Oprah Winfrey exits WeightWatchers board, will donate stock to African American history museum

Oprah Winfrey says she’s parting ways with WeightWatchers’s 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.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Winfrey said she would “continue to advise and collaborate” with the brand and its leaders, and would work to be “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, D.C., museum, she added: “I have been a long-time supporter of this worthy organization, and I am proud to continue my support.”

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

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

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