While I was out the other night with a group of friends we all got on the topic of health and fitness, it usually happens after people ask me what I do for a living. I got into a discussion with one of the women about the TV show the Biggest Loser and let me tell you, she had little good to say about it. I myself am not a huge fan of the show, I can count the number of episodes I've seen on two hands, but I'm not really going to knock people losing weight. This women told me how she thought about it and when she was done I asked her if she wouldn't mind putting it into writing for me so I could share it with others. She did, and here it is.....

Enjoy it and leave a comment below

Before I start naming reasons why I don't like The Biggest Loser, I will acknowledge that the overall mission of the show is great; helping people lose weight. I'm all for encouraging a healthy lifestyle through exercise and good eating habits, and broadcasting The Biggest Loser is a great way to show people that is is possible to lose weight and dramatically improve your health. I appreciate that the contestants on the show lose weight through activity and diet, and not fads, surgery, or medications. I also appreciate that witnessing obese people lose a ton of weight can be very inspirational, encouraging, and motivating to viewers who are in the same predicament. However, there are many reasons why I am NOT a fan of The Biggest Loser.

SAFETY

How safe is it to lose 20 pounds in one week?? Isn't it recommended that if you're looking to lose weight, a safe and healthy loss would be 1-3 lbs/week? These contestants are pushed from a sedentary lifestyle to one that is scheduled with 4-5 hours a day of strenuous exercise. This kind of stress, physically and emotionally, can't be good for their overall well being. I haven't done any in depth research on interviews with the contestants, but I will be willing to bet a lot of money that injuries happen on the show that aren't brought to viewers' attention. The weekly weigh ins are just a push to see who can lose weight the fastest - this does not encourage the "lifestyle change" that many people would associate with a major weight loss plan. Sure, I could probably lose10 lbs in one week if I didn't have to work, didn't eat, and exercised for 8 hours a day - but is that what we should be encouraging people to do?

MOTIVATION

It's all about the money. Why is money the motivating factor for people to come on the show? Would they do it if there wasn't a cash prize at the end? People have argued to me that it's not about the money. They believe people try out for the show because there are opportunities presented to them that wouldn't exist normally. Well duh! Why do you think celebrities look the way they do? They have personal trainers, personal chefs, personal assistants, etc. So then I wonder, if money isn't the motivating factor, why are these people trying out for the show? What would happen if NBC took away the $250,000 grand prize? What if, instead of the money going directly to the winner, the winner could use that money for something to benefit the community? What if the $250,000 was donated to a program that would help lower income families learn about healthier food options. What if that $250,000 was used to construct a community park that encourage outdoor activities for all ages? Contestants go on that show because there is a chance to win a shit load of cash at the end. Instead of being motivated by having a long, happy, healthy life, they want the money. That is just plain disappointing.

TRAINERS I would never hire Jillian and Bob to train me. I am a firm believer in behavior management through positive reinforcement. I don't see any positive reinforcement happening on that show. I don't think that screaming at, being rude to, or humiliating contestants is a good way to get them to lose weight. And that seems to be something that has dramatically changed over the past few seasons. Remember when they had that one trainer, Kim? She was too cheery and positive for the show. They got rid of her and brought back Drill Sargent Jillian. And Bob has turned into quite the dick head as well.

EMOTIONAL HEALTH

The contestants on The Biggest Loser are humiliated to no end. Let's take people who are severely obese, cram their fat bodies into unflattering spandex, and have them step on a scale for the world to see how pitiful they are. I've never seen a fat person work out in spandex. Why can't they wear shorts and tshirts like normal people do? I also don't think this show treats the underlying condition for why these people are so overweight. Everyone thinks of bulimia or anorexia as eating disorders. But the contestants on this show are certainly suffering from an eating disorder, however we don't feel as empathetic to them because let's face it, half of America is obese. We see these people as lazy and gluttonous. I wish NBC would spend a little more time treating the underlying problems for why these people have let themselves get the way they are. I also don't know what the rate of weight gain is for people after the show. That would be an interesting article to read.

And the people who show up in masses for the casting call, I never see a turnout like that at my gym........ just sayin'

Agree / Disagree? I would love to read your thoughts

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