How Oprah Goosed Weight Watchers Stock

By Karen

Here’s another perfect example of the media not doing its (math) homework. All Oprah Winfrey had to say was, “Hey, look, I lost some more weight!” and it became big news, no questions asked.

Oprah joined Weight Watchers® in August 2015, investing $43 million in the company in exchange for a seat on its board. By the end of January 2016, she filmed an ad claiming she had lost 26 lbs. eating bread every day.

I calculated she was losing 1-2 lbs. a week, which is reasonable, but hardly worthy of a media blitz, especially when you factored in how much Oprah needed to lose.

To provide some context, I followed the WW Points Plus® plan myself in 2012 and lost 50 pounds in 9 months.

So today we get this big announcement that Oprah has lost “more than” 40 pounds. Not “an additional” 40 pounds. Forty pounds total.

And if she actually lost “more than” 40, don’t you think she’d proudly give the exact number, like she did when it was 26?

So let’s do the math. She was down 26 in late January, and now 40 in late December. That’s 14 lbs. lost in 11 months.

Therefore, in 2016, her average loss has been 1.27 lbs. a MONTH. That’s 20.32 ounces. Averaging four weeks in a month, she’s been losing about 5 ounces a week.

And on that paltry progress, Oprah’s stake in the company grew to $77 million because the media didn’t do the math and put the story in proper perspective.

I’m really happy that Oprah feels she’s finally got the situation under control. I’ve been there. It’s a never-ending struggle.

What I have a problem with is Oprah growing even richer touting weight-loss results that would have most dieters in despair.

I once had a friend who’d say he could lose that much weight taking a good dump. Come to think of it, anybody could.

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2 Responses to How Oprah Goosed Weight Watchers Stock

  1. Randi says:

    When certain people (celebrities) tell the world about their weight loss, the companies who sell the various “weight loss diets,” expect that all fat people will buy the product… I wonder if these celebrities get paid to say that they have lost weight. Anyway, I heard that Oprah brought back lots of ryebread when she visited Denmark years ago. It might have been a good idea for her to keep eating that every day, since it is tasty, filling and healthy. I know it’s difficult to get in the US, but I would gladly send a recipe.
    Oh, and when people put on 10 pounds or more, why don’t they notice and cut back on fat and sweets? OK, I know that some are dispositioned to get fat due to genetics, but far from all.

  2. catsworking says:

    Randi, this BS with Oprah and Weight Watchers keeps getting better and better… Yesterday I saw that she’s self-publishing a cookbook under her own new imprint — apparently NOT with WW’s blessing. Here’s something about it:

    http://www.usnews.com/news/entertainment/articles/2016-06-15/oprah-winfrey-cookbook-scheduled-for-early-2017

    This smells on several levels. First, she’s quoted as saying she’s been on WW “several months.” Why not let’s be honest, Oprah, and say 16 months? Is it because of your hefty appearance in the photo, which one would assume is recent?

    All she says is that she’s making her “favorite meals” healthier. Nothing about them being inspired or sanctioned by WW. And no mention of SmartPoints, whose calculations any WW cookbook would include. If Oprah’s still on WW, she’d be counting points, and she’d want them on her favorite meals.

    Looks like the $32 million she gained from losing 5 oz. a week in 2016 wasn’t enough. Now she’s going after WW’s customer base, peddling a book that doesn’t do them any favors.

    “After all your hard work counting points on every blessed bite you take (not to mention your monthly investment in WW membership), let Oprah help you chuck it all and dish up her favorite meals so you can help her have a bestseller.”

    Seriously, the woman has more money than God and a personal chef who could see that she eats nothing but what’s on the WW plan, and SHE can’t do it. She’s the biggest disincentive to dieters out there. And now she wants us to read about how she does it.

    I predict Oprah and WW are heading for a parting of the ways in 2017. She’s obviously not on plan and going off in her own direction.

    WW needs to get Jennifer Hudson back into the fold. That woman lost some serious weight until she looked absolutely fabulous, and she’s keeping it off.

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