The Truth About The Biggest Loser

Although widely considered to be a show that gets people healthy, that is actually far from the truth.

The show is about overweight to obese contestants (the heaviest, Michael Ventrella of season 9, weighed 526 pounds) competing to lose weight. Notice how I said "competing" and not "working". That's because one-by-one they are eliminated, and the winner wins $250,000. Naturally, this leads to some tactics to help the contestants get ahead in the short run; only to fail miserably in the long run (i.e. gain all the weight back, having completely wasted the opportunity).

Several contestants on the show, including season 1 winner Ryan Benson and Season 3 runner-up Kai Hibbard have admitted to dehydrating themselves during the course of the show to lose weight (it became so dramatic that in Benson's case, he started to urinate blood.)

Many of the contestants also have used gameplay tactics to try to fix the eliminations of opponents. Most notable is in Season 4, when contestant Neil Tejwani gained 17 pounds in one week via water loading. This was in an effort to try and eliminate one of his teammates, the favorites-to-win Jez Luckett or Isabeau Miller. Luckett was voted off that night with 6 out of the 9 votes (Neil earned the other 3).

In addition, many of the contestants have also gained back the entire weight they lost - including the earlier-mentioned Ryan Benson (who lost 122 pounds) and season 3 winner Erik Chopin, who lost 214 pounds - a record that would last until the 8th season.

Finally, it's important to notice that several contestants have had medical injuries during the course of the game. The first major incident came in Season 7 - when Jerry Hayes - who is to this day, the oldest BL contestant in history- had a massive blood pressure drop and had to be hospitalized on THE FIRST DAY. A 63 year old man who weighs 369 pounds working out for 5 hours a day. And nobody expected anything to happen. However, the worst of them all was the very next season, where, (again on the first day), there were hospitalizations - as in plural. Two contestants were hospitalized - Mo DeWalt and Tracey Yukich - Mo remained in the hospital for several days, but Tracey didn't come back until the following week. If that is not an indication that this show is poorly planned, I don't know what is.

However, the most damning piece of evidence against the show is when the earlier-mentioned Kai Hibbard admitted that the producers told the contestants to ignore their nutritionists and only listen to their trainers (in Hibbard's case, Kim Lyons). Why? Ratings and drama, of course. This without-a-doubt proves that the ironically-named Loser is NOT made to get people healthy. It's made to make money. The show is not healthy, and the contestants' actions are not either. It's a fraud designed to get you to spend money for their workout equipment and such. After all, think of all the money Jillian Michaels made from her diet products and such - most of which were deemed "ineffective". And Michaels is the keypoint of the show, no less. When she left, the show went through three trainers (Cara Castronuova, Brett Hoebel, and Anna Kournikova) before they finally found a competent one - Dolvett Quince. And remember, last time Michaels left her replacement (Kim Lyons) was quickly let go. It is likely the same will happen for Quince.

I used to be a fan of the show. I really did. But when the truth came out, it proved that this show was nothing more than a gimmick.
StretchMarc StretchMarc
22-25, M
5 Responses Jan 23, 2013

What's funny that Australia's biggest loser's host got huge! She's living in the states now and her weight is just yo-yo-ing

I don't even watch that show, but I'm thankful now I haven't watched it.

I thought these exercises looked damaging but never seen a full episode to have the thought fully develop in my mind. This is insane and I feel bad for the contestants that only wanted to be healthier but left the show with additional issues to worry about.

hmmmm...this is abuse in my opinion!

I was just thinking the other day how this show looks dangerous for the contestants! Sounds like I was right!