When The Biggest Loser is back with new episodes, I avoid the TV like it has the plague. I've never watched an entire episode of the reality show, which is currently casting for its 17th season. I don't own any products connected with the television show or its personalities. That's because I do not like The Biggest Loser. Not even one bit.
My reason is very simple: The Biggest Loser is not helpful. It's hurtful and humiliating for the contestants and for everyone who is struggling with their weight.
The reality show, which started in 2004, purports to help morbidly obese individuals lose weight in a dramatic way. You've probably seen images of the winners as they stand up in front of their fellow contestants and weigh in. (It reminds me of the way you weigh livestock at an auction. They act like these people aren't humans, I've thought to myself.)
In the years since the competition began, the show has become a multimillion-dollar brand, producing myriad weight loss-related products from protein powders to exercise DVDs. It's a business now, not just a show, and it's successful. Very successful.
But to what end? Last year,