I have always had a major issue with the show Biggest Loser. This article surfaced a few weeks ago, outlining exactly the reasons why. It is well worth the read.
The obese contestants on this show need the exact opposite of what they’re getting in order to succeed long term.
They should not – under any circumstances - be pushed the way they’re being pushed. The exercises they are doing, and the amount they are training right out of the gate, is not even remotely safe on many levels.
And then there’s the calorie restriction on top of it – as this article states, contestants are literally starved of nutrients.
The Biggest Loser isn’t about changing lives for the better; it’s about exploitation. The show is quite literally damaging the joints, nervous systems, and metabolism of these poor contestants for the long-term, and exploiting them for profit and ratings in the process.
The thing is, a responsible and sustainable approach doesn’t make for good TV. It is a slow process that starts very slow and progresses over time.
I’m glad this article surfaced, and that people are talking. There’s no silver bullet; no long-term quick fix. Permanent, healthy change is built over time, and can’t be achieved in three months. Period.
Poul Nielsen is the owner and operator of Nielsen Fitness, Toronto's leading team of in-home personal trainers. He has 18 years' experience in the fitness industry and has taught courses in Fitness and Lifestyle Management at George Brown College.
In addition to exercise (obviously), he loves spending time with his family, playing the guitar, strong coffee - and dark chocolate!