Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, retail companies such as Walmart have made deliberate, strategic moves to gain a foothold in the healthcare industry. Digital Editor Jack O’Brien interviews Dr. John Wigneswaran, Walmart’s chief medical officer, about the company’s lofty health and wellness. 

Senior reporter Lecia Bushak discusses the FDA’s proposed reorganization plan as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders’ ongoing standoff with Big Pharma. 

Additionally, The Eternal Memory, a documentary about Alzheimer’s disease, earns an Oscar nomination; former Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels takes issue with GLP-1s and Reese Witherspoon embraces TikTok’s “snow cream” craze during our Trends segment. 

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To read more of the most timely, balanced and original reporting in medical marketing, subscribe here.

Note: The MM+M Podcast uses speech-recognition software to generate transcripts, which may contain errors. Please use the transcript as a tool but check the corresponding audio before quoting the podcast.

Hey, it’s Jack. Marc is off this week, so I’m filling in to host this episode.

When you think of the biggest players in healthcare, some names probably come to mind: UnitedHealth Group, Kaiser Permanente, McKesson or Pfizer, to name a few.

While these stalwarts all maintain a top spot in their respective markets as well as in the minds of patients, we’ve seen the rise of the non-traditional disrupter in recent years.

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, retail companies and massive tech firms have been making deliberate, strategic moves to gain a foothold in the industry. Think of Amazon, Google, Apple and the subject of today’s pod: Walmart.

The company’s efforts to expand in healthcare have hardly gone unnoticed over the past few years, especially by entrenched titans like CVS Health and Walgreens. Where they’re headed in a post-pandemic world that wants better, faster and more efficient care delivery has left plenty of stakeholders curious.

That’s why our guest this week is Dr. John Wigneswaran, Walmart’s Chief Medical Officer, who details the retail giant’s lofty healthcare ambitions, his thoughts on where the industry needs disruption in order to improve patient outcomes and the continual impact of consumerism on care delivery. 

And Lecia’s here with a health policy update.

Today I’ll review the FDA’s new reorganization plan, as the agency aims to address some of its regulatory problems unmasked during the infant formula crisis. I’ll also give an update on Senator Bernie Sanders’ ongoing battle with Big Pharma.

This week, we’re talking about The Eternal Memory, a documentary about the effect of Alzheimer’s disease, earning an Oscar nomination, a Biggest Loser judge has an issue with GLP-1s and we debate Reese Witherspoon’s embrace of TikTok’s ‘snow cream’ trend. 


Wig it’s wonderful to have you on the show here. I want to start our conversation off. There are so many questions. I have about Walmart in their healthcare plans, but have the expansion plans been going. I know last year there was moving into different states and this kind of broader expansion effort to play. Can you give us an update where that stands?

Yes, it’s going it’s going great. And you know, one of the tenants that we have at Walmart is you know, as we build we always think about the customer and so there is a really focused approach towards when we’re putting anything out there into the market how it feels I would looks so really really pleased with the centers.

Are and what are the plans next in terms of setting up those centers and can you kind of talk about I was having this conversation with the CEO of Hackensack Meridian last week that during covid there was this sense of like is Brick and Mortar ever gonna come back to healthcare is in the world just gonna go fully virtual and digital and obviously you guys have done a lot on that front, but the expansion of the centers does speak to kind of retails influence and Power in the world of healthcare.

Yeah. I mean, it’s you know, it’s it’s a really great question. I think that’s something that I think everybody’s been grappling with particularly in healthcare. As you know with the pandemic as you mentioned virtual care and ease and convenience, but you know, what we’ve seen is there is a desire from our customers and patients to actually physically touch someone and and be in the store. I think it’s a testament our scale in general as a company. There’s a Walmart within 10 miles 90% of the population and you know, 16 million people that are going through the stores every week. So I think what we try to be mindful

This we’re not going to be everything to everyone we have, you know, kind of unique capabilities that people that are coming into the store might benefit from whether it’s you know, low price generic medications to healthy foods to being able to get a test at the pharmacy counter. So we’ve real pretty confident that there’s a there’s definitely a role here

and how do you assess like some of those opportunities in the sector and also deal with challenges? Like you said, you’re obviously uniquely positioned that way because you have the retail experience you have customers that are going to go there regardless of what their Healthcare status is, but then you tie in obviously having the prescription drug delivery you to you talk about having the food is medicine approach. So we see a number of organizations go through in addition to the retail footprint, you know, that obviously has to give you a leg up when you’re looking at competitors like, you know, the Amazon CBS Walgreens of the world.

Yeah. I mean, I, you know, maybe a good example would be, you know, we started our research inst.

Um now it’s been over two years and you know one might say, you know, why is Walmart in research, you know, we’re not an academic center, but it really kind of touches on all the things that we just talked about. So with research one of the the at least the equity impacts on Research is that research typically is not including patients from all walks of life. They tend to be people that can get to an academic center that have the time or the means to be able to do that and take time out of their day versus you know, we have you know, close to 30 million people within our Pharmacy. We have seven or eight million people that have opted in to getting messages on Research. So I’m able to talk to our patients as we always do and we’re talking about flu vaccines or whatever it is and say, you know, we understand that this might be an important medication or disease date for your family. Would you want to be included and and that’s one way of actually using our footprint to try to drive things that we’re good at and

And I think the the thing that’s really key here is that we’re not trying to do everything. We’re trying to do things that we can lean in on. So on Research we can find patients for studies. We can highlight the studies that are important to our population. It’s a you know, it’s it’s a need in the market and it’s also has a real important clinical and Equity need as well.

It’s interesting here you talk about kind of doing things that maybe you weren’t expected to I remember I had a conversation with Walgreens Chief clinical trials officer back at Health in October and she had said, you know, a lot of people don’t necessarily expect Walgreens to be on that front when they think about prescription drugs. They think about just the pickup and delivery of that care, but they’re expanding their footprint into their when you think about your ultimate vision of what Walmart can be in the healthcare sector. What does that look like to you? Is it kind of being this, you know comprehensive we can go here for a number of different services or is it something specialty-wise was it look like?

Yeah, you’re asking really easy questions, but

I’d say that’s what everybody’s trying to figure out but I’ll give you the best guess that I have and I’ve been in healthcare now for for a bit, you know and PPM space Pharma Med device trained as a nephrologist. So seeing everything and practice as well, you know, the the thing that I’ve sort of gleaned from this is that there’s not one solution and and there can’t be because there’s so many forces whether you have to be a network whether there’s already pre-existing Frameworks in place where I think we’re being really smart, you know talking about research is where we’re not trying to be a clinical research organization and do things and what we can do is we can identify patients.

Or if somebody is coming into the clinic they may not be seeing us for complicated issues, but it might be those 50 things low Acuity things that we can really lean in on. So whether it’s low price meds, whether it’s you know, you need a vaccine whether you need to be tested for covid or strep. Those are the places that you know, irrespective of where you’re going to there’s something that we can actually do. And so that’s sort of how we’ve tried to frame things is number one. We want to drive access. We want to be in the communities. We want to be relevant. We want to be caring but at the same time we also want to be who we are and and what we do well and that might just not be everything it might be things that you know, we’re well positioned.


and what do you think about that in terms of maybe the most misunderstood aspect of your mission as an organization going to healthcare space because I know I’ve seen it in covering this year after year with whether you know, Amazon says that they want to do something further in the healthcare space or Google or Apple these kind of non-traditional players. There is always that pushback from the incumbents and the real traditional whether they’re an insurance company or a hospital system or farmer or whatever. There’s always that oh, this is something new it could be so disruptive. You know, what do you think that has looked like from Walmart’s perspective and how have you tried to overcome that in terms of your operations?

Yeah. I think we’re you know, we we don’t tend to pay too much attention to sort of the I guess the news that you know of trying to reinvent or transform because there’s a pretty singular focus on trying to do what’s right for the customer and the patient today. And so, you know being clinical this and necessarily need to be complicated. So, you know, we have a low price insulin product cash.

product that was in the market way before a lot of the conversations on insulin price and

full to people, you know, a $4 generic for over 250 medications very meaningful the ability to participate in research very meaningful to the ability to have our community health workers take people on a trip to identify the right types of foods to eat. So I would say for us, you know, we’re really trying to be smart about our scale and just what we do well and where we can complement what’s out there already rather than trying to reinvent something that I think everybody has tried to do and and then the people that really suffer from that are the folks that are waiting for that to happen and we want to do something today.

I am kind of curious too how you see the future of prescription drug deal delivery looking I know that you guys have experimented with drone deliveries. I know that’s not necessarily just for prescription drugs. That’s for other products as well. But we’ve seen the likes of Amazon getting into that area in terms of operations. That’s something that you see the future where it’s not even just like Hey, we’re gonna have it brick and mortar. We’re gonna deliver through the mail, but we could actually be using say drones in the future. What does that look like to you?

Yeah, I think you know, all of those things are I view as more capabilities that you know for individuals who are in rural areas that might be really important for individuals who are doing perfectly fine with their manner of how they’re getting their medications. That’s fine. I’m probably more interested in sort of what somebody’s adherence looks like on the medication rather than sort of how they get their medications. So, you know, we know that individuals that in particularly, we’ve been talking a lot about this in complex medications that we have an opportunity to educate at the pharmacy counter. So whether it’s an HIV prep medication whether it’s somebody

Fearful of an injection training that ultimately is is going to be more important than ultimately, you know the manner in which you get the medications, but I clearly think that you know, those types of mechanisms drones, whatever it ends up being if it’s getting to a patient can’t get that that drug. That’s that’s pretty important to have as a as a

Piece in your Armature

you talk about educating consumers and I really wanted to pick your brain about this because like I talk to a lot of income at Healthcare leaders and they’re always talking about, you know, trying to engage their consumers their patients and they point back to like covid being this real pivot spot where it’s like, oh, yeah, like we start engaging them more they had more of an impact in terms of how we were operating and going about our strategy. You’re kind of coming from the reverse where it’s obviously, you know, Walmart is so well known as a consumer giant that they’re able to take what they know about the consumer and translate that into their Healthcare goals. Can you kind of talk to that for our audience in terms and maybe like strategy your advice you would give them in terms of engaging consumers because they’re kind of playing catch up if you will where you guys are almost the industry standard in that way.

Yeah, I think you know, it falls back to the question you ask me about first about you know, whether brick and mortar is helpful or not. And I think this is where it can be helpful because you know, we have close to 5,000 pharmacies 4,000 of those are an underserved areas and so the touch point

They pharmacist is really really critical. And so the education that occurs at the counter is important the other thing that we also take, you know, pretty seriously is that every moment in which we encounter someone is an opportunity to write either change their understanding their medication to build trust, you know health literacy. So for example on Research another great thing about doing research, is that even if I message someone or communicate to someone about a particular study and let’s say they didn’t want to get involved. We have an ability at that time as their provider to talk to them about the disease State about maybe a care Gap that hasn’t been filled and so it’s sort of core to just what the broader Walmart Enterprise does on a day-to-day basis and it’s just being deployed in the same way on that on the outside.

I want to go back to something you brought up earlier, which is obviously you have so much experience being a Healthcare Executive at different parts of the sector obviously, so well known for your time and Express Scripts. Can you talk about because I used to

Of past life. I used to write and report about hospitals and health systems and there was always this kind of underlying resentment with other sides of the industry. Like there was the Rivalry with insurance companies. There was a rivalry with pbms now. I’m covering the Pharma and biotech side and there is still that kind of I would I wouldn’t say distrust but just kind of like, well, they’re on the other side and they are all the sort of stuff but I always hear leaders talking about we need to break down silos. We need to come together. We need to advance the mission for the patient. You’ve worked across these different Industries. I mean these different sides of the industry from your perspective what really needs to happen to make that sort of action occur because it goes to that sort of like talk is cheap, but we need to actually do something here. Yeah.

I mean, yeah, I mean it’s there’s definitely attention amongst wherever you are and and a lot of that is related to just sort of the incentives of how those businesses operate and where they’re playing. I think, you know, at least I’ve been lucky to be in places where there’s always been positive.

Tent about trying to do what’s right for the patient. I think it’s just trying to make things fit. That’s that’s challenging. I’m not sure if I have a great answer for this but at least you know on the retail side one of the reasons I came over was because I wanted to do something more impactful than traditional and that really is driven by the consumer. So until the consumer begins to ask it’s very difficult for things to move. I think we’re starting to see this with drug pricing, you know, which is changing. I think we’re also beginning to see a lot more honesty about sort of what medications actually do. What’s the true impact if you take a medication, is it really meaningful? Is it worth the price those are important discussions to have and so I think you know at least the Walmarts the world and other retail and non traditional players, you have an opportunity to really be a voice of the customer and that to me is what’s always changed things more so than you know and institution or sector

do you foreseen opportunity for other brands being able to make that change because obviously again you guys

Come in there with I wouldn’t say a fresh slate but a familiarity with consumers where they say. Well if I already have a good experience going to Walmart for my groceries or for other retail items. I can probably trust them with Healthcare. Do you think there’s an opportunity for healthcare first Brands to kind of reshape that if you will and say like hey, we want to be more understood as that sort of brand rather than just the siled idea.

Yeah. I think there is I think you know, I mean you’re being very kind and how you’re talking about us. But you know, I think there’s a lot that we still have to do. You know, I would say that not everybody thinks about Walmart as a as a healthcare destination and you know, one of the things that we have done in recent years, for example, you know, there’s a huge emphasis on safety and quality at Walmart. I don’t know I don’t think Walmart is thought about as like an academic center. And nor should it be but there’s no reason why we can’t aspire to that same level. So for example, our chief quality officer was the outgoing Chief quality officer and Master General and while

Are multiple grade institutions out there? It’s it’s a real statement to say that you know, you might be in a rural areas someplace but you’re really being exposed to sort of care Pathways and processes that you know in academic center might approach. So I would say that, you know, everybody has the ability to to be that, you know differing Healthcare brand but it really comes down to those core fundamentals that you know, I think are really important when you’re trying to build something like that and be relevant.

Absolutely, and I’ve really appreciate you being on the show giving us your time and your insights and how you see not only Walmart, but it’s roll within the larger industry. We’re sitting here in mid-January 2024 and I’m kind of curious as you look at the year ahead reading the tea leaves. What do you see in terms of trends that you’re keeping eye on or you think could really impact the sector obviously, we’re kind of past this emergency phase of the covid pandemic but there are all these other things that are priority for the industry you talked about the emphasis on drug pricing both on the federal level, but also from the consumer level up, you know, what else is on your radar as you look at the year?

Yeah, I think you know besides that, you know genetic therapies, you know novel therapies that are Curative and you know might have to think about different ways to make sure that people have access to that. I think the consumer is going to be at the Forefront. I would say the one thing that has happened during pandemic and I lived this, you know, just even talking to patients and employee groups and health plans is that you know, people are really educated on on disease and you know, they have the ability to look things up. So being relevant and being trusted I think is important the dialogue with the consumer I think is going to be pretty Forefront Beyond, you know, all the fun stuff AI Quantum Computing all that stuff, but I think this year in particular is you’re beginning to start to see a lot of those voices and then some of the clinical decisions you have to make you have to really respect, you know, what people are saying and you know, how you mitigate, you know different views.

I appreciate you getting the AI reference in there. I don’t think I’ve had one conversation in the past six months that didn’t somehow involve AI

Way or another so Dr. Wig again, really? Appreciate you making the time here certainly wish you and the company best of luck in terms of your Healthcare Mission and maybe someday down the line we can reconnect and see how it’s all going.

Absolutely. Appreciate you having us.

The Food and Drug Administration is planning to undergo the “largest reorganization” in its history, officials announced last week.

At an Alliance for a Stronger FDA webinar on Friday, agency officials including principal deputy commissioner Janet Woodcock unveiled the new plan, which involves reforming not only the FDA’s human foods program but also its Office of Regulatory Affairs, or ORA, as a whole.

The ORA, which is responsible for the agency’s field activities and inspections for its import, food, bioresearch and medical device programs, will be transformed into a new entity called the Office of Inspections and Investigations, or OII.

The overall goal of the restructuring is to make inspections more efficient – and remove siloes between regulators and center program staff when the agency is evaluating violations at facilities.

The revamp was triggered partially by the nationwide infant formula crisis, which started nearly two years ago but still looms large over the FDA.

A whistleblower had notified the FDA back in 2021 about safety concerns at Abbott Nutrition’s infant formula facility in Michigan, but the agency failed to escalate the complaint to leadership.

A 2022 report out of the Reagan-Udall Foundation highlighted those concerns and urged the FDA to address them, prompting the new reorganization, Woodcock said.

BYTE: “When we looked at some of the problems and issues that were raised in the report and other reports about interactions between the ORA and the programs, this wasn’t limited to the foods program… We’re trying to move toward a more… holistic look at how the FDA functions. We think this will help ORA function better because they’ll have more uniformity in how they’re dealing with the various programs that they work with.”

Woodcock added that the overhaul will involve more transparency around the FDA’s budget. It’s expected to be implemented this year, though the FDA still needs to get approval from the HHS.

Meanwhile, back in Congress, Senator Bernie Sanders is currently at a stand-off with Big Pharma.

Last week, Sanders threatened to subpoena the CEOs of Johnson & Johnson and Merck into testifying about high drug prices. Sanders heads the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions or HELP Committee, which hasn’t issued a subpoena in over 40 years.

Sanders had previously invited the two CEOs, as well as Bristol Myers Squibb CEO Chris Boerner, to testify at a HELP hearing about high drug costs later this month. But only Boerner agreed to join, with J&J and Merck offering other executives to attend rather than their CEOs.

Sanders was not happy with that offer, calling it “absolutely unacceptable” that the CEOs refused to agree to the hearing.

“These CEOs may make tens of millions of dollars in compensation,” Sanders said. “But that does not give them a right to evade congressional oversight.”

J&J, Merck, and Bristol Myers Squibb are among the list of pharma companies that have sued the federal government over the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare negotiation provision, arguing the new law “infringes” on constitutional rights.

Sanders will now instead hold a HELP committee vote on Jan. 31 on whether to issue the subpoenas against J&J and Merck over high drug costs. I’m Lecia Bushak, Senior Reporter at MM+M.

So before we dive into our top healthcare trends, I want to call attention to New England Patriots beat writer Doug Kyed, whose two-year-old daughter passed away Sunday morning following a months-long battle with acute myeloid leukemia. 

His family set up a GoFundMe page dedicated to her care and we will include a link to it in the transcript of this podcast for any listeners interested in donating.

Nominations for the 96th Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning, including one for a documentary with a moving healthcare narrative.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that The Eternal Memory was one of the five movies nominated for Best Documentary Feature Film. Maite Alberdi, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2021, directed the film. 

As we mentioned a few episodes ago, The Eternal Memory tells the story of a Chilean couple — journalist Augusto Góngora and actress Paulina Urrutia — whose 23-year marriage is upended when Góngora is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Eight years removed from his diagnosis, Góngora no longer recognizes Urrutia, but their love and commitment to one another remain.

The film had its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize. 

“This film opened our hearts by bringing us closer to the meaning of life and death, and the element that threads sense into all of it — love,” the Sundance jury citation read. “Through a simple yet complex portrayal of a confinement, it brings us to the lives of these fascinating characters who make us wiser and more loving the longer we stay with them. The World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary goes to The Eternal Memory.”

Distributed by MTV Documentary Films, The Eternal Memory is available for streaming on Paramount+. The 96th Academy Awards will be held on March 10.

Obviously, there were a number of different movies that were in contention that Healthcare was in some way a focus of the film. It’s really interesting to see this one as specially a day after there’s a campaign that’s launching on fortnite that has to do with raising Alzheimer’s awareness. There seems to be this renewed push as it relates to, you know, covering stories with Alzheimer’s I’ve had a chance to see the movie yet. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m gonna have to steal somebody’s Paramount Plus subscription to get it but it’s it’s really interesting that when it looks at. I think we were looking at about a half dozen stories. This is the one that ultimately is gonna have a chance to win an Oscar.

Yeah. I was gonna ask you if you had seen it because I haven’t seen it yet. But I think I I’d like to look into watching it because it sounds very impactful and to your point about you know, there’s being this increased.

On Alzheimer’s again. Obviously, the diabetesity space has sort of taken up a lot of farmers’ attention the last couple years before that it was covid but I think Alzheimer’s is going to continue to be a huge topic especially as you know, the grace tsunami hits and or the silver silver tsunami hits and the Aging population grows because we know that Alzheimer’s Alzheimer’s rates are gonna keep growing along with that population. So definitely a timely topic

and it’s one of those things too where it’s kind of doing the caregiver aspect, you know, the fact that she doesn’t have Alzheimer’s and she’s been caring for him for almost a decade. You know, we had Richard Liu on the show over the summer and we’ve covered different campaigns, you know, it’s there’s always so much focus on the patient but being able to also highlight the role of the caregiver has and the stresses that they go through too is something that’s very prominent. At least from what I’ve seen of this movie so far. So looking forward to watching and obviously looking forward over a month from now seeing if they they bring home the gold statue.

Former Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels made headlines in recent days for her criticisms of GLP-1 drugs.

Michaels spoke to Fox News about her concerns about the well-known side effects of Ozempic and other GLP-1 drugs that have taken off in popularity over the past 18 months, from what she deems the “extremely nefarious to just absolutely shitty.”

She warned the outlet about the influence of celebrities who have taken GLP-1 drugs, noting that they are not nutritionists or fitness experts and encouraged consumers to do their own research on these medications.

It’s important to note that while Michaels is a certified nutritionist, she is not a doctor.

Still, Michaels said there are three positives that have come out of the renewed focus of talking about weight loss and obesity – and took a swipe at Big Pharma in the process.

[byte: 0:58 – 1:37]

That clip is courtesy of Fox News.

During the interview, Michaels said that if these drugs were the “easy way out,” she would recommend them and align her app with others that have gotten into the prescribing game, specifically WeightWatchers.

In rising to prominence on the Biggest Loser, Michaels has been the subject of controversy and criticism throughout her public career, including her time as a trainer on more than 10 seasons of the show. 

Even as recently as a 2021 interview on The Today Show, Michaels regretted the gamification of weight loss on the show but stood by her tough-love approach to contestants, as well as the 1,200 calorie-per-day diet that she promoted on the Biggest Loser

Additionally, a systematic review of the Biggest Loser published in the American Psychological Association’s Stigma and Health Journal in 2022 indicated that “although researchers have identified potential benefits of TBL, the potential harms seem to outweigh any benefits. Weight-based edutainment is fraught with assumptions, stereotypes, and inaccuracies about weight that serve to reinforce stigmatizing discourses in society.”

I’m willing to sit here and say that Michael has made some very fair points. There are a lot of questions about how long and who should be on these drugs and you know, we’re still trying to research the overall impact. There are also some criticisms that I find a little bit ironic coming from somebody like Jillian Michaels coming from somebody that as a kid watch plenty of seasons of The Biggest Loser in terms of you know, how we talk and deal with weight. I wanted to bring you in life should just because it is kind of a Nuance thing where it’s like, yeah you can

Take these criticisms of who and what has access to these drugs and how they affect the body but at the end of the day, I think a lot of people are trying to lose weight or battle obesity in a way that gives them a chance.

Right? And I mean, it’s fair that she’s bringing up some points about this question of you know, this there being some expected Fallout, you know, once people get off the drugs that’s obviously been in conversation that’s been happening already people questioning will people regain the weight when they get off them. Is this something they have to stand for the rest of their lives or can they kind of just take a temporarily those are big questions that you know, we probably won’t know the answers to fully for a while, but I do believe that you know, when doctors are prescribing these drugs that they’re not necessarily saying this is the one pill your this is your one magic pill to weight loss. They’re also saying you have to also do these other Lifestyle Changes that’s gonna maintain the weight loss after you do ideally get off of them. So I guess I someone

Understand her criticism, but also I don’t think these drugs are meant to be a one solution. Anyway, people are supposed to be making Lifestyle Changes alongside taking these drugs. So

and I think that’s an important thing for our audience to really recognize is that this is how it is kind of being I don’t want to say portrayed but like this is how when it’s going coming down to the Layman it’s being understood like oh if I just take this the way it’s gonna fall off, I’m gonna be good. It’s like no there has to be that other aspect that you talk about there where you’re exercising more you’re cutting out bad things in your diet and she talks about that too. But it’s also not as simple to look at it the other way and say well if you just work out more and you eat differently, I mean I’m about you. I have plenty of people in my life that like they’ve been trying that for years to know a veil and you get frustrated and you get beaten down or even some people just call it quits


go back to their bad habits,

right and the drugs sort of offer additional support, I guess because everyone is different. Everyone has a different metabolism. Everyone is dealing with different.

Issues and so one weight loss plan like the 1200 calorie thing that she’s pushing isn’t going to work for everyone that might be way too few calories for certain people depending on your age weight height things like that. So there really is a no one size fits all approach to weight loss as we’re discovering and it needs to be really a combination of things that is a long-term lifestyle change of a lot of little things

absolutely and it’s not the biggest loser and tell you that from you know, for years of watching that show and seeing people losing and

then regain the weight. Yeah,

I mean just so aggressively. I mean,

I haven’t watched a show but I assume that people who are on such a short time period of like being on a crash diet and trying to lose as many pounds as fast as they can the shortest amount of time possible are gonna regain the weight because it’s not a long-term solution, right?

Absolutely and she even acknowledged in the Today’s Show interview because I went back and I watched some of it before we hopped on here and talk about the

A lot of these things are psychological these things go a lot deeper and yeah require some sort of aspect of therapy and treating emotional pain, but you know forcing a 400 pound person to do burpees in the hopes that they’re going to lose 11 pounds they get to stay on the show the next week. And in that time they don’t break a leg or have a heart attack or something like you just go down and you’re like, wow that was such a toxic show. That was right the air for a decade but exactly yeah. I mean that’s that seems to be beside the point. But yeah, I mean valid criticisms. I think some unwarranted ones who am I to judge in that situation, but it’s certainly got a lot of people talking.

We’ve had kind of a downbeat trend segment. I will acknowledge that starting off with leukemia talking about Alzheimer’s talking about obesity, but you’re gonna bring it all together Lecia. What is Reese Witherspoon up to?

In many parts of the U.S., we experienced our first snowfall of 2024 in the last couple weeks. And with that comes a new TikTok trend: snowcream.

Snowcream is what it sounds like – making ice cream out of snow. All over TikTok, people are scooping up snow from their backyards in bowls or mugs, bringing it inside, mixing it with vanilla, sweetened condensed milk, sprinkles and anything else they think looks good.

[Byte here] It’s that time of year, I am going to make ice cream snow. And this is perfect, look, it hasn’t even been touched.

But the trend really took off when actress Reese Witherspoon posted a snowcream video four days ago that went viral with more than 5.2 million views, where she makes a coffee treat out of snow scooped off her car.

[Byte here]: Okay, so we got a ton of snow over the last few days, we decided to make a recipe. We scooped the snow into cups, and we put it on top… and we decided to add some cold brew. A salted, snowy cappuccino.

But Witherspoon’s video prompted a good amount of questions and backlash, with many people questioning whether it’s safe to eat snow.

[Byte here]: So there’s so many people on here saying, snow is dirty, so we went and took snow from the backyard, we microwaved it and it’s clear. Is this bad? Am I not supposed to eat snow?

Now, we’re going to dig more into the health concerns of this trend later this week in an article. But the main takeaway is that eating snow CAN be dangerous – so you want to make sure you’re eating the right kind of snow.

Experts say that snow closest to the ground is the most likely to contain droppings from wild animals, rock salt filled with chemicals, and pollutants scraped from the air as it falls down. According to the Washington Post, researchers have found newly fallen snow can contain pesticides, soot and chemicals like mercury.

To be extra safe, experts suggest scooping up the freshest layer of snow after several hours of falling, as this is the most likely to be the cleanest.

I don’t even know where to begin. I guess. I mean when you said animal droppings in the first thing I think of is just Reese Witherspoon putting God knows what in her mug and then putting condensed milk and whipped cream on top of it. But I mean Academy award-winning actress, you know, love what she’s done with the book club love the promotion of all that sort of stuff like, you know, why like why I don’t I don’t

Know I mean we all grew up in areas around snow all three of us all been guilty of eating snow at one time.

It definitely ate some snow and I was outside playing in the snow because it looks good when you’re a kid. Yeah,

but like if any of us were coming in here, we’re like, oh, what’d you do over the weekend? It’s like, oh I eat snow. I got off the ground.

I think also us being New Yorkers makes us a lot more. You know, we’re a little more scared of snow than like maybe people in other parts of the US because when it does snow here, it takes about five minutes before that snow turns black. So

just an awful awful Shade, that’s no shit ever be fits. I want to bring you in here because when was I guess is why when was the last time the you ate snow, but also if somebody approached you and said that they were doing this let alone that they’re an Oscar winning actress director producer all that sort of stuff like

What is your response in that situation?

Yeah, it’s funny. I was I didn’t see her posting that but I saw some random guy. I don’t even know who if he was a celebrity, but he was doing the same exact thing. He was outside during the snow storms last week got a bowl of snow added condensed milk which by the way, I’ve never had

Knowingly condensed milk before have you guys tasted it’s

in cocktails. It’s in.

Oh, he’s nice coffee or yeah. Yeah.

It’s in it’s in Hooch too. It’s no Brian Family Recipe

Hooch. I’ve never had but he put sugar in a vanilla too. I mean

As for that I probably try it just to try. Well fence.

Did you not listen everything lesson? I

know I did but I eat like my kids eat snow last week. I had to tell them listen And they’re they’re ridiculous. They have no self-control. Like they were picking up ice that was obviously attached to maybe the back bumper of a car and just right in the mouth. My guys guys. No, no


Don’t eat snow that is brown or yellow. That’s the rules but I’m somebody that also drank water directly out of the hose when I was a kid for many many Summers and I’m

relaxed that explains a number of things about you probably does.

Well. That’s actually what Reese what their spoon said in one of her reaction videos to all the backlash. She was like we didn’t drink filtered water when I was growing up. I drink water straight from the hose, you know, this was not really a concern when she grew up close to my age too.

That’s explains all too much.

Doesn’t it doesn’t again damper my enthusiasm I love resource, and I’m very excited. They’re gonna have big Little Lies season three apparently is in the in the works, but no don’t do it. Don’t eat snow off the ground. Don’t go with a mug. There’s yeah, there’s just something so so wrong about that. Just whatever you see. It’s a little snowflakes. They’re falling from the sky just do that. Don’t don’t bother yourself with the rest of it. Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t know how else to wrap the show other than telling you don’t eat snow off the ground. I appreciate everyone for joining us and and listening to this episode and leaning the insights from Dr. Wig of Walmart and Les Health policy updates along with our Trend segment.

Thanks for joining us on this week’s episode of the MM+M Podcast. Be sure to listen to next week’s episode when we’ll be joined by Jeff Simmons, CEO of Elanco Animal Health.