People ask me about The Biggest Loser all the time, but I don’t watch very much TV. Last nite I watched the biggest loser TV show for the first time ever (also the last), just so I can discuss this in the future having actually watched it.

Now I see why this show is so popular – it sells with emotions and human interest stories; a real tear jerker. Not to mention the reality-TV style, which is the format well-known to get folks hooked to their TV sets.
Amidst all the praise from fans on blogs and forums today and over the past seasons, I’m curious about why no one is talking about the contestants who were sent to the hospital.
For the contestant’s first workout (they called it a “challenge”), the group was instructed to take a 1 mile run down the beach. It was NOT a go at your own pace type of thing (ie, “finish in 15 minutes or 1 hour 15 minutes, doesn’t matter”). No, it was a RACE with a prize for the winner (“immunity” from round 1 elimination).
The contestants are all morbidly obese, weighing up to 460 pounds and 57% body fat. A few were over 400 pounds.
Two were sent to the hospital. One of them collapsed just short of the finish line, at first looking dehydrated and fatigued and then progressing into looking seriously ill, incoherent and unconscious. She was flown by medivac chopper to the hospital.
The show’s/trainer’s general sentiment about the inability to run a mile and subsequent hospitalization: “See how out of shape and sick all of you are?”
This show appears well-choreographed and pre-recorded so the producers are obviously showing us what they want us to see to maximize ratings and entertainment value. I won’t be surprised if the hospitalized contestant makes a triumphant return in the next episode. (But I wonder what happens that we don’t see in the final cut).
I would begin editorializing, but frankly, I am speechless, at the moment. So how about you just leave your comments – I am immensely curious about what you think about this.
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