle and culture.(Disney/Eric McCandless)
SIMA SISTANI, AMY KANE
Sima Sistani on “An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution.”

“For all those people who took on the behavior change, some of them walked away without the success,” Sistani continued. “And to those people, I want to say it’s not your fault.”

While WeightWatchers is now prescribing weight loss drugs like Ozempic, Sistani insists that the company maintains focus on building a community through various initiatives, including its popular Points Program.

“Weight Watchers is not just about weight loss,” Sistani said. “It’s about education, and it is about care. That’s our new philosophy is to help people live longer, happier lives with weight health care.”

“An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution” is available to stream on Hulu.

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