Tuesday, 20 July 2010

America's Biggest Loser

I was reading a blog by Kai Hibbard that details some of her experiences on the 'Biggest Loser' gameshow. In a nutshell; this gameshow is a competition to see who can lose the most weight the winner receiving $250,000 in prize money.

As you can imagine, a show that just shows people dieting and exercising in a healthy way is not really going to be stimulating viewing; so by all accounts the dieting and exercising is taken to the eXtreme.

Ryan C. Benson, who lost 122lbs of his 330lb starting weight, will be absent from a reunion; he thinks he has been shunned by the show because he publicly admitted that he dropped some of the weight by fasting and dehydrating himself to the point that he was urinating blood.

About Kai's experience: Standing before a cheering studio audience in a skintight blackcocktail dress -- after dropping 118lbs. -- she looked like she was living a fairy tale. But just three weeks later, the cameras weren’t rolling as she lay shaking on her bathroom floor. Her immune system was shot. She was covered in bruises and losing her hair. And she’d gained back 31 lbs. simply from drinking water

Kai's body basically went into starvation mode...

The following; regarding the signing of releases and interviews is taken from here

Contestants are required to sign releases that stand out even in the waiver-intensive world of reality television.

One such release, which was provided to The New York Times by a former contestant who did so on the condition of anonymity, says that
“no warranty, representation or guarantee has been made as to the qualifications or credentials of the medical professionals who examine me or perform any procedures on me in connection with my participation in the series, or their ability to diagnose medical conditions that may affect my fitness to participate in the series.”

This basically says - The people who are telling you to abuse your body are not qualified and have no real idea what is happening to your body!

Getting contestants to talk openly about the environment of the program is difficult. Shortly after a reporter started contacting former contestants to interview them about their experiences, a talent producer on the series sent an e-mail message to many former contestants reminding them that “serious consequences” could ensue if they ever talked to a reporter without the show’s permission.

To do so could subject them to a fine of $100,000 or $1 million, depending on the timing of the interview, according to the e-mail message, which was obtained by The New York Times. The show’s producers did provide an opportunity to interview several former contestants, but the interviews were conducted with an NBC publicist listening in

Even the show’s trainer Jillian Michaels admits all is not as it seems.:
Intentional dehydration? Manipulated filming schedules? Diuretics? “Oh absolutely!” Jillian tells Star in our Jan. 25 issue on sale now. “There is a lot of game playing that goes on. The Biggest Loser is a game show. It is what it is.” 

And a final word from me.

What a thoroughly despicable show that is preying on a mixture of people's greed and negative body image.

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