I am deeply disappointed to see an article praising "The Biggest Loser" on the SparkPeople website. In my opinion, that show encourages extremely unhealthy concepts in how to lose weight. Losing 100 pounds in 12 weeks equals an average 8 pounds lost a week. That is a ridiculously unhealthy rate of weight loss, impossible to maintain for long, and almost a guarantee to backfire and cause the person to relapse. I have read behind-the-scenes accounts of that show in which the participants admitted to doing some incredibly risky things to win weekly challenges. Is that the kind of model of weight management that we want the public at large to think is okay? Is that even remotely like the model of safe, sane, liveable, SLOW weight loss that Sparkpeople.com has as its in-house model? I think not. A great big thumbs-down on this article--this is the kind of writing that makes me wish there was a "do not like" button I could click. Meanwhile, I'll just go back to my Sparkpeople planners and set up another day of nice, healthy, successful SLOW weight loss like I've been doing ever since I got here.
I prefer 'Celebrity Fit Club' to 'Biggest Loser', honestly. Fit Club takes a more realistic approach and doesn't kick people off for losing the least amount of weight. It's a team effort and they're all working towards a CUMULATIVE weight loss goat at the end. And it's a healthy amount. They're not losing forty to fifty pounds in a week, which CAN'T be healthy. It's normal, average weight loss, like all the rest of us do.
I just don't like the idea of weight loss being a competition against someone else and the possibility of being punished (by being kicked out) for not losing enough weight.
Don't like the show's premise, or the competitive element--as if weight loss, or health, was a race. I guess it is good to find good things in it, but the article is definitely the more worthwhile of the two.
Enjoyed the article for what it is just as I enjoy the show for what it is. Its a reality show and there are some parts of it that are real and some that are not. As far as contestants being treated badly..........helllooooooooo reality show!!! they signed up knowning the kinds of things that were going to happen...........I like to watch the show because there are some great tips on it that can be used in real life and because it reminds me that if that 400 lb guy can work-out with good Ole Jill for 4 hours then I can handle 30 minutes to an hour of her. It also reminds me that there are a lot of heavier people out there have experienced the same discouragement and low-points. Bottom line....its still tv and they wouldn't produce it if it didn't make money....take it for what it is.
I feel for these contestants and I know they work hard when they're there. That being said, I no longer allow this show in my house. Each year, I feel the producers are trying to one-up themselves and instead of just looking for people that need help, they are going for the record-breakers, like those that need to lose 400 lbs. I no longer feel this is sending a good message to my young daughters because it's unrealistic and unhealthy. If the execs hadn't gotten greedy they could still have had a good show without going so far off the deep end.
I never really gave much thought to what the people on the show actually go through. I usually just watched the weigh-ins to see the impressive number of lbs lost by each participant. But I've been working out with a personal trainer for about a year now and I can honestly say that I would NEVER let my trainer treat me the way I've seen these trainers treat the people they are "helping". One episode in particular, a very obese man fell off of some piece of cardio equipment and Bob put his foot on him and made some sarcastic comment. If this is helpful and motivating then I can safely say that I want none of that! I would however entertain being treated that way if 250K was being dangled in my face as a possible prize for losing the most weight. When I read this post about how motivating this show can be, I immediately thought of an article my trainer wrote about this show and giving a very different perspective about what these people go through. Link below:
If you want true inspiration, you can find it here on SparkPeople by viewing the many success stories of the people who put in a lot more than 12 weeks to lose the weight but they have been successful at keeping the weight off and they didn't have to be put through excrutiating workouts all while being belittled by a trainer national TV. A trainer that while he may know a thing or two about training and getting fit, I highly doubt he knows anything about being morbidly obese and how difficult it has to be to even attempt to do those exercises.
I have not watched the Biggest Loser since its first episode and after hearing of some of those persons who were on and how they were treated... yes maybe they lost weight but no one in their right mind should be subjected to such drastic activity and such stress when losing weight! Because the stress alone can kill you and it almost did for a few! And many tiekms when you lose weight so fast you end up putting it back on! Its a lifestyle and eating habits that ahve to be changed before any alsting effects! I woudl rather watch Hallmark channel... less stress and more entertainment watching thinsg like the Walton family or other classics! Weight loss has no bsuiness being a TV show! Unless its to show how by behavioral changes!! Then I may watch it!
THANK YOU AZURE SKY! And may I also add to your very well-thought-out list the fact that he also seems to completely forget that for obese people, losing "weight" should NOT be the goal! Changing your body composition to lose FAT should be the goal! The Biggest Loser *infuriates* me, because it panders to two large groups of people: the otherwise skinny or perhaps only a little overweight group who are tuning in for the shock factor and to sort of pat themselves on the back as they reach for the second bowl of ice cream thinking, well I'm not THAT fat! And the second group, of which I was a member for years: the morbidly to super-morbidly obese who are trapped in a battle they honestly believe they cannot win on their own.
Guess what Jason Anderson and other TBL fans, some of us HAVE to win on our own. And while having a buddy or two to help you through the rough days is a total bonus, having an entire team of executives monitor your "progress" and set you up in bariatric ivory tower is totally unrealistic. It sends the message that we can drop 100 pounds IF we have a special ranch peopled with magic refrigerators and trainers.
The Biggest Loser panders to everything that is contributing to the obesity epidemic today - fear, ignorance, and a deep-seated hopelessness. They hook you because, like a friend of mine, people keep trying to "figure out" what the secret is: yes exercise, but how much and what kind? We just see people screaming in pain and sweating. Good food, yes, but really? Jennie-O and sugarfree gum are the things I remember TBL suggesting... and it seems every time I catch it there's a table laden with cupcakes and M&Ms.
I hate that show. I hope more people see it for sensationalistic half-true crap that it is and turn to solid, sensible lifestyle changes that don't isolate you from your work, your family, your friends and your life in order to "work*.
7/31/2011 3:21:32 PM
It's interesting how the author managed to pull out all the positives of the show while totally ignoring all the negatives. For instance, he never mentioned the injuries or trips to the emergency room for some contestants, the dehydration, the mental abuse the contestants are subject to from their "trainers/coaches," the fact that the contestants work out for 6 HOURS A DAY!!!, the total unreality of the show, the extra pressure on the individuals when they don't measure up to their expected losses, or when they are the ones who are responsible for their team's loss.
WEIGHT LOSS IS NOT A COMPETITIVE SPORT!!! Each person loses at their own pace, and being overweight in the first place is stressful enough. It's no wonder there's at least one emotional breakdown per show - that's shown on TV to get the ratings up, of course. The contestants are subjected to humiliation time after time and made to feel like failures often - I'd never get on a scale in spandex in front of an audience of millions of people - even if I were guaranteed to win.
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