Wellness Giant Weight Watchers & Oprah Winfrey's Profits Take a Dive as More People Turn to Keto Diet
The question is: what’s more important - counting calories or the effect food has on your hormone levels when consumed? And it seems the modern-day educated health and wellness consumer has already made that decision.
Weight Watchers International Inc (now known as WW), have suffered their worst week since going public more than 18 years ago after trading analysts have turned on the companies’ earnings and sustainable long-term vision.
On September 25, Weight Watchers (now 57-years-old) slimmed down its name to just “WW,” with the tagline “Wellness that works,” in the hope it cold fatten its customer base, however the company WTW, + 2.47% reported fourth-quarter results that vastly missed expectations and profit that was less than half of what was projected.
CEO of WW, Mindy Grossman stood firm on her stance regarding Keto saying “crazes” and diet fads come and go, so the company was not going to change its DNA based on calorie counting. The keto (or ketogenic diet) is approximately 70% high quality fat, 20% adequate protein and 10% low carbohydrate intake, which forces the body to burn fat rather than carbohydrates.
“We’ve lived through this [competition from trend diets] for 57 years and we’re not going to play a game and we never have,” Grossman said on the post-earnings call, according to a transcript provided by FacSet.
“We’re going to be science informed and we’re sustainable for the long term,” she said.
Current investors in WW are undecided if the brand has a strong future in keeping up with the wellness marketplace, or it’s just a case of the world’s greatest brand influencer (Oprah Winfrey, major shareholder), using her celebrity status to save this old-school weight-loss company that no longer connects with its core demographic being middle-aged female customers.
Dr Jospeh Mercola talks us through how ketones mimic and support benefits of fasting:
‘’It is more than arguable that the ketogenic diet as another “craze” destined to eventually fade away, as there is now plenty of evidence in functional medicine to suggest nutritional ketosis is a most natural way of eating for health and weight management. However, this cannot be said the reverse for the WW program.
As noted in a 2014 article on ketotic.org, “Newborn infants are in ketosis. This is their normal state.”3 The article makes a compelling argument for ketogenic metabolism being “normal and desirable” because babies are in ketosis when born, and breast milk is ketogenic, so they remain in ketosis for as long as they’re breastfeeding.
Ketones — water-soluble fats your liver produces when converting fats into energy — appear to be particularly crucial during brain development.4 The article also presents the hypothesis that:
“… [E]xtending the period of ketosis after breastfeeding, by weaning onto ketogenic foods such as homemade broth and fatty meat, rather than cereal, fruit and starchy vegetables, would further promote brain development and reduce risk of disease.”
Moreover, research has confirmed that many biological repair and rejuvenation processes take place in the absence of food, and this is another reason why all-day grazing trigger biological dysfunction. In a nutshell, your body was designed to:
- Run on fat as its primary fuel, which you do on a ketogenic diet, and
- Cycle through periods of feast and famine, which you do when intermittently fasting
Indeed, we know that ketones mimic the life span-extending properties of calorie restriction (fasting), which includes improved glucose metabolism, reduced inflammation, clearing out malfunctioning immune cells, and reduced IGF-1, which is one of the factors that regulate growth pathways and growth genes and is a major player in accelerated aging and cellular/intracellular regeneration and rejuvenation (autophagy and mitophagy in the mitochondria).’’