Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Biggest losers

I was watching the "biggest loser" on TV yesterday and it got me thinking about how we treat obese people in general.

First though a quick bit of science.....

Like most people I used to think that weight gain was solely due to excess food (calorie) intake and therefore the obese were simply too greedy and "deserved" to be that big (to my shame). Unfortunately, the majority of the public, the obese included, are still under the delusion that eating less is just a matter of willpower and that "big people" are just weak willed.

However, I am now certain of the fact that if people are obese then there is a serious metabolic disorder going on, meaning that the body cannot access the stored body fat, and therefore essential energy, meaning the only source of fuel they have is their food intake. The bigger someone is then the higher the metabolic need of the body is and therefore the higher their calorific need.

In other words, the obese body has extreme difficulty making its own fuel from its own stores and, despite the outward appearance of corpulence, is in fact starving inside.

To put it simply :-
people are not fat because they eat more, but in fact they eat more because they are fat.

Interesting stuff eh?

OK. Back to my opening gambit about "The biggest loser". My biggest gripe about this show is that it makes it appear that the only way a person can lose weight if obese is to be put through weeks of hell, deprivation and prison camp treatment. It doesn't treat these guys with any respect and in fact they are treated as weak willed and emotionally crippled fatties. They are still people for gods sake! Not only that but when discussing with them why they got fat in the first place, the "instructors" blame the contestants for giving up on themselves, saying they "were not strong enough" and they should be ashamed for "letting themselves go".

I think there have been so many success stories of people losing fat, but in a dignified, relaxed and natural way, but because they go against the grain of normal nutritional thinking, they are not known.

I think that the weight lost by the contestants in the show could be replicated by addressing the nutritional disorders they have, without the boot camp fitness, and then measuring the results.

Hmmmm. A show called " the biggest winner" perhaps?


  1. I have been watching the UK show since it has started and I couldn't agree more with you. They way the contestants are treated reminds me of my workplace ( I work in a school!;). There is too much negativity going on there and it is rather sad.

    If you have time look up the biggest loser australia 2009. I watched all the episodes and the way they created the show was much more humane and interesting.

    I watch it for the entertainment value but not for getting any fitness or nutritional info because they suck big time. If we took on board what the so called experts recommend we would have to completely go back to low fat, tons of exercise etc. and to be honest, that seems more a prison sentence than a healthy lifestyle to me.

  2. people are not fat because they eat more, but in fact they eat more because they are fat.

    Andy, I believe something a bit different....

    Poor Food Quality = Obesity

    One other point...if you look at the poorest cities in the US, you will also find the highest obesity rates.

    Cheap food is loaded with crap (carbs, fats, and sugar)

    just my 2 cents

  3. I do agree with Marianne the australia one is much better, I like to see the transformations but get frustrated seeing how hard they have to work in exercise and limiting themselves so much in terms of dietary fat!

  4. Actually smoke, I agree with you,
    that poor food quality= obesity. The poor quality of the food causes the metabolic disorders and therefore obesity. People then need to eat more of the same food to get satisfied