Former Yo-Yo Dieter Oprah Winfrey Bought a Piece of Weight Watchers


Weight Watchers has gotten a new backer who happens to be one of the biggest media names in the world: Oprah Winfrey. The OWN channel owner has purchased a 10 percent stake in the diet company and added her name to their board. Because counting calories is part of how you’re going to live your best life.

Struggling company Weight Watchers International Inc. shared the good news of their five-year deal with Winfrey in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Monday, according to ABC News. In the agreement, Winfrey’s given the company permission to use her “name, image, likeness and endorsement for the company, its programs, products and services, subject to her approval.” She’ll also make “appearances,” which sounds like commercials. In return, Winfrey can use the “program, products and services” and aid in “development, planning and execution of its program,” which sounds like making calorie counting less about number crunching and more about increased happiness and living your best life, her self-help trademark. For example, what does your soul say about the carbohydrate percentage in your daily meal plan pie chart?

Is it just me or does it feels like the 1990s all over again, when Oprah’s weight would vary as her popularity soared? She’d endorse this health plan or that personal chef and then gain more or less weight accordingly, which was probably stressful considering her body became such tabloid fodder.

“We are expanding our purpose from focusing on weight loss alone to more broadly helping people lead a healthier, happier life,” said Weight Watchers President and CEO Jim Chambers said in a written statement.

Winfrey’s stake in the company cost her $43.2 million at $6.79 per share and her stint on the Weight Watchers board ends in 2018. Naturally, after her buy-in, the diet company’s share prices skyrocketed. It’ll be interesting to see how this partnership unfolds.

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Image via Getty.

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