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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Does The Biggest Loser Lie About Important Weight Loss Information?

Posted by Paul Constant on Thu, May 15, 2014 at 9:44 AM

This Cracked article by Evan V Symon, headlined "5 Details They Cut from My Season of The Biggest Loser," deserves to be read by a bigger audience. Symon tells the story of Biggest Loser runner-up Kai Hibbard, and it's more horrifying than you'd think. Everyone knows that reality shows are total bullshit, but the amount of bullshit that goes into a season of The Biggest Loser in this account is truly remarkable. Here's just one example:

My season made a big deal of showing us all drinking our milk to prove how nutritious it was. But as soon as "cut" was yelled, the trainers made us spit it out. Calories do not trump calcium, apparently. They claim the weigh-ins you see are weekly, but that's a straight-up lie. When people exclaimed "I lost 12 pounds in a week!" that wasn't always the case. It's all based on filming schedules. Sometimes the real period between weigh-ins was over three weeks, and you got liked like a rock star for losing so much weight so quickly. Other times it was only five days, and the audience thought you were phoning it in that week — after which you probably hung up and dialed for a pizza, you lazy cheese-beast.

It seems like if you're going to make a reality show about losing weight, you have a responsibility to be honest about the facts, so that viewers can try to replicate the results at home. But if this account is true, they lie about everything: The food contestants eat, how long the process takes, and how much they have to work out to see results. This is incredibly irresponsible, and could easily harm the health of viewers who are trying to lose weight along with contestants on the show. This is above and beyond the usual irresponsibility of reality shows, which routinely edit footage of human beings to make them look like cartoonish villains. If this report is true, this is a new level of despicable.

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