Is the “Biggest Loser” setting you up for weightloss failure?

Is the “Biggest Loser”  setting you up for Weightloss Failure?

Last night I saw a promo for the current “Biggest Loser” program  being aired in Australia, and as I saw a contestant cheating with food, my mind turned back to the topic of my last blog post which was “Weightloss Sabotage or Self Protection”.

In the promo we are shown spy camera clips of a contestant sneaking forbidden foods in the middle of the night. There are gasps of horror as the contestants discover that the whole house has hidden cameras.  There is also a scene where the contestants are seen struggling to stay committed to their weight loss as they are locked down overnight in a room full of temping treats.

The tendency is to stand in judgement and condemnation of any   person who is unable to resist these food temptations. As if further shaming them is really going to create lasting improved self esteem and commitment to their wellbeing?

Shows like “The Biggest Loser “are based on the assumption that all the obese person needs to lose weight, is some discipline, self control, lots of exercise and hefty dose of shame.  ( I believe that obesity is a more complex issue   please link to post of the Complex nature of Obesity)that that need to be addressed in a number of ways)

Yes it can be inspiring at the end of a series to see the contestants showing off their new bodies.  And who wouldn’t lose weight, locked away from family and work life stress, social pressure, with only yourself to focus on and with your access to food limited.

But what is not usually discussed is the 12 month success rate in keeping this fat- loss off. Despite all the humiliation, the deprivation, discipline, dieting , exercise  and promises  “Keep the weight off”,  the majority of the entrants will have suffered rebound weight gain, regained between 8 and 40 kilos (20 -85 lbs) within a year.

So why after all the weight loss ordeal that they have been through do so many Biggest Loser contestants put so much weight back on?

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