I was reading an interview with a contestant on the TV show “The Biggest Loser” and it was very sad to me. This is a show that not only perpetuates the horrible myth that you can exercise away weight, but it did so in an unsafe manner that nearly killed people.
Over the years, several former contestants opened up about how rough they really had it during production:“I was eating baby food. I’d wrap myself in garbage bags to sweat. We’d use the sauna for six hours a day. We stopped eating and drinking and would work out for four hours a day. People were passing out in the doctor’s office,” Suzanne Mendonca, who was on the show’s second season, said.“My hair was falling out. My period stopped. I was only sleeping three hours a night,” Kai Hibbard, another contestant, claimed. She explained that the weight loss became detrimental to her health, but she was still being pushed to lose the pounds. She added that the series is a “fat-shaming disaster.”The first Biggest Loser ever, Ryan Benson, said he was so malnourished after the show that he was urinating blood. Other contestants also claim that they often sustained injuries that weren’t shown on-screen.Contestants are also cut off from their families and aren’t allowed to be part of the outside world. Some also complained about unfair editing.
This is the kind of stuff that turns people off from healthy lifestyles: they think that this is what it takes to get healthy, or that this is what it takes to lose weight. None of that is true. I’m living proof.
There’s no need to kill yourself to lose weight. I did it sitting in a chair all day. 110 lbs in 12 months without any of the shenanigans of The Biggest Loser, and I never had any health-related issues like my hair falling out or urinating blood. Holy crap. I can’t believe people went through that. It truly disgusts me that the producers of that show allowed that BS to happen.
I repeat it often on this site: exercise is great, but it’s not the cure for obesity. Changing our diets and our relationship with food is at the core of the obesity epidemic, and TV shows like The Biggest Loser are doing NOTHING to improve our collective health. They are, at best, nothing more than scripted misery.