The New York Post:
Following a controversial study that claims to explain why almost all “Biggest Loser” contestants regain massive amounts of weight, numerous ex-Losers reached out to The Post to dispute its findings — exclusively revealing that the show encouraged contestants to take street drugs while starving themselves and to lie about how much weight they were losing.
The federally funded study, conducted by Dr. Kevin Hall at the National Institutes of Health and published two weeks ago, says changing metabolic rates, hormone levels, and genetic predispositions explain post-show weight gain.
What’s missing, former Losers tell The Post, is any examination of the show’s secret and brutal tactics, which include providing illicit drugs to contestants and submitting them to questionable medical exams by the show’s resident doctor, Rob Huizenga, known as “Dr. H.”
Huizenga collaborated with Hall on the NIH’s study.
“People were passing out in Dr. H’s office at the finale weigh-in,” says Season 2’s Suzanne Mendonca. “On my season, five people had to be rushed to the hospital. He knew exactly what we were doing and never tried to stop it.”
I think it is well established that I hate all reality shows.
However there are a few which really earn my disgust, and this is one of them.
As a former personal trainer I know exactly how hard it is to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
And the fantasy offered by this program was potentially quite damaging to the viewers.
Anybody who thinks they can spend a couple of weeks or months changing their diet and working hard at the gym and that it will make a long term impact on their physique is buying into the snake oil sold by the producers of this program.
Yes exercise and dietary changes DO help trim the fat and build muscle, but it ALWAYS happens incrementally and only has a lasting effect if it is maintained after the initial weight loss.
I am not at all surprised that the show used some form of stimulant and starvation tactics to get the contestants to lose weight.
Not am I surprised to learn that there were long term side effects.
What I am surprised about is that this show is even still on the air.