Post Content

Kara Ghiringhelli,

Posted by:
Kara Ghiringhelli, Department of Public Health 

 

Kara is a Nutrition Education Specialist at DPH.

With the coming of spring, everyone around me seems to be on a mission to lose the winter pounds they gained between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. It’s everywhere: on the subway, I see ads for gym memberships, on TV I see commercials for Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, and in magazines, I see articles about “losing the weight for good,” or “the bikini diet.” Nowhere is this sentiment more apparent than on NBC’s popular reality TV show, the ‘Biggest Loser’. While I am a ‘Biggest Loser’ viewer, I have conflicting feelings about the show.

On the one hand the show promotes healthy eating and physical activity as essential strategies for achieving weight loss. It is an inspiring show for many viewers, especially for those who have a large amount of weight to lose. Throughout each episode, the show motivates viewers to make better food choices and get off the couch to move more. In addition, the show sheds light on how obesity and its many associated health conditions (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, etc) are affecting our population.

On the other hand, I feel that the show gives viewers unrealistic expectations about weight loss. I have seen weigh-ins on the show where contestants are devastated to have lost ‘only’ 7 pounds in one week, when in reality, a recommend healthy rate of weight loss is between 1-2 pounds per week. On the show contestants live in an isolated environment absent of food temptations. Their full-time job is to lose weight, with no other obligations. They use a private gym and have daily personal training sessions. How realistic is this? If each of us had an opportunity to be in such an environment, I’m sure we would all be fit and trim.

Are you a ‘Biggest Loser’ fan? If so, what are your feelings about the show’s messages? Do they inspire you? We’d love to hear from you!

Recent Posts

Weekly Flu Report, May 20, 2016 posted on May 20

Rates of flu-like illness continued to decline over the past seven days, according the latest weekly flu report. The report can be viewed here.

Snacking Made Easy… But Is It Too Easy? posted on May 16

Snacking Made Easy… But Is It Too Easy?

By: Rachel Colchamiro and Louisa Paine My kids haven’t been toddlers in many years, but I am lucky to have a few nieces and nephews to enjoy watching go through that stage all over again.  As a nutritionist, I probably pay more attention to food   …Continue Reading Snacking Made Easy… But Is It Too Easy?

EPHT Community Profiles: An Environmental Health Snapshot of Your Community posted on May 16

EPHT Community Profiles: An Environmental Health Snapshot of Your Community

Welcome to the world of Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) created as part of a national effort by The Centers for Disease Control to make environmental and health data more readily available to the public.   The Massachusetts EPHT program is happy to announce the release   …Continue Reading EPHT Community Profiles: An Environmental Health Snapshot of Your Community