Weight Watchers shares are surging.
The stock climbed as much as 21% Friday after the company said Thursday that an Indiana University School of Medicine study found that adults with prediabetes lost significant weight after they used a Weight Watchers program.
The release cites previous research in saying that people with prediabetes can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% if they lost up to 7% of their body weight.
From the company’s statement:
The study found that those who participated in the prediabetes-specific Weight Watchers program lost significantly more weight than the control group at both six and 12 months. On average, Weight Watchers participants lost 5.5% of their body weight at six months and fully maintained that loss at 12 months, while the control group lost 0.8% of their body weight at six months and experienced slight regain for a loss of 0.2% of their body weight at 12 months.
The control group for the study was a group of people who received self-help advice on how to lose weight. And so, those who used Weight Watchers clearly had an edge, according to the study.
Related to this, Gayle King — Oprah’s long-time best friend, tweeted last Friday that she had lost 25 pounds since she started a Weight Watchers program last September.
The spikes in the stock still leave it down 20% for the past 12 months. Oprah’s coming on board was part of the company’s efforts to plug a decline in members.
Here’s how the stock has traded over the past month, showing today’s surge:
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