Sometimes, I get so tired of all the weight loss shows on television. Though the shows all claim that it is about health, there is always a focus on numbers.
We'd all agree that the The Biggest Loser finale certainly focused on numbers. Many bloggers, including myself, have talked about this show and the misappropriate message it is sending to the public. Last night was the season 7 finale. Helen Phillips, a 48-year old woman from Michigan, took the prize of $250,000 after losing a percentage of more than half her body weight. Looking at those finale photos, my eyebrows raise, reminding me just how much someone will do for a cash incentive. Of course, I cannot say this was her sole motivation, but clearly, there wasn't much of an appearance of "health." This also included the at-home winner, Jerry, the oldest contestant, who looked like he had aged 20 years.
So this begs the question, does the Biggest Loser finale cause eating disorders as the tvsquad suggests.
The sad thing about all this is 1) I couldn't believe I kept thinking, "well, crap, she weighs less than me" and 2) The Biggest Loser is slated for another season next year.
Since the Biggest Loser has become popular, another new show coming to the Oxygen network is hoping to prove to be just as successful. Dance your ass off combines both the aspects of the Biggest Loser and Dancing with the Stars. In this show, contestants are paired with a professional dancer and nutritionist. Each week, they perform a dance and receive scores from judges. Combing the judges' scores with how much weight loss they had during that week, determines elimination. Hmm, I just don't think this is sending the greatest message either to a general audience who craves weight loss.
On a positive note here, I caught a few episodes of the Wetv show, I want to save your life with Charles Stuart Platkin, aka the "Diet Detective." Platkin, a nutrition and public health advocate, performs health interventions on various individuals/couples each week. Platkin spends a week with the individuals, educating them on nutrition, exercise, and general well being. He leaves it up to them, and then returns 3-4 months later to see how they have progressed.
What I liked about this show was that there was a general less overall emphasis on weight. It did seem to be more geared towards a healthy lifestyle. In the show, he did not advocate for 6-8 hours of exercise a day but a much more reasonable amount for weight loss. There was more a realistic approach to getting exercise any way you could then simply hours in the gym. With eating, there wasn't an extremist ideology, but instead making health conscious choices. I wish more people watched this show, as there was much more of a realistic approach to weight loss.
Lastly, today's Dr,. Phil had an episode on eating disorders. I didn't see the entire episode, but did read through the show. In general, Dr. Phil did seem to have a little of an understanding on the plight of eating disorders. This specific show focused on a set of twins, one of whom had an eating disorder. Cynthia Bulik, researcher and author of Crave, was also in the audience to help both the eating disorder individual and the family with informative, helpful insights.
Thoughts on any of these shows?