Does Biggest Loser Send Wrong Message??

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  • I think there are two things to remember: (1) It's a TV SHOW. It is edited for plot, suspense, viewer excitement. (2) It's a CONTEST. In real life, weight loss done right is not a contest. On TBL the goal is to lose the biggest amount of weight possible in the weeks of the show. It's not to lose in a healthy way--it's all about how fast you can do it.

    I do think that it can be disappointing for people who were expecting a double digit loss in the first week because they saw it on Biggest Loser.

  • I watched the last 2 episodes and the finale last season and got hooked. I cried and I was so motivated. I then watched the "Where are they now?" episode on (with all the repetitive reebok better butt sneakers commercials!) and was so incredibly inspired by everyone's stories, including the story of the winner who gained all his weight back. The show has people losing a lot of weight, yes. But look how huge they are! I've changed my stereotypes of really overweight people, I've become a lot more sensitive.

    I like what one contestant said on one of the episodes... He thinks it's almost embarrassing to need to be on a TV show to lose weight. To think, you can't motivate yourself to do it, you need millions of viewers to do it? Well, hey, if it works for you! :-P I think we just need to accept that it's a TV show, it's obviously not 100% reality, but I think it sends lots of great messages. I won't reiterate what everyone's already said (more than I already have, anyway), but I'm inspired by people accomplishing things they never thought they'd do... Like when the mom from the white team (HEY GO CHICAGO!!!!!!!) learned how to swim this week, even though she had a phobia of the water.

    In short, I watch the show as part of my "last chance workout" of the week (the day before I take my weekly break, lol), I cry a lot with my workout buddy, I support the contestants and everyone else trying to lose weight. I love the show, I hope more people find encouragement and motivation from it!
  • Wow! Didn't expect such wonderful responses. I love hearing everyones opinion on this.

  • I felt that this article pretty well summed up my feelings about the show
  • Good article.

    An eight-pound loss booed? Despicable.
  • That is a great article!
  • good and bad
    what is good: I see most of the contestants as everyday people, (there but for grace go I) and I too could get massively overweight and very unhealthy if I don't work on this. I also find I can't just sit and watch, I get on the step or treadmill as I watch, and now I am exercising more regularly, just like that!

    bad: I don't like the competition, and people being sent away. I have never watched before this season, but these people really need help to make change and they shouldn't be sent away....they should be supported. so the game aspect is what I don't like and I think is negative.
    But there is lots of education for people about weight issues that is overall good.
    When I think of other shows on TV, there are things I like and don't like in every show, take the good, ignore the bad or negative if you can.
  • I like Biggest Loser, but you have to take it for what it is -- a reality show -- so that means it's going to be exaggerated. I wish they were a little more upfront about exactly what they are doing. I'd like to know how many hours they are working out -- I've heard it's all day, most days. I'd also like to know about calorie intake. How are they calculating each person's alloted calories? Give people more info so they can see exactly what the contestants are doing.

    I don't like the unrealistic massive number of pounds lost every week, but I do like so many other things about it.

    I had never tried jogging before, mainly because I didn't think I would like it, but also because I thought only thin people could jog. I discovered a couple of months ago that I do like it, and I can jog just fine with my chubby body. It was entirely due to Biggest Loser that I tried it. I like seeing them work out, because then I think "if he/she can do it, so can I."

    So is some of it unrealistic? Yeah. But some of it is inspiring too, even on a basic level.
  • wow! thanks for the tip about diet tribe! i'm watching the first ep right now! so inspiring!
  • Quote: I felt that this article pretty well summed up my feelings about the show

    Excellent article!
  • I agree that there are good and bad things about the show. I don't watch it consistently though. I do like the fact that they are ordinary people and I feel like the encourages many to just give it a try. The "if they can so can I" approach. But I do feel like the huge weekly losses set too many ordinary folk up for disappointment. I never lost more than 3 lbs in a week during my journey. I usually lost 1 to 1.5 and even slower at the end.
  • really liked that articl too, thanks for posting
  • Good article!
  • For me I think the biggest loser is inspirational and helps me towards my goal. I also realize that I'm not going to have that significant of a weight loss every week like they do! I think that it's good in it shows that weight loss can happen but we need to be realistic in what we can do with our own weight loss.
  • I know that virtually everyone SAYS they know the show's losses aren't realistic (I believe them, or at least believe it's what they think), but before Biggest Loser existed, I don't remember ever seeing so many complaints on this board and others about "only losing 3 lbs." It seems that more and more folks ARE expecting much larger losses than ever before.

    I think that on one hand, with the logical brain we "know" that those losses aren't possible in "real life" (because no one has the time to work out 6 to 8 hours a day unless they're independently wealthy and don't have a job or a life). And yet the emotional brain says "I want that too - if them, why not me."

    Especially since the format hides how much work and time really went into those results. The week (which may not even be only a week) shows some intense exercising, but just a minute or so at a time. You see people being yelled at, and it encourages you to think of some of those folks as "slackers" (not realizing that your at-home exercise is probably 1/20th as long or as intense as the slowest, least achieving contestant). The show WANTS you to think that you would do better if you were there, you would APPRECIATE the opportunity, and you would be one of the ones that worked the hardest - Jillian would never have to yell at YOU.

    It isn't that people don't think the show is unrealistic, it's that I think there's a big gap between the reality and many people's perception of just HOW unrealistic the show is. People aren't expextng to lose 20 lbs in a week - but they may expect still-unrealistic 5.

    In part, because there aren't shows praising and making a big deal out of the 1, 2, 3, and 4 lb losses, I think people are losing sight of just how incredible even the smallest losses are. It's a big deal, and it should be treated like a big deal.

    I don't think ONLY TBL is responsible for the rise in unreasonable expectations, we're an instant gratification society in more ways than ever before. I just feel that it's one of the largest barriers to lasting weight loss, because when you expect instant, and don't get it, that results in disappointment, and I think disappointment is the biggest source of failure when it comes to weight loss. People don't quit because they ARE failing, but because they feel they are failing (often interpreting success as failure because they think, for many reasons that it "should be" faster and easier than it is - so they must be doing something wrong).