I don’t think I miss an episode of the Biggest Loser UK, I posted often about it on my Facebook page, you could say I was bit of a sucker for the reality TV show where participants took part in a weight loss contest that involved intense fitness training and dieting. I know I wasn’t the only one, the show is a hit and very popular amongst slimmers.
However a recent study carried out at the University of Alberta’s faculty of physical education and recreation said that the Biggest Loser, which so clearly promoted health and fitness, actually passes on a negative effect and demotivates anyone who might have the desire to lose weight.
Here’s the scoop on the study taken from The Globe and Mail.
The Biggest Loser Discourages People From Exercising
Their study, to be published in the American Journal of Health Behaviour, asked close to 140 student participants to watch clips of either The Biggest Loser or the non-fitness-related reality program American Idol. Those who watched the weight-loss show had worse attitudes about exercise than those in the Idol control group, regardless of the participants’ fitness levels or weight.
In a press release, lead author Tanya Berry explained The Biggest Loser tends to show exercise in the worst possible light.
“People are screaming and crying and throwing up, and if you’re not a regular exerciser you might think this is what exercise is – that it’s this horrible experience where you have to push yourself to the extremes and the limits, which is completely wrong,” Berry said.
Although the show is believed to inspire weight-loss and touts products and resources to help viewers get into shape, its extreme portrayals of exercise are counterproductive, Berry said. Full and original article here.
Who would think, this is the vibe transmitted via the Biggest Loser, I had no idea the show was actually putting people off exercise. I can’t say I felt the same way when I watched the show, I was actually inspired and I think my exercise activity increased whiles the show ran.
I can understand Tanya Berry’s logic behind her explanation, sure seeing the extreme levels of fitness training carried out by the participants can put some people off. But how many people, would it be the majority of people that watch the show or just a handful, after all this study was only carried out on 140 students, and I don’t think that number is justifiable enough to conclude this theory, I mean it didn’t have that effect on me and I’m sure I’m not alone. Yes I watched the UK version of the show, but I’m sure it was very similar to the US version.
Still I think you should really think about how the show made you felt towards exercise, you might fall into the group that felt off putting by it. If that’s the case you might want to reconsider watching it the next time it runs.
Please feel free to speak your mind and give your thoughts on the show in the comments section below, and please give the article a like or a share if you enjoyed it.