Wednesday, June 16, 2010

no harm done? TV weight loss shows. We're all losers.

TV weight loss shows are all the rage, but of course are doing more harm than good, both to the cast and the audience watching. Here is an interview with one contestant about her experience, the eating disorder it triggered and how she is still not recovered.


  1. Wow. I have seen a lot of references to Golda's interview in the fatosphere but I finally just read the article. That is so crazy and if I hadn't lived my own self-imposed version of that story I'm not sure I would believe it. I feel really sad for Kai and hope she can continue to recover. And I hope the network doesn't retaliate.

    Interestingly, I actually know a friend of a friend who intentionally gained a lot of weight in order to be on the Biggest Loser a couple of seasons ago--he didn't win but I think he lasted into the final round (I can't bear to watch the show). Sheer craziness.


  2. I also can't stand the show, though I say that without ever actually watching it. The bits I have seen involve tempting the competitors with food that the trainers and such are supposed to get them to stop eating, which is just crazy because if you believe that food is an addiction, or even the subset that sugary/salty/fried "bad for you" food is addictive should you really be tempting addicts with it? Would a reality competition EVER do that with alcohol to a recovering alcoholic?

  3. it is wrong on so many levels. I'm not surprised someone gained weight to be on the show. This all preys on desperation to some level. The idea that this is your "last chance" etc, that 200,000 people wanted your spot. it's ridiculous. I can only imagine the pressure and calls AFTER the show that these people get. It is a very popular show, lots of money involved, they have to show that the "grads" keep it off. I read a profile of the doctor on the show in an alumni magazine for Univ. of Michigan. It all comes off sounding very safe, sound, grounded in science* but is totally off-putting, wrong and malpractice as far as I am concerned. You don't lose 7 pounds a week in good health, mental or physical. Our local paper had an article about a father/daughter team working out and "happier" than ever. It also described how they can't go to BBQ's with friends anymore and stay home and eat grilled chicken and vegetables. No balance, no joy, no sense of normal eating. Isolation from friends. In a healthy, eating competent model, you would go to the BBQ with friends, and enjoy some of your old favorite foods, enjoy great company as part of a balanced life, not one who's main goal is weight maintenance or loss... So many interesting points...