fatcover

FAT SHAMING RAGE

When I caught a glimpse of the ‘first look’ at The Biggest Loser on Channel 10, I was horrified.

Because The Biggest Loser is now claiming to ‘break the obesity cycle in families’. Yes, this prime example of reality porn is now performing a community service. The Biggest Loser contestants this year are families. And some of those families include people under 21. The youngest is a fifteen year-old boy.

TBL

I despised The Biggest Loser before it brought children into the mix, but this has taken my antipathy to a new low.

Firstly, because no fifteen year-old child can give informed consent to being ...

Want to continue reading?

  • or
  • THE DAY PASS -

    $0.99 the-day-pass

    Want to try The Hoopla but not sure what to commit to? How about the clever little Day pass which means you can just pay as you go!

    • Full Online Access
    • Read on Phone, Tablet & PC
    • Zero ongoing commitment
    • Expires after 24 hrs

    Subscribe Now
  • THE MONTHLY -

    $9.99 the-monthly

    Only $0.33 per day with the flexibility of automated recurring month-to-month payments.

    • Full Online Access
    • Read on Phone, Tablet & PC
    • Cancel Anytime
    • * $9.99 is automatically recurring if not cancelled

    Subscribe Now
  • THE QUARTERLY -

    $29.99 the-quarterly

    Subscribe to The Hoopla quarterly and you’ll get all the benefits of a Hoopla subscription with the added simplicity of automatically paying every three months.
    • Full Online Access
    • Read on Phone, Tablet & PC
    • Cancel Anytime
    • * $29.99 is automatically recurring if not cancelled

    Subscribe Now
  • THE ANNUAL -

    $89 the-annual

    Get a year's worth of The Hoopla at a discount with our special launch package.

    • Full Online Access
    • Read on Phone, Tablet & PC
    • Easy Yearly Payment
    • Save 25% - was $120 now only $89

    Subscribe Now

Follow us on

176 Comments

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Sarah

    Signed. Hate the false premise of this show.

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Carol

      I’m against shaming of people, but has anyone actually had a look around lately.
      As the mother of 2 healthy daughters, I wonder why they have so many ‘fat friends’ at school. When I was growing up – we always had one big person in the class, not half of them.
      Are we killing our children. Something has to be done, the nation needs to understand 60% of our population are obese and its rising. Where is the idea of the ‘outdoorsy, fit and healthy surfing Australia gone’. This is just to finally shock us, no different to what the government has done with smoking. I don’t blame the parents, i just wish people used common sense when feeding their children. No excuses.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Vanda

    Bravo Kerri..Can’t believe that this show pretends to be about helping people. It’s a disgrace. Thanks for pointing us in the direction of the petition

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Ziggy

    It isn’t reality – the ‘week’ on tv is really closer to 2 real weeks, they water load and dehydrate themselves before weigh ins (depending on whether they have immunity or not). yet people believe it is their weight loss results are real. The lack of food and amount of exercise is not achievable nor advisable in the real world so I really don’t see how this show helps anyone – the contestants or the general public. It’s quiet disturbing really.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Cstar

    Thank you
    I have tried to leave three posts on Mamamia site asking to them to pull out of the sponsored posts in the name of decency.
    This show is obscene and disturbing.
    I am all for health, health at every size, working towards health not shame and degradation.
    I was hoping there would be a place to voice my concerns. So grateful, heading to petition and as I said to Mamamia three times, my family of teens have all agreed to boycott this show

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Michaela C

    Brilliantly put. Incandescent rage is what we should all be feeling at this obscene bullshit being passed off as entertainment. Fat is an aesthetic issue that society wraps in a blanket of faux concern over health. Society doesn’t want to see fat people as normal. They don’t want to see them at all, unless it’s to have a laugh at their expense.
    I won’t be watching, and neither will my family. Thank you for speaking out. Big mwahs.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Pinky

    Not a keen viewer of the show but seems to me, these people want to be there. Cruel? I think there are more cruel practices going on in the world where people do not get to choose how they are treated. It’s the 7th season I believe. Who is to say that the 15 year old shouldn’t be there? He’s already suffering in his own life- his own words. Why are we to tell him what to do?

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Bell

      I agree.

      Being bullied, feeling bad about yourself, feeling like you’re not in control of your weight are much much worse feelings.

      Hence why overweight people continue to apply for the show, even though they know it’s tough.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Doug

    Thanks for speaking out, Kerri. I’ve said for years that if they were actually concerned about people losing weight they’d pay for them to have the individual help that they each need to achieve a healthy weight and exercise level suited to each person’s body and emotional needs.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Smaggle

    I totally agree. I never ever watch the show (except for the finale – I have a weakness for before and after shots) because its totally made up. Trainer Shannon gives me the shits because he fake cries. The whole premise is SO unhealthy. There’s not one contestant ever who has maintained their weight loss. It’s awful.

    • Reply April 29, 2013

      James

      A complete false statement, there have been plenty of contestants who have kept the weight off and changed their lives.
      In fact the first winner is now a personal trainer and has helped over 1500 people achieve huge weight loss including myself.
      I don’t mind people having an opinion on the show, but there can be no denial it is helping people, and inspiring people off the show.
      Obviously the reality part of the show is the ‘money-making’ part – but who are any of you to try and deny these morbidly obese people a chance to change their lives.
      It disgusts me more the amount of people trying to stop this show.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Bell

    I am curious to hear how overweight people can still be healthy. Is that your medical opinion?
    Because I have never ever heard a medical doctor say that overweight people can still be healthy.

    I’ve always found TBL very inspiring and I mean, look at the results, these people lose weight. And it’s tough. That’s what the yelling is about, it’s about making people “wake up” and see the reality. If you really want to lose weight, it’s going to HURT. There is no easy way around it.
    Sometimes you’ve gotta fight to love yourself

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Simone

      Have you asked medical professionals about this? Have you studied the differences in health rates between those considered obese and those not? And…have you analysed the causes of bad healthy in those that are obese against those that aren’t?

      If not, you can’t comment. You can only suppose. The medical community is actually coming under fire for the attitude that obese equals bad health. Attitudes are finally changing and some positive steps may now result.

      The Biggest Loser is not inspiring, it’s degrading. Loving yourself comes with self-acceptance, which leads to taking care of yourself. Who would take care of something they fundamentally hate?

      • Reply March 19, 2013

        Kath

        I have done YEARS of research into this Simone, and I can tell you right now that the “obesity epidemic” and “fat = unhealthy” is a complete and utter lie perpetuated by the diet industry to gouge $700 million dollars per annum from the Australian public ($66 billion in the US, this is not small pennies).

        How much research have YOU done? Are you an academic in any fields of weight and health? What is your authority? Have you done all of the research that you demand of the author of this piece, or do you just get your information from the telly too?

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Kylee at boomerang jane

      Actually Belle it is possible to have a body that some may consider ‘fat’ but be fit. I worked with my doctor for 12 months to figure out why working out most days at the gym and eating well (keeping a food diary etc) helped me only lose 4 kilos for the entire year. It turned out that I had the start of hypothyroidism, and a mental attitude that pretty much determined I was not going to be thin even if I existed on lettuce leaves alone (as it was a protective mechanism for me to stay on the bigger side). He said I was ‘fit and fat’. Fitter than most skinny people he sees, just vertically challenged! He was not worried about me, everything else health wise was great (besides the slow dodgy thyroid) and a need to believe I could see myself thin. I’m still not thin. But it upsets me no end when people assume i’m fat and lazy because of my size.

    • Reply March 19, 2013

      jules

      TBL method is not the way to help people achieve their most healthy selves. People can be overweight and healthy – everyone should read Health at Every Size. This show encourages self hatred – how can this be healthy?

    • Reply April 29, 2013

      James

      Finally a decent comment, thanks Bell, cannot believe this article is legitimate, I understand where she is coming from about unhealthy body image; but no way can you possibly say a morbidly obese person is even remotely healthy…

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    AwkwardandParanoid

    I just hope that before I die our obsessions with reality TV has ended. I hope it goes down in history as one of those very embarrassing eras like Nazi Germany.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Lee-Anne

    A marvellous article Kerri. You eloquently highlight the way this program appeals to the basest characteristics in viewers at the expense of, in this case, children who are not making informed and impartial decisions and whose parents are misguidedly exposing them to public humiliation. What really rankles is the notion that it is in the interests of these poor wretches to engage in such extreme exercise and weight loss regimes which I doubt have any real long-term benefits to the participants. It reminds me of a program from the UK I inadvertently tuned into recently in which a morbidly obese man (whose stomach grotesquely touched the ground) was stripped, weighed and paraded for the cameras in a kind of freak show, all under the guise of somehow helping this man to lose weight. Your term ‘reality porn’ sums up the whole degrading nature of these sorts of programs.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Sam Stone

    I agree!
    Bullying of any kind is disgusting!
    How can we teach our kids not to pick on others when TBL is shaming these poor people.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    S/B

    “And why are they weighed in their underwear? Because it is far more titillating for the audience to see fat people in their underwear, true to The Biggest Loser’s theme of reality porn.”

    Nope, they are weighed in their underwear because having them weigh themselves naked wouldn’t be appropriate for television. When seriously trying to losing weight, you are advised to actually weigh yourself naked to get a true reading of your BODY weight eg with no additional possible variants to the weight, like clothes.

    I truly feel for the contestants. Being overweight is hard, not just on your health but your self esteem, your body image, you daily life. You go out and feel eyes on you, people whispering behind their hands or worse, snickering about you in plain view and not even bothering to hide the fact that they are indeed talking about YOU.

    While I think the trainers probably do want people to be healthier, I don’t believe all 3 do. I definitely think Michelle Bridges is motivated by the mighty dollar rather than her need to help people become slimmer, healthier and fitter. If you have seen any of her 12 Week Body Transformation workout videos – she tells her clients that if they need to stop or slow down during the workout, that’s fine. Now switch on the Biggest Loser later this week and you can bet your bottom dollar that she doesn’t say the same thing to those contestants – instead she will yell at them, telling them to push themselves harder, faster, longer. The first she does to get $199 out of as many people as possible so needs people to keep coming back; the second she does for producers to win as many rating as possible, no need to keep people “sweet”.

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      FatFitnessTrainer

      Sorry to bust your reality tv bubble but there is no need to show these folks in their undies while getting weighed. The official weigh-ins are done prior to taping, privately. Then the contestants are sent off to have showers, do hair and makeup, etc., before the show is taped. They could do the weigh-in in sweatsuits (or even chain mail, for that matter) because the results have already been determined. Conclusion: it’s done strictly as fatty humiliation porn. And the viewers just lick it up. Shameful.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Kylie L

    Agree 100! Can’t believe that MamaMia was actually *promoting* this show. It’s cruel and utterly unhelpful.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Victoria

    What I found most disturbing were the staged sequences at the beginning, where the contestants were “secretly filmed” (clearly staged and faked) binge eating. These were posted as trailers on the official Facebook page where they were mocked, abused and belittled by the public. Horrific.

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Alice Shaw

      Yes, Victoria. I saw that ad too, it was awful. I don’t believe for a second that shaming a person like that is any way towards helping them have the self esteem they need to motivate them to be healthy, at whatever size they are. My teenaged daughter saw it and was horrified. She said she felt so sorry for someone being filmed and humiliated that way.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    bigwords

    YES. YES. YES.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Catherine Rodie Blagg (Cup of Tea and a Blog)

    Well said Kerri.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Kellie W

    Thank You. Thank You. Kerri now you have said this maybe more people will have a good hard think about this show. I certainly hope so.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Roxy

    I have to agree in part. I dont mind the show helping people to lose weight, but REALLY dont need to see them in their undies – thats just blatent humiliation. Clothed & weighed we can easily see where these people have ‘begun’ the process from & thats enough. As for the trainers yelling at them…dont see the benefit in that either…dont they realise many of these people have been bullied in the past so much its highly likely that thats contributed to their weight gain. Someone yelling at me is a total turn off & Id seriously throw something at them. Empowerment through encouragement & positive words…not screaming at someone is way more efffective in my book.

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Nicole

      I agree Roxy, I hate the underwear deal and then at the end of the series they are wearing t-shirts and much longer leggings!
      Also whilst they are exercising they zoom in on the people who fall or are struggling,pants falling down etc, very degrading TV!

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Cass

      I completely agree that the underwear and the secret filming is out of line but I don’t agree with the whole article. Rather than pick it apart and heap abuse on the show, why don’t we proactively encourage them to extend the format and run TBL clinics during the year that are NOT filmed- but are aimed at achieving lasting results within the broader community.

      Also, I think the health concerns of the people featured on this show (early stage diabetes, strokes, joint issues) not to mention the emotional issues of being obese are what has made them sign up for something life changing, albeit extreme.
      Someone I know recently had 2/3rds of his stomach removed after suffering multiple strokes (minor) due to being severely overweight. This is a permanent measure, taken because the Drs knew that the weight would not come off quickly enough to safe his life if left on his own. It has worked and he is a changed man living a whole new life.
      If TBL can offer this life to 10-12 people without surgically cutting out most of their stomach, then I’m willing to cut them a little slack.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Ainslie

    Thank you. Thank you for articulating this. I’m all for weight loss and recognition of the unhealthy way many people live their lives (many of us are guilty of a fast food life) BUT! There are ways and means to skin a cat. Pointing the finger at these disgusting fat people is not the way to go.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Gayle

    If the real motivation by the producers was to help people it could easily be done in a respectful way. I don’t believe this show encourages anyone watching it to take up a healthier diet or lifestyle – in fact I think it would be very depressing for an overweight or body-image troubled person to watch.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    KJ

    Great article, Kerri. I’m behind you 100%. Stripping vulnerable people (actually any people!) to their underwear and then humiliating them further by publically weighing them has always seemed to me like a form of medieval torture. Aure, they feel great about themselves when they lose weight but that’s because the show and the trainers strip them of any vestige of self esteem in the early stages.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Bex

    I probably wouldn’t have used the image of the ladies in their underwear here…

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Tess

    I agree Kerri, this show is about voyeurism and short term gain for the contestants. Having contestants paraded crop tops etc is demeaning and humiliating. The sooner this rubbish is off the air the better.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Sharon Casey

    I find this fascinating – because as a still overweight (but now much fitter and healthier )and formerly ‘morbidly obese’ person – I have had a love/hate relationship with the Biggest Loser. I love the transformations – but ultimately the bullying, the unsustainable extreme exercise regimes, and the extreme calorie restricted diets – are just compressed versions of the punitive and self hating punishing regimes that pretty much anyone whose ever got this fat has tried many times and had fail them. 28 years of yo-yo dieting – I used to be able to drop 20 kilos in four weeks (and gain 25 back the next ten weeks). I don’t know a single obese person who hasn’t tried living on 600 calories of liquid for 2-12 weeks, who hasn’t starved themselves on just salads, or low fat tasteless versions of everything for months on end. Who hasn’t internalised societies loathing of their rolls and wobbly bits and isn’t pushing down a heap of self loathing and pain. The stick wielding fairy godmother who rips you out of your every day world, and starves and punishes you until you have reached goal weight in 12 weeks rather than 5 slower sustained years – is pretty much the fantasy every obese person has. But if dieting worked – Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers could have shut up shop years ago – healthy eating works, healthy thinking works, healthy activity works – and being realistic that not everyone can be a greyhound – some of us are labradors (or shar peis). :-D

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      FatFitnessTrainer

      … or even Saint Bernards (such adorable, majestic creatures as they are). ;-)

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      HeatherBelle

      It fascinates me too and I also love the before/after results at the end of their slog.
      A few points though – whilst they were in their undies in last night’s show, usually at weigh in they are in workout crop tops and short capris…yes we can see all their wobbly bits but at least it’s not bras and knickers and jocks!
      Secondly, these people go through a hard to get in audition process and want to do this….it’s last resort for them and Sharon’s excellent advice on what DOES work is clearly too slow or hard for them to try – they probably already have. I have a PT and LOVE being told what to do and pushed that bit more.
      The premise of this season of TBL is the sins of the parents and I agree it’s unfortunately that these young people have been roped in along with the adults to face this humiliation – a couple last night were clearly scared and didn’t want to be there.
      As for the bullying trainers, yes they are aweful, sometimes there is some fake “I really care about you and this is for you and will make you stronger/fitter/healthier” pap but really it’s all for the cameras (and ratings) to push them to breaking point extremes. Lastly someone said in an earlier post that no past contestants had kept the weight off – that’s not sure – they often revisit TBL house to encourage the participants and I actually know a past winner who works in a fitness equipment store in my State and he’s still rocking a fit healthy bod.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Buttercup

    Morbid Obesity is never healthy. The stress it puts on the body systems is very real.
    I do not like that they put the contestants on the scales with very little clothing. That is demeaning. There is a lot of education in the show and even after they leave the show they get support.
    I feel disturbed about reality programs over all. It’s just a cheap way of filling our screens. They don’t have actors and unions to deal with.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    roxley

    good point Bex. says it all really. You can’t decry the image, then share it with perhaps a whole new audience. My issue with the show is that no-one can maintain the regime that these people do on the show. Slow and steady is really the best way….over a long period of time. This is a better way to establish good habits and keep them up. The body can’t realistically cope with losing many kilos each week.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Elaine

    I couldn’t agree more. These types of shows always put the “subject” in the most unflattering clothing and shoot the straight on for maximum effect, while the presenters are primped to the max. I don’t know why people agree to go on programs like this to be belittled and denigrated in front of a huge audience. I don’t know if they are paid or if they feel that appearing on the program will help their motivation to improve their health but I imagine that this type of bullying would probably have the opposite effect.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Kitty

    Curious – are you equally enraged by shows like Supersize Vs Superskinny, where people who are dangerously underweight are encouraged to gain weight? Would you call that ‘thin shaming’?

    I don’t see how people who, by their own admission, are unhappy with their weight and have volunteered to be on BL are being ‘shamed’ for being obese.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Mary Longford

    Oh Kerri bravo for having the courage to speak out about this programme. It is 50 types of wrong in my opinion. We don’t watch it after watching one episodes a couple of years ago. Parading people with eating disorders for entertainment…..it wreaks of the fat lady at the circus. And it doesn’t promote a healthy living message but rather the message of extremes. It also disempowers people in my opinion. Nanny looking after all our problems and offering solutions and excuses for people.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Louise

    It reminds me of the circus freak shows from last century. You know, the ones we all thought weren’t appropriate anymore.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Alizah

    I agree with Kitty wholeheartedly. It’s not fat shaming.

    The real issue is it makes us as a collective uncomfortable because society as a collective if responsible for the obesity epidemic in this country. It’s just passing the buck, something we Australians excel at. As anyone who’s battled obesity will tell you – and I’m I’m one of them – when people are desperate and NEED the help, tough love is the answer a lot of the time. Plenty of places weigh purple in their underwear. The inky difference is this is on national TV.

    I think too the reason why everyone is so up in arms is because it reinforces people’s inherent judgement of fat people and no one wants to admit they’re prejudiced.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Vicki

    I am sorry Kerrie but I do not agree with you. These people are willing to participate in all aspects of this program. It makes me feel happy that these people are willing to join this intense program to become a better and healthier version of themselves. If you here their stories and what goes on behind the scenes these people need all the help they can get and are doing it to also help themselves as well as their children which then may encourage viewers to better themselves also.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Sally

    What a fabulous article. It just sickens me. Yes I am overweight. I am 100% positive that this contributes to me being super uncomfortable with the show – but it is just all kinds of wrong. I go on a full Channel 10 ban during the show. The adverts are almost worse than the show and I have no desire for my 8 year old daughter to see it. So sad that people still think this is the only answer to weight loss….

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Trainer Queensland

    I agree in part, yes they are a massive money pamking machine who care very little about the general population’s weight issues and even less about those contestants’ weight issues.
    However, strapping yourself into a harness and pulling a truck IS a beneficial exercise (probably the most effective one on this sh!tty show) because it will help build muscle and that’s what you need to increase your resting metabolic rate and burn fat.
    Also, weighing a person in jeans and a jumper will never truly reflect their weight. Denim jeans weigh close to a kilo! A shirt can weigh 100 grams. If they want accurate weights they should really be naked – but that’s just ridiculous and would never happen, so they go for (and it’s NOT underwear) a sports bra and bike shorts.

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Sandy

      Yes but the point is the shameful televising of the weighing in of contestants with the ugly underwear. There are many ways that the weigh in could still be accurate and far less demeaning for the contestants. I watched a few episodes of the first season because I thought it might provide useful information about nutrition and exercise. But these two key elements which play a big part in fitness and weight loss are nothing but bit parts on this facile show. The main stars are the bullying, the drama and the tears. I learned nothing so I stopped watching.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Nikki @ Styling You

    I wrote something similar last year and it was a show not including kids. It makes me sick.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    nellae

    I am going out on a limb here. I am tired of seeing overweight people getting paid for appearing on television for being fat. When are we going to have a program that shows thin people putting on weight and getting paid for it?
    As a feminist I also find it offensive on TBL that the men take off their tops for weigh in but the women cannot!

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Sharon Casey

    The other interesting thing is the very lucrative celebrity trainer/weight loss business it generates. Michelle Bridges now has how many books/videos out? And every 12 weeks another couple of thousand people around Australia hand over $200 each and join her 12 Week Body Transformation program.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Mandy

    I don’t think they need to be in there underwear, as that will be with them forever and in 10 years time I’m sure they won’t want people googling and seeing that.
    But. I have no doubt they new what they were getting themselves in for. I’m sure they’ve watched numerous seasons of people, wearing next to nothing, crying episode after episode, and ultimately they signed up for this in a bid to reach the end goal at all costs.
    I don’t watch the show, but I hope for their sake they do reach the outcome they desire, because then I guess it’s probably worth it to them.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    KIKI

    I don’t want to see fat people in underwear on tv. It’s gross and they disgust me. Go back to pigging out on your icecream at home.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Dr Rick Kausman

    A great piece Kerri. As a medical doctor specialising in the psychology of food, eating behaviour and body image, I have first hand experience of how harmful this type of show really is. The Biggest Loser is a shaming, dehumanising circus parading as ‘health’.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Kitty

    Are we actually suggesting it’s better for a morbidly obese 15 year old to continue to be morbidly obese, ‘as long as he’s happy’, than to strive to be a healthy weight? Half of all Aussie kids are now overweight or obese, and the current generation of Australian children actually has a shorter life expectancy as a result. So if we’re going to get all ‘won’t somebody think of the children’, perhaps that thinking should be along the lines of why they’re so fat in the first place and what we can do about it.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Trace

    Using already vulnerable and very sad people to gain ratings through degradation, embarrassment, humiliation and shame is nothing short of abuse. Contrived situations used to increase drama and ratings. I agree the contestants are on the show by choice, but how absolutely desperate and low in self-esteem must they be to feel it’s ok to be treated in such an abusive manner and believe they deserve it? Their mental health is as big a concern for me as their physical health is, particularly because they seem to feel that being bullied and yelled at is a normal and acceptable way to be treated. It’s sickeningly obvious the trainers are more interested in their celebrity status than they are in the total well-being of the contestants. Shame on the people who came up with the concept go degradation as entertainment.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Megan

    YES!!! THANK YOU.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Melbourne_Mum

    hate this show and don’t watch it – can’t stand watching people who are just so desperate to be helped they allow themselves to be humiliated. Where is the counseling? Clearly they are already at their lowest ebb. Also find Michelle Bridges a hypocrite. She recently wrote an article on the latest ‘fad’ diet 5:2 and said what nonsense it is and what rubbish the Atkins, Dukan and Paleo diets are. All but hers of course – and she also wrote words to the effect of ‘Don’t get me started in the shakes and protein bars’ which really enraged me. Not only are the BL contestants using The Biggest Loser shakes and meal replacements during the show but they are also sold in every supermarket. No wonder they all put weight back on in the Real world. Way to help people Michelle. This is just BAD television.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Manion

    I agree – it’s not the best way to motivate people to look after their health. There’s too much focus on weight. I’ve never watched TBL and have no desire too – but I do have friends that say they find the contestants’ journeys inspiring and, ultimately, they do walk away healthier than at the start. It’s just unforatunate they’ve had to take such a demoralising road to get there.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Lorrie

    And anyone is watching it because…?

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    vanessay

    I have never watched the Biggest Loser but I understand that when the intensity of constant exercise and supervised eating is removed, contestants gain the weight again and, consequently, feel even worse about themselves. So far as people being willing participants, er, no, I do not think this is informed consent, even if the participants have seen the show prior to signing up. Has any one considered the elitist aspects of this enterprise? (Ha Ha Look at the poor fat people!) Or, as someone mentioned above, the spin off profits for Michelle Bridges and Co.? The show seems to be one giant advertisement for Michelle, (or Mish as she is known to her followers) who is dangerously close to becoming a deity in some areas of our society. I have never watched it and I never will. I consider the inclusion of children in this sort of “entertainment” as child abuse. Children should be helped if they are obese, that is true, but I stand, at over 90 kilos as proof that shaming is NOT the right approach, and shaming on national TV is definitely not the right approach.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Julie

    Couldn’t agree more.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Nicole E

    I think there is a particular shame that should be reserved for these ‘personal trainers’ who have become celebrities and are making fortunes from their endorsement of inappropriate exercise regimes. In a previous season, I could not believe that these ‘professionals’ encouraged the contestants to undertake full marathons, particularly one which took place in the Northern Territory in extreme heat. Where is the duty of care? The risk to the health of the contestants, not to mention the damage to their joints represents a gross dereliction of the duty of care of both the trainers and the production company. As someone who uses the services of a personal trainer every week, I know that part of the role of a PT is to tailor the exercise to the capacity and ability of the client.

    Another pet hate of this particular show is the unrealistic expectations that it sets for the audience. I’m sure if they audience did nothing but eat carrot sticks and exercise hours every day, they could drop 5 kgs per week but IN THE REAL WORLD, this doesn’t happen. Unless you starve yourself, losing 5 kgs per week is not only unrealistic, it’s also unhealthy and unsustainable in the long run.

    So much of this show is unethical and unrealistic. I’ll be boycotting it and signing the petition. Thanks for a great article.

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Kris2040

      To Nicole: Do you honestly think they don’t take their duty of care seriously? Of course there are medics around at all times. These are incredibly unhealthy and unfit people.

      I was recently speaking to an ex-Ambo who worked on the show at the beginning and had to make sure that the NSW ambos had ambulances that were big enough to carry obese people at the stations closest to where the original Biggest Loser house was. I’d say that having medics on hand (as we’ve seen in the show) and preparing like that, plus doing screening and tests before they actually go on the show, VOLUNTARILY, would suggest they take their duty of care pretty seriously.

      For a bunch of people who hate the show so much, you all seem to know an awful lot about the intricacies of it.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Kerri Sackville

    To Kitty who asked my thoughts on Supersize Vs Superskinny – I find that show appalling too. SVS takes two people with eating disorders and force feeds one whilst starving the other. That does nothing except give the audience a thrill at the expense of the mental health of the participants. And it’s disgusting.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Gemma_D

    Great article.
    I’m a dietitian, and have seen TBL damage clients attitudes to normal, healthy weight loss.
    We want 0.5-1kg weight loss per week in adults, not the ridiculous, unsustainable numbers shown on TBL. Because big numbers put our bodies into defence mode and we put it back on again (thus the yo-yo diet experience). People often don’t understand that, or they think “I will be different”

    Also, if they weighed people in the same clothes each week it wouldn’t matter what clothes they wore at weigh-in. The change is what is being measured – being naked or near-naked is completely unnecessary.

    Finally to clarify – current Australian data puts childhood rates of overweight at ~17% and obesity ~6%. It is the adult population that have 50% overweight and obesity

    I agree that TBL is abhorrent, and think it is doing way more harm than good. I’m glad so many posters agree.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    tan

    Agree 100% – well said Kerri.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Marilyn

    I found the show pretty boring and haven’t watched it much, but people do choose to go on it. Presumably they like being bullied a bit and starved, if it gets them thin and on tv. They’re obsessed by food, the trainers are obsessed by fitness – I kind of wish they’d all get over it.

    Also, it’s not underwear, it’s exercise gear and you need a standard outfit for weighing. I don’t find obese people disgusting so it doesn’t bother me what they wear.

    I don’t agree with teenagers being on it though, or for that matter, teens or kids being on any reality tv show that is all about the ratings and not about integrity. (99% of them)

    Much of the economy revolves around getting people fatter, thus creating the spin-off industry of getting them thinner. Case in point: Biggest Loser, My Kitchen Rules, Masterchef. TV just reflects all this.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Benster

    I suggest you all use your outrage to solve some real problems and help those who can’t help themselves. These people volunteer to be on this program – they are doing it for themselves. Whatever their motivation – money, fame, weight loss – it’s their choice. Just as it is the choice of those who watch the program. Don’t like it? Don’t watch it. Shows like this aren’t produced unless there are viewers who attract advertisers.
    I’m amazed at the number of posters here who write about the program then proclaim they have never watched it. I guess you’re entitled to write about the premise behind the show, but it’s hardly an informed opinion.
    There’s a lot more going on in the world that deserves more attention.

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Kerri Sackville

      Benster, just because there are other terrible things in the world going on (war, famine, infant mortality, rape etc etc) doesn’t mean we can’t talk about issues closer to home that also bother us. It’s all part of the fabric of life, right?

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Tassiemum

    I couldn’t agree more Kerri! I cringe when I see the promo of the young girl eating the Ice cream out of the bucket. I cringe not because she’s eating it – but because I know that’s how most of the world see me. And that is NOT my reality. I have an eating disorder – it’s called obesity. I have been on a diet since I was 10 or 11. I remember eating “Limits” meal replacement biscuits for lunch while my peers ate a meat pie. I have been on every diet, bought every book. I have a lap band – which is a great tool – but not the cure. I had a terrible bariatric surgeon who had no empathy & made me feel like a failure before I even started. I found a great one now who has helped me get my head & body into the right space. Every day is a fight with the “diet demon” who lives on my shoulder & sabotages me at every turn. I know some people think of me as “gross”. ” revolting”, & “lazy”. I know because they’ve told me. That and worse. But shows like this just perpetuate that myth. So I will continue to fight my fight & hope that one day & can conform to society & people can look past my exterior.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Di

    Incredible that this is allowed to be marketed as entertainment. And to subject a 15 yr old to this bullying and dehumanising experience is reprehensible. If that level of attack was happening to him at school or at home notifications would be made to child protection authorities.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Kerryn

    I disagree. I don’t see it as shaming at all. The contestants applied to go on the show, and I can’t think they would have no idea what happens, given it’s been a household name for 7 years. The aim is for them to lose weight – because they are obese. They have health problems. They are not able to do it on their own. Where is the shame? I find it inspirational that they are tackling something that is such a huge problem for them.

    I do think there should be caveats applied to the airing of the show – “this is an extreme form of weight loss/exercise, should not be attempted under normal conditions or without the supervision of a gp/dietician/trainer” etc. Obviously (well, to me, obviously, given how much I have struggled in my life to get to a healthy weight) this is not something that is achievable in the “normal” world.

    But sometimes we need to be pushed to see how much we AREN’T doing in life. Certainly I have appreciated trainers who have yelled at me when necessary to get me to move to the next level and push beyond what I thought was my limit.

    Don’t like it? Don’t watch. But don’t assume those of us who viewers are all fat-phobics or evil voyeurs.

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Finnola

      The chance to have all your grocery bills, gym fees and basicaly all day-today living costs paid is a mighty carrot to hang around in your underwear. I’d do it – have you seen the price of quinoa and salmon lately?????

      Most seem to be on average or low incomes so the price of their BL diets would be out of their park.

      It’s always about money – from the show’s inventors, to the “caring” trainers to the poor old contestants.
      Please… as if there is any genuine sensitiviity here!

      Inspiring to see so many kind and sensitive people here appalled by this blatant exploitation.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Louise

    Is it any wonder that bullying is rife in schools when the adult world – as portrayed in cruelty TV like this – thinks it’s fine to shame, humiliate and bully certain target groups? The producers, Shine management and the commissioning executives presumably think that degrading people for TV ratings and advertising dollars is justifiable. I don’t. I won’t be watching.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Alan

    This is a real “dog whistle” of an article – aimed solely at playing on the reader’s own vulnerabilities to whip up an emotional response. It doesn’t even qualify as an opinion piece, because there’s no substantiating evidence given for any of the statements made. It’s poorly argued, ill-informed, unbalanced and badly-written.

    Keep going and in no time at all you’ll be qualified to get a job at the Telegraph! (or with the press office of the Liberal Party).

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Kerri Sackville

      Awesome Alan! I don’t write for the Tele but I am the author of two books and have written for numerous other publications. Unfortunately I don’t vote Liberal, but I really will keep that in mind. Appreciate the constructive criticism.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Liz

    Agree – but when we get to the level of obesity we’re dealing with here, no softly softly hand-patting is going to do it.

    We’re talking a lifetime of inactivity, shocking eating habits – and endless excuses and failure to act.

    I think that a radical kick up the bum is probably the shock that’s needed and the only thing that’ll work.

    Having said that though – this can be done in a way that’s positively focused and forward thinking.
    I agree that just shaming isn’t the way.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Christine

    For all its outrage, there is something faintly demeaning about this post – towards the people it claims to defend.

    Whether you like the show or not, Kerri writes as if no one appearing on it has any agency, any role in their decision to be there. Only one of the contestants is underage, and he is accompanied by his father, so one should assume ALL of the other people there are capable of making informed decisions about their choice to participate. Not to do so is smacks, frankly, of some sort of prejudice – that perhaps these people are too stupid to know what’s in their best interest?

    I have only seen one episode (last night’s) of this series, ever. I am generally not comfortable with reality TV, and choose not to watch it. HOWEVER… anyone here who reckons you can be healthy at the sorts of weights these people are, is kidding themselves – and insulting the obese people who are trying to lose weight. The medical research overwhelmingly shows that at this sort of weight, you are exponentially more likely to die of cancer, heart disease and/or organ failure. In other words, you are highly likely to die early. And to live with a range of painful conditions before you do. Given those sorts of grim stats, Kerri’s observation that “fat people can be happy too” feels like cold comfort.

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Kerri Sackville

      Christine: I’m sure the contestants are consenting (though I maintain a 15 yo can’t give informed consent to something of this magnitude). Having said that, these are people who, by their own admission, are seeking a ‘last resort’ option to weight loss. They feel desperate. They feel they have no other choices but to go on a reality TV show. No other diet has worked. Perhaps they cannot afford proper psychological counselling, or they are so used to living in this TV age that going on TBL seems like a more logical solution. I don’t know. What I do know is that show is preying desperate people. Fat, happy people don’t go on TBL. Only fat, desperately unhappy people go to those lengths.
      Thanks for your comment.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Jennywren

    I remember watching a BBC doco called The Truth About Exercise recently, where they scientifically proved exercise was such a minute part of losing weight – it was all about the food intake. I guess watching TBL contestants eating smaller food portions was be considered dull – watching people vomit after exercise because they had been pushed past their limit is far more entertaining (for some – urgh!).

    And does the weight loss stay off after the show? Has anyone seen former Ajay lately? Clearly the weight-loss formula is flawed. But clearly too is it making loads of money – I cannot get away from the masses of advertising.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Lucille

    I don’t like or watch reality(?) shows, and only see them when they are promoted. The obese people who choose to appear do have a choice, and I’m sure they are aware of the consequences of their participation. The bullying and crying is all part of the act to attract viewers.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Kris2040

    How do the trainers bully the VOLUNTARY participants?

    I’d also like to know how the people on TBL are supposed to be healthy at their morbidly obese sizes? You know what “morbidly” means, don’t you?

    Do the kids who go on Australia’s Got Talent etc not have the mental capacity to consent either?

    I don’t understand why the trainers or makers of the show making money is such a problem – are they supposed to work for free?

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Sandy

      Oh crikey Kris2040. It’s a reality TV show. Therefore, nothing is real. It would be scripted and edited to the max. The producers of that show are probably wishing for a hospital drama. I’m sure all the “contestants” sign release forms so nothing can be blamed on “the show”. Grow up mate.

      • Reply March 19, 2013

        Kris2040

        I actually spoke to a guy who set up all the medical protocols on TBL. They take it VERY seriously, and he actually had to get the ambulances that can accommodate massively obese people to the ambo stations near the house.
        Just because it’s scripted and edited doesn’t mean they’re not putting in the hard work. and I LOVE seeing the contestants develop their self esteem and confidence and their health and fitness.

        And remember, it’s VOLUNTARY. It’s the eighth season. People have a fairly good idea of what they have coming.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Beverley

    Before you sign the petition, try to put yourself in the contestants’ minds. Gerald Nestor is as devoted a father as you are likely to find. He put on weight because he crushed five vertebrae in his spine and had to give up playing semi professional rugby. He then spent weeks on end staying at Melbourne Children’s Hospital with his very sick daughter and the only food he could afford was Maccas. As he put on weight and found himself unable to get it off, he took on a second job. Apart from working as a carer, he drove trucks. Ever tried to find healthy food on the road? He wanted to get as much money together as possible though so that his wife would be able to survive if he dropped dead of a heart attack which he presumed would happen. Todd and he are “best mates”. Todd told me: “I am his shadow”. Gerald’s daughter Sophie put him up for BL because she loves him too. They don’t care about the money. They were genuinely grateful to have the opportunity to have to do nothing but think about nutrition, exercise and sleep for three months. They have a million plans for the future now they are fitter and healthier. Gerald didn’t let any trainers bully him into doing things that caused him pain. And he couldn’t wait to get on the plane home and not have to endure a hostie asking in a loud voice: “I’ll get you an extender belt.” That’s belittling.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Linda Robinson

    A lot of the contestants think it is wonderful as they get a lot of help,BUT it is impossible to keep it all of and live on the diet afterwards.They are set up to fail.No it isn’t healthy being obese,but some of the things they are made to do are not healthy either.Someone will have a heart attack on the show one day and it will be interesting to see who gets the blame.It is a no win for the contestants being humiliated- happens on tv and when they get back home.

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Kris2040

      To Linda:

      Why is a calorie restricted diet impossible to live on?

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Annie Also

    We are trying to get messages out there that are ‘anti bullying’.
    We are trying to get messages out there about human equality.
    We are trying to get messages out there that women of all sizes are worthy of life, love and success.
    We are trying to get the messages out there that people are different, deserve respect and consideration.
    Shows like this go against all these messages.
    This show is encouraging bullies to ‘have a go’ at anyone fat, overweight, troubled, desperate and sad.
    This show is making money off people who are in psychological pain.
    This show is anti equality, anti human rights, anti ‘difference’.
    It makes me sick to see what is available on free to air TV. This is not entertainment, this is sick bullying.
    We have worked to stop sexism, misogyny, racism, hatred in comedy, in drama and in life…and now we have carte blanche for those of us who are fighting to be ourselves no matter the ‘look’.
    Have signed the petition, have never seen the show ( except in coming across it whilst changing channels) and never will. List the advertisers on the show and let’s boycott them as well.
    Thanks Kerri.

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Kris2040

      Annie Also:

      You’re the first person to actually try and say why TBL is bullying. I cannot think of one example of any of the trainers bullying or belittling anyone for their size on the show.
      I can, though, think of tons of times where the trainers have said “You are not worthless, you deserve to be happy, you deserve success”.

      How on earth can you make these claims then admit the only times you’ve ever seen the show are when you’ve been changing channels???

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    lizlee

    Signed. The ads for this show have brought me to tears and sickened me, not for the reasons the producers hope but because of the humiliation these people are going through and…and…well just everything about it is WRONG. It brings back so many memories for me of being contolled and bullied, and not for reasons of weight.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    holly

    The following link is an in-depth interview with a previous contestant on TBL

    http://www.bodylovewellness.com/2010/06/09/kai-hibbard-biggest-loser-finalist-part-1-of-3/

    • Reply March 20, 2013

      erko

      Thanks for that link Holly.

      I would highly recommend reading this interview of a past contestant on TBL. It’s a good way to get some insight into how terrible these shows are for the people who endure them. And as for the argument that these people know what they are getting into before they do it ….well I think that’s bullshit. Only with prior experience are we anywhere near to fully informed. That goes for everything in life, really, when I think about it..

      • Reply March 20, 2013

        helen b

        Yes Erko. I read this interview and was amazed that the contestant stayed to the end when she was a finalist , IIt seems a double standard that she didn’t walk out of it if she was so appalled at her treatment.

        No gratitude for the progress she made, only complaints. Sounds like she was happy to stay there and get the benefit.
        In her photo she looks pretty trim and fit. Was this a paid interview? I wonder.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Helen K

    I don’t like the show either. I think there are a number of people who are desperate enough to go on a show like this, because of the problems their weight is creating. And good on them for trying to change. But I doubt the approach they follow on the Biggest Loser will actually create that long term change. Itwould be far better to take them through a more realistic process of diet change that is maintainable, exercise that they can build up to, and counselling to address underlying issues that may have contributed to the situation (whether pychological, life circummstances, etc) – and this would also minimise the impacts of rapid weight loss, like excessive skin (which always seems to lead to surgery), stress on heart and other organs, etc, etc. If they say this wouldn’t make interesting TV – I point to the excellent series on the ABC recently re. couples and happiness – a more dignified and holistic approach taken (and one which we could all learn from – you can’t really apply the over the top BL program in everyday life unless you quit your job and life!), and I understand it rated well too. I recognise that it is probably more expensive to take this approach over a longer period – but as a new series seems to be constantly prepared, couldn’t they be staging the development of the weight loss concurrently – then it wouldn’t impact on the series timing – and the advertising revenue which is of course all important) .

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Jacki

    Thank you for articulating everything that makes me uneasy about this show. In all the years it’s been on, I’ve never watched a single episode but the ads make my skin crawl and my heart breaks to see those articles in magazines that chronicle the subsequent weight gain of the contestants.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Amy

    Sorry, don’t agree…consenting individuals…if you don’t like it don’t watch it, and perhaps direct your rage at people/institutions doing some REAL wrong to some truly vulnerable individuals.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Mary Longford

    I’ve been on here earlier today and have come back to read some of the comments, some I agree with, others I don’t but some of the ones I don’t are well expressed and make me think about the debate. At the heart of my concern of this show besides making fat people look ridiculous and powerless is that our whole tv culture is moving towards collective misery. I hate the fact this show follows fast on the heels of Masterchef each year which promotes excess and waste. As a culture we seem to want it all…..fancy food to carry on about yet we still want to be slim and healthy. Then when excess leads us to problems we want everyone to feel sorry for us and know what our problems are.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Theresa

    I heard an interview yesterday with Michelle bridges who was laughing at how amusing it as seeing the tension and issues between parents and the children! SERIOUSLY???? Turned me off watching it I must say

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Rose

    Have you ever been overweight, I mean really overweight, morbidly obese? You don’t get there magically without some issues you need to work through to get your body healthy again. I challenge you to find me someone who is morbidly obese and happy about their weight or has a Dr who says they are healthy?

    I watched part of the program last night and I saw some very amazing people take a big step towards getting healthy and happy, the fact that they chose to make this commitment and have it and their weight and images of themselves in their underwear broadcast on national tv makes it even more impressive.

    Apparently you saw a bunch of fat people in their underwear being humiliated.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Shosh

    I detest that show! They also love getting fatties to cry on cue and say how awful their lives are and that they will not be able to participate in life and its many activities until they are thin.
    You are a good fattie if you cry and act contrite in front of society’s favoured people apparently!
    Bull! I am a fat girl and I live a very happy life and I do not exclude myself from doing anything I want to do!

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Helen g

    How clever are the food industries, making money out of making people fat, then admonishing them that they should be thin! Look at all the spin off industries raking it in ….let’s see, the weight and diet loss industries, gyms and personal trainers, health food shops, ghastly tv programmes feeding people with humiliation and heartache. Loads and loads of money being collected by fat corporations, selling us the impossible dream…having stuffed up our metabolism so that nothing works, we are now hooked, line and sinker. They have a gawping market ready for the next wonder diet. I will never watch programmes like TBL…and I am gobsmacked that anyone would want to take part . But then, the truth is that bullies rule, and they are very clever in their methods, and often operate by appearing to be kind. It’s all about power in the end, and has nothing to with so called “will power” which often leads to failure……and it all rolls on……

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Elle

    It’s not just on TV that people who are plus size are humiliated. Yesterday I went to Westfield Bondi Junction to look and buy clothes. Depending on label brand etc. I am a size 18 to 20. I have been losing weight (hence the need for clothes) but until I get to my ideal weight there is nothing – and I mean NOTHING at Bondi Junction for my size. Not one clothes shop stocks anything for me. Nothing in Myer, a pathetic four to five racks at DJ’s and that’s absolutely it.

    I have money to spend but it’s staying in my purse – how much are retailers missing out and how much are they discriminating because some people don’t fit their “image”?

    So back on line I go. At least Macys understands.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Maureen P.

    I cannot think of one single reason I would watch any of these abysmal ‘reality’ shows, so I don’t…ever. I also can’t understand why people do, unless they know someone who’s a contestant.
    Why do you watch them, Kerri, let alone allow your family to watch?
    No-one watching=no ratings=no show.

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Kerri Sackville

      Maureen P – I DON’T watch. I thought I made that clear from the bottom line of my piece! I’m sorry if it was unclear. I have read about the show and (unfortunately) seen countless ads. TBL is banned in my house. I think it should be banned in every house.

      • Reply March 18, 2013

        Maureen P.

        I re-read your piece, Kerri. A ‘glimpse’ was mentioned of what I now presume to be a trailer for the show, you mentioned stopping your family watching and you wrote so authoritatively on the subject, I assumed you knew of what you wrote.

        The entire phenomena is a mystery to me!

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    di

    Well that cetainly opened a can of worms :))

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Louise

    Everyone is forgetting that people choose to be part of the show. And it’s not the first one ever so people know what they are getting themselves into.
    Maybe it is an opportunity to change their lives and they want to take it. Of course, it is reality tv but there can be good outcomes for the contestants. Better than doing nothing and they also work on their self-esteem. Which for this group of people is lacking.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Beth

    Some of you might be interested in reading some scientific findings on weight and health. It might surprise you. Here is a recent article: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/345802#ixzz2NrWh3aMG

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Maureen P.

      Thanks for that link, Beth. It was really interesting and makes so much sense!

    • Reply March 18, 2013

      Marilyn

      thanks for the link to this article, Beth. Ties in with my observations also.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Heather

    I wonder if Channel 10 understands the irony of scheduling the Biggest Loser to be the warm up act to the finale of Master Chef: The Professionals with all its rich, calorific food? Not that they care about irony, just getting people to sit passively watching both shows to the advantage of the advertisers.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Carolyn

    Help! My computer won’t allow me to click on the petition link!!! Any suggestions?

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Miss Lucille

    Nice article Kerri. No doubt Mamamia wouldn’t let you put it up seeing as they are advertising the show and now promising to provide ‘catch ups’ that will of course be written up as funny and entertaining. A bit warped. I agree with your writing – you have managed to articulate what I was feeling about the show – I didn’t like the premise at all, just couldn’t clearly say why. Good job!

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Carli L.

    I haven’t been able to watch this show since the revelation that was Ajay Rochester’s tell all.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    KB

    It is horrific and cruel and unethical in the extreme. There are no positives for the participants or viewers and all are losers. The winners are the producers, trainers and other such vultures who create misery and shame via bullying for profit. I won’t and don’t watch and have signed the petition and am happily sharing it.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    CJ

    Truth. Every word. My television will not be on channel ten in my home until TBL is over. Because I don’t want my kids to see this fat shaming horror. And I don’t need to see it and have it trigger me into unhealthy eating patterns.

    Kerri Sackville – every word here is truth. Thankyou.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Splash

    I was morbidly obese. I lost 48kg using the principles Michelle Bridges uses on the show. I have kept the weight off for 18 months so far and I lead a very healthy & active lifestyle.
    I like the show and seeing the contentants achieve things they never thought possible.
    It’s very hard, as an obese person, to get your mindset into “healthy & active” mode. The trainers have the skills to get into your mind, as without the right mindset, losing weight is useless as you will just put it back on.
    So, unlike most of you, I believe the contestants are in good hands.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    sue Bell

    Elle, go on line and check out the TS stores, great clothes for the larger size, they make you feel great and they only use larger really happy models in their catalogues. Better still as a 16-18 normal size I am a small to medium in their clothes. Their sizes never alter so you can buy from the catalogue.
    All their clothes are mix and match so a few pieces build up a great wardrobe.
    Enjoy shopping

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    CountryKaz

    Thanks for saying it, Kerri.
    Despite walking a hilly route 50 minutes every morning, and doing my best to eat well, I am overweight. I’m struggling to lose the weight I gained during two pregnancies, and then a messy separation. But despite what the scales say, I am relatively healthy (they’re big hills I walk up each day!), I have two great kids, a fulfilling career and a good social life.
    This demeaning of fat people does no one any good at all. I wish it would stop.
    Signing the petition now.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Carolyn

    I agree with the article and the majority of the comments. I’would also like to add that I’m sick of seeing the trainers especially Michelle and Tiffany, in barely any clothes. I’ve seen your abs and biceps now put them away. I prefer the US show of Biggest Loser and I much prefer the trainers Gillian and Bob, who wear normal clothes like long sleeve shirts, jumpers, jeans when they’re not in the gym.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Ann

    I have watched some of the earlier shows of the TBL and truthfully did not see bullying from the trainers – saw lot’s of encouragement. These people chose to go on this show maybe finances has not allowed them to see professionals about the issues they obviously have, and this is chance for them to do something about the weight with professional trainers. I agree some of the things they are made to do like pulling cars to me is silly and I really have no idea why they do. As to weighing in their undies well trakkie daks and voluminous t shirts won’t hide the fat wobbly bits so we know they are fat, they know they are fat so really what’s the difference? As to all the posts about the shame and demeaning of people – don’t get it. They are fat they want to lose weight and they would be well aware of what would be involved in going on a reality show, I think all you concerned folk out there are the ones that want the fatties hidden and off the TV. As to Biggest Losers out there bravo to you to having the guts to do something about it and nottminding that others are following your progress on TV – I wish you every success with all my heart

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Kerry

    How appalling, people who have never had issues with weight trying to tell those of us who have,how to loose weight .
    Thank goodness for the open minded who believe it is ok to be heathly and not be focused on numbers !!!

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Seana Smith

    It really concerns me that the contenstants lose weight so fast, it just can’t be healthy at all.. must damage their metabolisms surely. So not a public service… it’s commercial TV, made to fill in the space between the adverts. Sorry, but true.

    I’ve had some really useful therapy to help deal with ongoing eating issues, always amazes me that people don’t talk about this more, or do it more. It can help a lot….

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Rhoda

    Beats me why anyone would watch it. It’s like being at the colosseum and watching lions eat Christians.

    I’ve signed the petition – thanks Kerri.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Suzy

    There is no way I would watch this show, the promos make me furious. How dare they use kids in pain for entertainment? The parents are just as irresponsible for thinking this was a method of ‘helping their child’. Public humiliation likes this is child abuse!

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Kathleen

    I won’t be watching TBL. I know it’s damaging nonsense which gives people false ideas about how to lose weight.

    I started out at the end of January being 110 kilos. I was told bluntly by my doctor that I needed to lose weight. I’ve lost ten kilos so far. The formula is fairly simple, I get up and exercise for half an hour at the gym five times a week, I don’t eat any sugar or all that many carbs. I have an awesome PT who is a font of wisdom. I lose about a kilo and a half a week.

    When I watch TBL all I see is extremist nonsense that gives people the idea that they can lose the weight quickly with practices they can’t replicate in their own life. The practices they indulge in on that show are likely to give someone a heart attack if they try them without support.

    I really wish they would follow someone with a camera who is following a safe weight loss path. (not me) It would take about a year and it would give people hope that they can institute sensible changes in their own lives.

    • Reply March 19, 2013

      kris2040

      Kathleen, you say you don’t need to do anything extreme, but say you don’t eat sugar and carbs? That IS extreme.

      The contestants on TBL are doing the same thing – limiting calorie intake and upping their calorie output. It’s not rocket surgery.

      So why is it OK for you lose weight (a kilo a week is considered pretty high, too) but not them?

      • Reply March 19, 2013

        Rhoda

        Weight loss is about addiction. Convenience foods/takeaways/lollies/cake/chips/soft drink are addictive. They’re full of either salt, sugar or fat. Quite often it’s all three. These are addictive substances. As addictive as nicotine or alcohol or any other drug.

        Easy enough for me to say I know but there’s no need to exercise yourself into a sweat or spend thousands on weight loss programs. That’s all a nonsense. Get mobile, visit an art gallery, take a picnic to a national park, join a community gardening group – do stuff you enjoy that has you up on your feet. It’s a beautiful world, get out and enjoy it.

      • Reply March 19, 2013

        Kathleen

        Kris, my sister is a nutritionist and she recommended the diet, as did my personal trainer. Too many carbs make it very difficult to lose weight. I’m still eating healthily but I changed what I eat. I’m also not doing five hours of exercise a day, I’m doing half an hour a morning. The bottom line is as regards food is you have a choice whether you want to keep eating chocolate or you want your weight in control.

        Kris, I did watch the show a couple of years back, and those contestants were losing five and eight kilos a week. That’s unsustainable.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Benison O'Reilly

    Go Kerri!

    Staggered by the number of comments supporting this appalling show. The people who believe TBL is promoting healthy weight loss must still believe in the tooth fairy. Regardless of whether people voluntarily sign up for it, it’s still exploitative. Voyeurism plain and simple.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Highcar

    I used to watch tbl with a mixture of horror and fascination. Now I have a five year old daughter I will not allow even the ads to be watched. I totally agree it’s filth. Seen through the eyes of a child there’s nothing redeeming about it.

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Tignasse

    Like, like like…….
    Spare a thought for the contestants who are so desperate to loose weight that they are willing to subject themselves to such public humiliation. To me this amounts to abuse by the producers of the show. (BTW as a weight ‘struggler’ of many years I am interested in weight loss experiences, but have never watched this program as I find even the ads for it repulsive)

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    gardnerm

    I dislike the show, but something everyone has failed to recognize is, they are there by their own free will and I am assuming there is probably two or three hundred thousand dollars to win

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    Mez

    Here’s my two cents.

    One thing I have realised from wasting my time reading most comments here is…
    You see what you want to see based on your own experiences.

    I absolutely love seeing Michelle’s muscles on TV! It shows me what is possible. I went from Fatty to Abs & Biceps so it really IS possible to look and feel awesome with Mish’s help :) I lost over 45kg in 9 months and kept it off for 2 years so far. I gained the confidence to conquer whatever I want. It is an awesome feeling and I finally love who i am.
    http://www.12WBT.com

    Keep posting all your negative comments and signing petitions. You are not realising it is a weight loss game show with prize money and benefits you will never understand unless you experience it yourself.

    I’m outta here and off to the gym! Woohoo!!!

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    The Rabbi

    Why did YOU publish photo to make your point? Isn’t this exploitation AND possibly without permission – did those two women GIVE their permission for their image to be published in this format? Don’t get me wrong I agree with article – but you need to be squeaky clean also if you are calling others to account.

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    Cate

    Have worked on this show for years and seen a lot of lives transformed. Sometimes it needs a public shaming/commitment to get people with eating disorders to confront the reality of their lifetime habits. Unless you have been throught the same, you are not fit to judge. Part of the motivation is that it’s a game show. That is the entertainment aspect. None of the contestants are unaware as to what they will be going through as the show is not new. What some don’t realise is that the trainers commitment often doesn’t finish at the finish of e show. I commend all the contestants for their bravery. If it makes you squeamish, switch off.

    Your article by the way is not altruistic at all. It’s a sensationalist entertainment device designed to score maximum readership and make you money. So in that way YOU are exploiting the unfortunate people on Biggest Loser. If you though about it at all, which I’m sure you have, you would realise that your argument is just to gain readers and comments. Not as brave as the BL contestants as you sit behind your laptop judging. Shame.

    • Reply March 19, 2013

      Maureen P.

      Thanks Cate. I thought your point of view on both aspects (the show and the possible reasons Kerri wrote her piece) was well- made and important for this forum. I still will still not be watching the show, but I’m not signing any petitions to have it banned as there are more important issues which carry more weight with me. (Pun absolutely intended!)

      Good on you, Mez. You took responsibility for your body and it’s working for you, so Mia was right, stop blaming everyone else for how you look, do something about it!

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    Mia

    oh c’mon ppl, lets blame everyone but ourselves for being fat. Yes, i said it.. FAT. I dont agree with the show and don’t watch it, (I’d rather have a life instead). I dont believe that exercising a lot will lead to any benefits in weight loss. It is all about what you eat not how much you exercise. Go and do some reading (yes, do that instead of watching stupid shows on tv) about paleo diet or LCHF. If you eat sugar + starch and in general lots of carbs (as probably most of ppl on this show) you will gain weight. Simple. Eat fat and protein and you will loose weight. Sugar (carbs) make you fat.(OMG I know, right?!) And don’t think calories in calories out as this is BS too. Eat paleo, weight will GO! Full stop.

    • Reply March 20, 2013

      Charm

      Mia, you’re right for a lot of people. I’ve been paleo/primal for two years, very strict and still gaining weight. I’m obese. .I was veggie before that and obese then too. I switched to paleo because as veggie I had no energy. I have health conditions that are preventing weight loss.

      Unfortunately, the common ‘lore’ of eat well and exercise and weight loss will follow isn’t true for everyone. It’s not true for me. No take away, no sugar, all home cooked, healthy meals and I weight 100kg. Some of the ignorant comments I’ve read here about weight gain mostly just makes me want to cry.

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    speccygirl

    Signed the petition under my real name.
    I’m also paleo/primal and after years of struggling with overweight (due to some ongoing health issues and bad eating habits) – finally starting to see some results. Still got a way to go but getting there :) My partner is also seeing good results as well.
    Being obese is very unpleasant and I am very glad to be losing weight and looking and feeling better. Not trying to live up to society’s image – I just want to be healthy! Not have to go on medication as I get older, etc etc…
    I think the contestants are brave – but getting people to pull a plane??? and surrounding them in the last series in a locked room (probably hungry) with sausage rolls and pies??? A slim friend told me that she said “but isn’t that just like real life” and I said “absolutely not!”
    No -one is judging the contestants – we are angry with the programme makers though….
    I really hope all the best for the contestants and that they achieve the weight loss they desire (sustained, realistic and healthy).
    However, treating them like a freakshow is not the answer – it’s just degrading entertainment masked as health education.

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    speccygirl

    thanks Beth and holly for the interesting links as well – certainly fascinating and thought provoking reading all the comments on this opinion piece – all the best to everyone discussing this :)

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    Megan

    Hear hear. It’s a disgraceful show that does nothing for anyone who genuinely may need to lose weight. I must say though, I’m a little disappointed you chose to put up a photo of the contestants in their underwear…wasn’t really necessary to make the point was it?

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    MrsMac

    Couldnt agree more – What a horrible Society we have become when watching people’s struggle with thier weight and health has become a spectator sport. I encourage anyone trying to achieve/maintain a healthy body weight but this type of program is disgraceful. Putting children in the mix can potentially set them up for a life time of fragile self esteem. Take it off and stop pretending its helping – its just a cheap grab for ratings.

  • [...] debate about body image, body shaming, health, bullying, obesity and other important issues. I read this piece on The Hoopla (and the comments) with great interest.  There’s other great pieces floating about the inter [...]

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    Kate

    I have thought about this and still don’t know where I sit with The Biggest Loser. I don’t agree with the temptation challenges or the underwear weigh ins. However I can understand why these people do it and why they will continue to have people apply for the show. If I had the opportunity to be in a place for 3 months and do nothing but focus on losing weight I would do it. Even if that meant getting on TV in my undies. I have tried and failed to lose weight over the last few years. I have done everything. Even the 12WBT. Nothing works unless you get your mindset right. No one can understand what it’s like to be obese unless you have been obese yourself. No one understands the constant cycle of feeling bad about being fat, eating to feel better and then feeling bad about being fat. It sounds stupid to those who don’t have a problem. It seems easy to fix to those who don’t have a problem. I would love to go to a gym and be screamed at by one of those trainers to keep going, keep fighting, because in the real world I quit every time I try, I give up on bad days and buy chocolate or McDonalds. I would love to have my food restricted so I couldn’t go and eat whenever I had a shit day. I really wouldn’t care if I was exploited and degraded because at the end of it, I would be skinny. I would be normal. If I was getting one of those trainers to help me I would do anything.

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    Kate

    It’s kind of grating on me that all these comments are about the poor contestants being shamed in public. It doesn’t just happen on TV you know, it happens everyday, in the real world overweight people are shamed by the public, they are ignored or sneered at or abused, or called names, they are passed over for jobs, they are ignored at the school drop off and soccer training. I have been told once to “hurry up fatty” in front of my children. THAT is degrading and humiliating and that is not helping me lose weight.

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    MrsMac

    Kate, it makes me sad to hear people say things like that to you. The person we are is on the “inside” – whatever weight the “packaging” comes in. I am so sorry that you have been subjected to name calling etc .. the people who do that sort of thing are the ugly ones in our society. Ugly comes in all body shapes and skinny doesnt make you a better person, it just makes you “skinny”. If you are a big lady, perhaps its because you just have a bigger heart.

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    Sally and

    I am a 12wbt challenge participant, and yes Michelle does charge $200 for the 12 week plan, but it is helping. I have an exercise plan developed and an eating plan prepared that I follow. I have lost several Kilos and am fitter and healthier than I have ever been.

    They are not weighing in in their underwear, they are in a crop top and shorts, which is more suitable that you would see on shows like Bondi Rescue – where they also yell at people and use foul language.

    This country is in the middle of a fat crisis, something has to be done and if this is what it takes to fix the problem how can that be bad.

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    Melinda

    I’ve never heard a trainer on the show tell any of the contestants that they are not worthy of anything. It’s usually quite the opposite and the trainers are trying to convince the contestants that they ARE worthy of being healthy and living longer and that they ARE worthy of being loved. I’ve heard far more degrading stories of people being shamed in public – being refused service in shops, being told in shops that they don’t have any items in their size, being yelled out and abused by morons in passing cars while out exercising. It’s just a TV show – if you don’t like it, change the flippin channel

  • Reply March 19, 2013

    helen b

    No-one can be shamed by someone else, unless they are already carrying shame. And it is common to us all.

    I feel many of people are horrified at this program because it is confronting of the rawness of human emotion and the human condition.

    Read/ listen to Bene Brown:
    “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.”
    ― Brené Brown

    Dr. Brown uses her own experiences to illustrate how common shame is and how it contributes to our anxiety and unhappiness.

    Hear Bene speak about: ‘Listening to Shame’:
    Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psN1DORYYV0

    • Reply March 19, 2013

      Maureen P.

      Thanks for the link to Brene Brown, helen b. I’d never heard of her, but was inspired by her honesty and vunerability when followed the link..
      As a young mother, with baggage from an unhappy family background, I read a book by Robin Skinner and John Cleese called Surviving Families (or something similar). Robin Skinner, who was Cleese’s psychiatrist, stated that as a parent you only have to be good enough.That’s all…just good enough. I cannot describe to you how freeing that concept was! So to hear those words, decades later from Brene Brown as almost a mantra -”I am good enough”, reminded me of my vulnerability then and the person those words enabled me to become. Not perfect, no, but wholehearted and good enough.

  • Reply March 20, 2013

    Elle

    Oh FFS on what planet will an online petition take a TV show off air? It’s all about ratings. People watch the show & products place their advertising according to demographics & budget.
    An online petition is about as useful as an open letter.

  • Reply March 20, 2013

    dramaqueen75

    It’s taken me a few days to comment on this piece by Kerrie. I like Kerrie’s writing and have a lot of respect for her. I have also read the comments and most people seem to agree.
    I felt I needed the courage to “go against the grain” and say that I don’t see The Biggest Loser in the same way as most of you here do.
    Let me state from the beginning that I am not a reality TV type- Master Chef leaves me cold, the ads for the nasty so and so’s on My Kitchen Rules make me despair for the future of human civility, I don’t watch The Voice or (shudder) Australia’s Got Talent.
    However, I religiously tune in to The Biggest Loser. I love watching these people transform. They almost all start out depressed, unmotivated people who blame their weight for everything that is not going well in their lives. They have given up on themselves, on relationships and often on society.
    About half way through the series you can see a dramatic change in most – they feel good about themselves, they wish to embrace life again, they understand that their weight was a symptom of their unhappiness – that they have to change their beliefs about themselves and their worth from the inside out.

    OK, I know that much of this is probably engineered by the directors and editors, however, I find it fascinating and positive. I am not a fan of the competitive side of the “game’, I loathe the temptation challenges. I would love it if the concept of the program involved no eliminations at all and everyone got to stay to the end to learn about health and nutrition.

    I like to think there are kids watching the program with their parents who encourage the family to eat better and be more active after learning how from the show.

    Yes, the overt cross promotion of products and personal sponsorship of the trainers is grating but I suppose that is the reality of commercial television.

    So, please don’t bite my head off here everyone but I enjoy the show, I think it facilitates change and health awareness not just for many of the participants but for viewers as well. It has it’s flaws – many of them – but in the main I think it does a lot of good.

  • Reply March 20, 2013

    helen b

    Thanks for your courage Dramaqueen75! You really covered everything I wanted to say, but just felt it was too overwhelming to put the case for these people who are endeavouring to change their lives.

    I’ve participated in a few courses of ‘change process’ over the years. One friend asked me ‘who on earth would do a course like that?’ to which I responded, ‘people who are desperate to change their lives for the better’.

    I started watching TBL about 4 years ago when I took myself into a healing process which kept me confined and in great pain. TBL gave me great courage and inspiration to keep going on this process. Reminded me of the development courses in which I’d participated. I have been returning to life since July last year.

    When we’re dealing with an extreme challenge in our lives, it takes enormous courage, strength and perseverance to break through the barriers to our growth. The participants have displayed this courage and determination and shown a willingness to take the extreme step of ‘coming out’ of the closet of shame around their weight and how this has created barriers to fulfilment in their lives.

    The perceived ‘humiliation’ is a huge step forwards as it defuses the false pride ‘I’m okay. I’m happy.’ that we all put up, When we take ourselves through an experience of confronting our worst fears, our false pride, our shame, we have the chance to truly love and accept ourselves with compassion and forgiveness.

    Let’s not kid ourselves about money. We live in a capitalist economy. Everyone needs money. Yes, the TV company makes money out of this show as it does out of everything on commercial TV. I’d rather they be helping people who want to change their lives than spewing out those celebrity commentators who haven’t done the hard yards in their own lives.

    I want to thank all those participants in TBL who have helped me keep going. I was doing it with you! No, I don’t have a weight problem at all. It’s not about weight. It’s about accepting and loving yourself. Just listen to the trainers. They all say the same thing. They are far more insightful than is given credit to them.

    I won’t sign a petition that would attempt to block people’s access to a service that will help them change their lives.
    People are entitled to freedom to choose and I feel it is an arrogant assumption to believe we have the right to lobby for changes to this based on our sensibilities about money, exploitation and our uncomfortable feelings about shame. I can only say ‘look to yourselves’ and your own lives. How willing are you to change and are you prepared to do ‘whatever it takes’.

    Thankyou dramaqueen75 for giving me the courage and strength to write these words.

  • Reply March 20, 2013

    Rose

    Motivation can be found in many places, good luck to you if you can find it from TBL. Dramaqueen75 you make valid points but if you looked past your TV screen you might be able to find real life inspiration which will carry far more value in relation to health. Are they continued inspiration when they are in magazines crying because they gained it all back? no, but we can all relate, perhaps that allows us feel better about failing because the reality star did too….
    If TBL could provide accurate statistical data about changing lives and continuously doing so then I may be able to get on board, until then it purely $$$ and brainwashing people to believe they are not good enough if they are obese.

  • Reply March 20, 2013

    finnola

    “Biggest Loser sheds more than 200,000 on second night

    19 March, 2013 ”

    Well that gives a bit of hope that it’s format might not be appealing.
    The concept is right… it is encouraging to watch programs that are positive about health. But it misses something. For me , it is the audience. Having an audience watch you in underwear designed to make you look as bad as possible,reminds me of the old Roman arena – crowds enjoying he fate of others – I almost expect a general thumbs down if the weight’s not off enough.
    Then the reveal – well, it’s all the same now for ratings, finished backyards, houses, cakes, people. ( oh hang on – is that ethical? Using people? )

  • Reply March 20, 2013

    PaulineB

    Signed and passed on. Have only seen one promo for this which disgusted me so much (poor young girl being pushed by Bridges until she vomited). I’ve always felt that the people (contestants?) involved in this show are pushed to unrealistic goals – not what we want our daughters and granddaughters to see.

  • Reply March 20, 2013

    Charm

    Kerri, this is a great piece. I do not understand what being in your underwear has to do with being weighed. Same clothes each week is the gauge. I wrote above that I’ve been paleo/primal for two years, very strict and still gaining weight. I’m obese. .I was veggie before that and obese then too. I switched to paleo because as veggie I had no energy. I have health conditions that are preventing weight loss.
    Unfortunately, the common ‘lore’ of eat well and exercise and weight loss will follow isn’t true for everyone. It’s not true for me. No take away, no sugar, all home cooked, healthy meals and I weight 100kg. Some of the ignorant comments I’ve read here about weight gain mostly just makes me want to cry. (this is a repeat of what was written above). I simply wanted to add, I could easily be a contenstant on BL. I’m big enough. But the shame I feel by association is enough for me to stay away from even watching it. There is a belief rampant that fat means unhealthy eating and no exercise. I do neither. Like i said, at 100kg, mostly I want to cry. Instead, I’m getting up now to cook my chicken and green veg for dinner.

    That’s a fat person’s diet folks.

  • Reply March 21, 2013

    Elaine

    .

  • Reply March 22, 2013

    PJ

    I love the number of people who say they have never watched the show and yet agree with the srticle that says how terrible it is… how do you know if you havent watched it? Also since when are workout shorts and crop tops underwear? If they are then there are an awful lot of people at the gym, or running around the streets in their underwear. People forget that the people on the biggest loser APPLY to be on the show, and for everyone that makes it onto the program there are loads more who are disappointed that they didn’t get on. I do agree with your point that a 15 year old can’t legally give consent, but I think most 15 year olds know what they do and don’t want to do and it’s pretty tough to get them to do something they hate. Yes the show is about ratings. It’s a TV show. Every TV show aims for ratings in order to pull in sponsorship $$. That’s what TV shows do. I don’t thinnk any viewer in their right mind think’s that the results are achievable by the average person on the outside in a week. As for saying that the people involved with the show don’t care about obesitiy… well the online programs run by the show as well as 2 other (separate) online (and affordable) programs run by 2 of the trainers which have seen sensible and sustained results achieved by thousands of people world wide might indicate otherwise. Sure they get paid for those (but what personal trainer/ nutritionist etc doesnt get paid for their services?) but they aren’t used for ratings etc and do a lot of good for anyone who wants to improve their health and fitness. Note that no one is forced to participate in either TBL or any of the online programs. As for the shaming… well whether or not they have been shamed is a matter of personal opinion. Personally I admire the contestants more than think there is anything shameful about them, but perhaps your own views about overweight people or reality tv show contestants leads you to believe they are being “shamed”. Also I do believe that the contestants do receive support – both medical and psychological during TBL process. Obviously it’s not going to be to everyone’s tastes, but if you’re going to trash something it would read a lot better if you used facts instead of just inflammatory language

  • Reply March 22, 2013

    SpankyHam

    Lol, of course she would write this article, she is guaranteed to be a hit with at least 60% of the population, cus thats how many are overweight and they of course think its fine to be an estimated $60 billion a yeah blight on the country. Not to mention the eyes .

  • Reply March 23, 2013

    Tim

    What a load of garbage. How else do you expect obese people to lose weight. It’s called hard work and discipline. Which is what these trainers are trying to teach them. Yes its’s tough, yes they will struggle but in the end it’s worth it. It may be a TV show but I bet the contestants wont be complaining at the end.

    They are put through a tough training regime. But the contestants are desperate to lose weight, and are willing to put in the effort to do so, even if it means initial humiliation in front of the entire country.

    Good on them, at least they’re willing to give it a go unlike the rest of the overweight population who are blaming it on everyone else but themselves.

    Seriously, do you think nice words of encouragement are going to convince these people to lose weight?

    Its not that hard. Burn more than you eat. You WILL lose weight. No more excuses.

  • Reply March 23, 2013

    Rhoda

    Charm, I heard you. I know there are many people like yourself with medical conditions that cause their obesity.

    The problem is that most of us think, and that obviously includes some if not most of the medical fraternity, that it is self-inflicted. This to me is the crux of the problem. Self-inflicted means do whatever it takes to fix it.

    And this is so patently wrong and distressing for those who know better.

    The weight loss industry should be put out of business. Obesity is not something that can be fixed by going on a diet or exercising until the sweat pours out of you. Ridiculous to suppose it can. Proven that it can’t be fixed in this way or otherwise why so many diets, why so many weight-loss companies. As if they know and as if they care.

    There’s a good article by Peter G Kopelman on Obesity as a Medical Problem. You’ll have to google it because I don’t think I can put up the link. It’s an Insight review article.

    My kindest wishes to anyone who suffers this problem.

  • Reply March 23, 2013

    Rhoda

    Charm, I heard you. I know there are many people like yourself with medical conditions that cause their obesity.

    The problem is that most of us think, and that obviously includes some if not most of the medical fraternity, that it is self-inflicted. This to me is the crux of the problem. Self-inflicted means do whatever it takes to fix it.

    And this is so patently wrong and distressing for those who know better.

    The weight loss industry should be put out of business. Obesity is not something that can be fixed by going on a diet or exercising until the sweat pours out of you. Ridiculous to suppose it can. Proven that it can’t be fixed in this way or otherwise why so many diets, why so many weight-loss companies. As if they know and as if they care.

    There’s a good article by Peter G Kopelman on Obesity as a Medical Problem. You’ll have to google it because I don’t think I can put up the link. It’s an Insight review article.

    Lots of hugs and my kindest wishes to anyone who suffers this problem.

  • Reply March 25, 2013

    lisa

    If you do not like the show change the channel – simple really, applaud the contestants for their bravery and wanting to change their lives. That child was already being bullied at school and is going to be a great role model for other teenagers to not give up and believe in themselves.

  • Reply March 26, 2013

    Kaz

    I don’t agree, Kerry. I don’t see what’s so terrible about the Biggest Loser. No one forced them to be on the show, and no one forces you to watch it.

    I don’t see them as being shamed for being fat. Perhaps the people on the show feel out of control and unhappy to be addicted to food and they are trying to do something about it. I suspect its desperation after years of failed efforts that has led them to take part.

    The few times I’ve seen TBL i have felt nothing but empathy: I relate to why they would want to do this. I wish them well. Kerry, maybe its you who needs to “lighten up”?

  • Reply March 26, 2013

    Rhoda

    It’s not that people are addicted to food. They are addicted to the additives – sugar, fat and salt.

    The food corporations are as culpable as the tobacco companies.

  • Reply March 26, 2013

    Carmen Neutral

    I do not watch the show. Even preview snippets are unbearable. It exploits the contestants, under the guise of being “educational”. Also, while the program provides a showcase for its super-fit, telegenic “personal trainers” to parade their wares – it promotes a lack of respect for those whose bodies don’t reflect societal “norms”.

    • Reply April 1, 2013

      Wendy

      Just yesterday I was speaking with a couple of Victorian Secondary School teachers. They are using this years Biggest Loser program to teach secondary school students the basics of nutrition, health etc. They are not using it as a poor example, and take the program quite seriously, as one that tackles health/weight issues effectively.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Finnola

    The show is extremely vulgar. What sad human beings are those who get ‘inspired’ by ‘watching’ something so violent and stupid.
    A trough full of water – tipped over them if they fail – how is that something glorious and uplifiting to watch.
    This is for the lowest of the low to ‘watch’. Get up and get out and do something decent instead of ‘watching’ and justifying yourself that you are inspired.

  • [...] Sackville in this article over at The Hooplar raves about how the contestants are weighed in their underwear “because [...]

  • Reply May 6, 2013

    V.A

    Firstly i have been studying health & fitness now for 4 years & would like to point out that the contestants on the show are better off there than what they are at home. Let me explain. The contestants before going onto the show all had unhealthy habits with eating and getting physical exercise into their lifestyle, not only are they all extremely overweight due to this but they have put their health in jeopardy and created a lazy and negative mentally towards life. All of us who are criticising this show for “fat-shaming” are forgetting one thing, these contestants wanted to be apart of the show, they knew what there were signing up for before applying, they want to be on this show under their own free will. Obviously they are unable to change their health habits at home and are becoming desperate for a reform so to them this may seem like the only successful option, and i don’t know about the rest of you but when i watch this show & see them work out and lose weight i feel proud of each & every one of them and never laugh at them or feel the need to point out all the bad things about their body. I feel like the majority of people commenting about this show have no clue about nutrition & fitness nor the mentality of an obese person.

  • […] Fat Shaming Rage […]

Leave a Reply