Oprah Winfrey Teams With WeightWatchers for Live-Streaming Event to Help ‘Dismantle the Current Diet Culture’

Oprah Winfrey is off the board of WeightWatchers — but she’s continuing to work with the company as part of her efforts to change the cultural conversation about weight.

Winfrey will host “Making The Shift: A New Way to Think About Weight,” a three-hour event on Thursday, May 9, from 6-9 p.m. ET that will be live-streamed on WeightWatchers’ YouTube channel. The event will include a live studio audience, while viewers who participate virtually will also have the opportunity to interact with Oprah and guests.

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Speakers at the event are set to include Rebel Wilson, Amber Riley, Katie Sturino, Marisa Meltzer, Jamie Kern Lima, Tressie McMillan Cottom, and science and medical experts. Led by Winfrey, the discussion will “help us dismantle the current diet culture, as we lean into science and the exciting evolution of weight and our health,” according to WeightWatchers.

The event “will unpack the multifaceted, preconceived notions we have about weight, from the profound impact diet culture has had on our society to how we can reframe harmful narratives surrounding our weight and our bodies,” the company said. “The honest and brave dialogue will allow us the space to reconcile our varying thoughts on diet culture, weight bias and much more.”

Winfrey said in a statement, “As we reconcile the shame stories we have all experienced, I’m on a mission to keep this conversation going and help us better understand the complexity of weight health and how we can use the science and what we know now to enhance our lives.”

Earlier this year, Winfrey announced that she was exiting the board of WeightWatchers, after having served as a director since 2015 when she acquired a 10% stake in the company. In late 2023, Winfrey revealed that she was taking a weight-loss drug. WeightWatchers “is now in the business of being a weight-health company that also administers drug medications for weight,” and Winfrey wanted to “be able to talk about whatever I want to talk about” regarding weight-loss issues, she told Jimmy Kimmel. “I did not want to have the appearance of any conflict of interest.” Last year, WeightWatchers acquired Sequence, a telehealth subscription service providing access to healthcare providers who can prescribe weight-loss drugs like Ozempic, for $106 million.

This March, Winfrey hosted an hour-long ABC primetime special, “An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution,” which explored weight-loss drugs such as Ozempic, Mounjaro and Wegovy.

Winfrey’s “Making the Shift” special for WeightWatchers will be available for on-demand viewing across multiple platforms following its May 9 live-streaming broadcast. Participants can register for the event in advance at this link.

“Anyone can quit a diet, but it takes a collective effort to quit a culture,” WeightWatchers CEO Sima Sistani said. “With the support of Oprah and our core founding principles of community and science, our intention is to invite people to a conversation to better understand the harsh realities that have led to our complicated relationship with weight. Like Oprah, we are dedicated to shifting culture, to change the conversation from weight loss, to weight health.”

Watch the trailer for Winfrey and WeightWatchers’ “Making the Shift” live event:

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