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

Highlights of the March 11 Public Health Council Meeting posted on Mar 11

The first item on the docket was a request for approval of the Public Health Council for the Commissioner to address the public health issue of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. The Council voted to approve this request. On a related note, the Council delegated the Department’s authority   …Continue Reading Highlights of the March 11 Public Health Council Meeting

Every Sexual Assault Patient Deserves the Best Possible Care posted on Feb 25

Every Sexual Assault Patient Deserves the Best Possible Care

In Massachusetts, 1 in 4 women, and 1 in 6 men experience sexual violence in their lives according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.   They will go on to require medical and emotional care and specialized services that go far beyond what   …Continue Reading Every Sexual Assault Patient Deserves the Best Possible Care

Highlights of the February 12th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Feb 12

The February monthly meeting of the Public Health Council included an informational update from Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, the consideration of a single Determination of Need (DoN) request, a vote on final regulations, and an informational presentation by staff in the DPH Communications Office.   …Continue Reading Highlights of the February 12th Public Health Council Meeting