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SCHEALTHNUTT SparkPoints: (49,055)
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10/4/13 8:02 A

They are not realistic and should only be done under close supervision.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
10/4/13 7:59 A

LOLA-LALA - interesting take... I have seen a few episodes of Supersize vs. Superskinny and have to admit that the show makes no sense to me! Instead of exposing people to healthy diets and healthy ways of living, they are exposing them to something extremely unhealthy in the hopes that it will spur them to ...what? To try to eat a little bit more in a different unhealthy - though still unhealthy - way? Why not just show them what a healthy diet looks like? I think the show shames people for their size entirely too much, showing them in unflattering lighting and underwear and going for "shock value" and basically just trying to make both people as ashamed and humiliated as possible for the way they eat/look. To me it's one of the worst of ALL the weight related shows.

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
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Posts: 2,954
10/4/13 7:29 A

Precisely why everyone has a remote to change the channel!

SUNSET09 SparkPoints: (543,310)
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Posts: 135,682
10/4/13 6:40 A

I don't watch reality shows due to it's not really reality and I have enough of real life not to watch someone else's. TV for me, is for entertainment only! It's a life style change that comes with time.

Edited by: SUNSET09 at: 10/4/2013 (06:40)
LOLA_LALA Posts: 659
10/3/13 10:16 P

Beautiful post, ANARIE.

I cannot stand "Biggest Loser." It is cruel and exploits the overweight, punishing them with unrealistic stunts of every description.

A FAR, FAR more compassionate, yet competitive and interesting, show is "Supersize vs. Superskinny" from the UK. There are many episodes of this program on YouTube.

TEALLEN04 SparkPoints: (12,104)
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Posts: 219
10/3/13 3:41 P

i've never watched these shows, but i've heard a little bit about them. thanks for the article, very enlightening!

SUNFLOWERGAMMY SparkPoints: (27,692)
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Posts: 1,654
10/3/13 3:34 P

Makes it look to easy

ANNPUTATION23 SparkPoints: (4,310)
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Posts: 121
10/3/13 3:32 P

Awesome points!

SUSAN727 Posts: 1,880
10/3/13 1:38 P

Have never watched them but I guess there are people who do watch, like them, and get something out of them

ANARIE Posts: 13,192
10/3/13 1:35 P

He leaves out the most important thing that's wrong with these shows.

They're sick, disgusting, voyeuristic exploitation of people with a deadly health condition. Would we ever allow a show called "Extreme Chemo?" How about "Heart Transplant Smackdown!"? Or maybe "Alcoholic Cirrhosis Busters?" The ones who comply best with the treatment win almost enough to pay for it, and the others get voted out of the hospital?

I actually watched a few episodes of the first season of Biggest Loser. One of the things they did was set up refrigerators full of each contestant's favorite junk foods, and leave tempting food all over the house. I think they stopped doing that in the second or third season, because there was no drama; the contestants never even looked at the stuff after the first or second day. Anyway, the scene that sticks in my mind was one from mid-season when a bunch of them were sitting around the table talking about how worried they were that once they left the ranch, they wouldn't be able to resist their old habits of going through the drive-through and such. They were really agonizing over it. Then the camera pulled back a little and you saw that they were absolutely surrounded by huge platters piled high with donuts, muffins, cookies, and cupcakes, and bowls of chips the size of kiddie pools, and bushel baskets overflowing with chocolates, and no one even *glanced* at them. They were worrying about staying away from the Dunkin Donuts, when they had a ten-pound vat of donuts three inches from their fingertips.

And no one ever, ever said anything about that scene. Can you think of a better set-up for a discussion of what part of obesity is about lack of will-power versus how much of it is societal pressure on lifestyles? But the show never went there. It ignored its chance to be useful and went on to be all about voting the b*tchy girl off the ranch.

That's what's wrong with weight-loss TV shows.

Just MHO, of course.

SUEACCT SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 1,730
10/3/13 12:39 P

Like anything on TV it is meant to entertain...but has little basis in reality.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,476)
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Posts: 27,192
10/3/13 12:38 P

Community leader Anarie made a really good point about weight loss shows a while ago. She said who wants to watch a show where a person "maintains" their weight ? Weight loss show attract an audience because they make it seem like anyone can do what these people do. As the article noted, these types of dramatic losses just aren't realistic or typical.

There was one weight loss show that was realistic about losing weight. It was called Shaq's Big Challenge. It was a show designed to help obese children lose weight in a healthy manner.

It was a great show ! Why can't weight loss shows be more like that ? Because Anarie said it. No one wants to watch a show were people lose 1-2 pounds per week. the viewers would rather see the dramatic losses.

These shows are about fantasy, not reality. People want to see the Cinderella happy ending. And as the article pointed out, some times when a person loses weight, that doesn't mean they'll be happy. And yet, that's exactly what every single diet or weight loss show has ever prommoted. They all say that once you lose all the weight, you'll be happy.

But, as we've all seen as well as experienced our selves, weight loss really is a double edged sword. Losing solves one set of problems, but can create a second i.e. greater self criticism.

I've stopped watching the weight loss shows. I'd rather be inspired by all my fellow Sparkers.

LADYBIRD82 Posts: 1,700
10/3/13 11:50 A

I like weight loss shows, but I keep in mind its reality TV. Sometimes you do pick up some helpful ideas. If you don't like them, don't watch them.

GRACE1054 Posts: 605
10/3/13 10:02 A

Much of what the article says does make sense. However, I immediately became skeptical when it became an endorsement for another product, Shaklee.

CHEETARA79 Posts: 3,912
10/3/13 9:38 A

It's just another form of fat people torture and it's totally unrealistic and, in many cases, very unhealthy. It's not healthy for a sedentary, morbidly obese person to start jogging before they have a solid walking program for a few months. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the contestants wind up having TKR or hip replacements as well as ankle problems early in life.

KNUCKLES145 Posts: 16,129
10/3/13 9:23 A

no they are not real, but they have shown even majorly obese people that they can lose weight and exercise.

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
10/3/13 8:51 A

I used to enjoy Biggest Loser. It is the only reality show I have ever seen, actually, as am not a fan of broadcast TV.

I think programs like this are mainly a strange form of entertainment and a contest where participants seek to make money, but they can be motivating to some people.

WRFTAZ SparkPoints: (13,034)
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Posts: 1,189
10/3/13 8:42 A


SHERYLDS Posts: 17,456
10/3/13 8:40 A

I hate reality TV...not my thing

But when it comes to extreme focused weight loss vs slow baby steps
Most people I know tend to go off track (because life happens) and they end up on plateaus that can lead to complacency and giving up.
So while I think learning and living a healthy lifestyle is what really decides success,
I think the message these shows send, is that
the more focused you are on the effort ...the bigger the results.

Still these shows push the NO PAIN NO GAIN philosophy that really drives me crazy.
Know Your Limits.
I'm surprised we haven't seen more people get seriously hurt.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
10/3/13 8:22 A

I think to the extent that these shows can motivate/inspire people, they are helpful. I watch Extreme Weight Loss and it actually inspired me. There was a time when I was fearful of exercise. I had been through some health "adventures" involving my heart and I was afraid that exercising could be dangerous (even though the doctor said it was fine for me to exercise). Watching people who were several hundred pounds heavier and more out of shape than I was working out at high intensity and doing it every day reassured me that actually I should just stop making excuses and being afraid and push myself more. I enjoy the "transformation" aspect of those shows. One thing that I like about Extreme Weight Loss that I think is missing from Biggest Loser is that they put a lot of emphasis on skin removal. That might motivate someone who is just overweight (not obese) to lose weight before they get so big that they would need skin removal.... Plus how much fun is it to watch people work out really hard when you yourself are really into fitness and work out daily as I suppose all of us do? I like seeing people who aren't already in perfect shape working out!

ROBBIEY SparkPoints: (414,038)
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Posts: 12,880
10/3/13 8:02 A

I agree that they are unrealistic. I do not watch them, weight loss is not a competition but a way of life for me.

SUZIEQUE77 SparkPoints: (9,271)
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Posts: 1,068
10/3/13 8:00 A

I don't watch them and have not read the article. But I have heard enough about shows like the Biggest Loser to know I don't want to watch. I know a lot of people say they like it and find it inspiring. But weight loss is not really a competition to me. For me, it meant changing the bad habits that got me there in the first place.

I'm not nor have ever been interested in exercising several hours a day and if you also have lots of other interests besides exercising, and perhaps a family and a career, there just is not time for this over the long term.

I think weight loss need involve changing the habits that got you big in the first place. It means getting a moderate or reasonable amount of activity every day (such as a a half hour of workout five days a week, maybe). It means eating healthy portion and calorie controled meals that you could live with the rest of your life, not something you plan to go off when you get to your goal, or as happens even more often, you go off it when you just can't stand it any more, whether you are close to your goal or not.

FENWAYGIRL18 Posts: 5,868
10/3/13 1:03 A

I think they are unrealistic no one can just abandon their lives for months at a time to exercise 8 to 10 hours a day. I also don't like when they lose 14 lbs in a week and they are disappointed god If I could lose 14 lbs in one week I'd probably be singing down my street I LOST 14 LBS IN A WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ANNPUTATION23 SparkPoints: (4,310)
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Posts: 121
10/3/13 12:51 A

OK the ending of the article is really not so great, just an advisement of sorts for some weight loss shake. But, it does make a good point at the start.

ANNPUTATION23 SparkPoints: (4,310)
Fitness Minutes: (2,990)
Posts: 121
10/3/13 12:47 A

Link to an article about those AWFUL weight-loss TV shows. Doesn't this just make sense?,,20741135,

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