Enough of the ads already Biggest Loser!

Tonight on Australian TV I’ve seen at least five ads for The Biggest Loser. Not for their tv show, but for their weight loss website and weight loss products. Enough! Add onto that the Jenny Craig (for men, mind you), Weight Watchers and other crap that they are pushing towards me and I just want to scream.

Do they have any idea who they are talking to? Oh right, they do.

There are millions of people out there in Australia who are insecure about their bodies. This number comes from the fact that most people I know have some insecurities about their body. Even I do. I just don’t run to the nearest weight loss product advertised and spend up big on something that won’t work.

Others do. Which is why they put this crap on air to start with.

What I would love to see is a program that discussed healthy eating. Not “You have to stop eating to lose weight, fatty.” What I’m talking about is information on the foods that are nourishing. What is there out there that I haven’t tried before? Show me different ways of making different things with the foods I already cook with.

If the risotto requires copious amounts of butter and oil, that’s fine. Butter and oil is nourishing just as much as fruit and vegetables are. I wouldn’t eat a block of butter in a day, but that’s because I could think of nothing worse to try and do. Not because I’ve got some devil mask wearing health freak going “oooh obesity epidemic” telling me what to do.

Don’t make people feel shame for being who they are. Let them eat as they please. Educate them on healthy, nourishing food and show them all the different things that are out there to eat.

Food is neither good or bad. It is food. It’s not about weight loss. It’s about eating in a way that makes you feel good on the inside and look good on the outside. That’s possible at 60kg and it’s possible at 160kg.

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  • Cleric at Large

    You have just made me feel very good about our choice to upgrade to DVR (Canadian for TiVo). Zipping right past the ads lets me almost forget about the Annual Festival of Body Shame.

  • Melissa Maples

    In America, after several seasons of TBL, they're starting to get the backlash – previous contestants are now coming out saying how while they were “wonderfully” losing all that weight, they were also peeing blood, passing out on a regular basis, and so forth… and they were encouraged by the producers of the show to suck it up and quit being such a baby about it.

    One of the guys who actually “won” the competition has, of course, now gained all the weight back (you don't hear them advertising THAT, do you), and he says he feels about ten times better than he did when they told him he was at a “healthy” weight.

  • twmpyn

    It would make sense- there are some UK shows that have come close, but they're only on the cable food/lifestyle channels. There's a thought- an accepting at any size lifestyle channel, I can dream.

    It always happens at this time of year to cash in on people's new year resolutions. Jenny Craig is the most frustrating- last year it was Madga wanting to lose the weight, this year she's crying because she doesn't have to make that resolution any more, emotionally manipulative of the emotionally vulnerable.

  • Frances

    I saw one of the old Biggest Loser contestants in Sydney recently. I think he finished in the top 5 of his year. From what I saw, he's gained all the weight back again.

    I watch cooking shows. They're my secret pleasure. I absolutely loved The Cook and the Chef, anything that Jamie Oliver does (though he does harp on about obesity, his recipes are brilliant and so simple), Luke Nguyen's Vietnam, Food Safari… The reason I love cooking shows so much is that they show a love and a respect of food. I love being shown new ingredients, how to prepare different cuts of meat, what flavours go together etc. I just love 'em. Maybe they're what you're looking for?

  • Elizabeth89

    I can just about understand why you'd want to educate people about healthy eating. I can see why you'd want to encourage people to be active – mainly because of the endorphin rush. What I can't understand is why it's always phrased in terms of weight. I just don't understand “The Biggest Loser” at all. It just takes all the joy out of life. When I read and hear what the weight loss brigade say about what it takes to maintain a “healthy” weight, I just want to start guzzling fat rather than live like that.

  • fatadelic

    One of my partner's friends was a executive producer at ABC and has now switched to a commercial network. And under her umbrella? The Aussie version of Biggest Loser. I'm not personally friendly with her, but I am trying to do some activism there. Somehow, though, I really don't think it's going to make an impact.

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