We recently suggested many problems with the hit show “The Biggest Loser.” It uses dangerous techniques and has unrealistic and unhealthy weight loss goals. It debases and makes a spectacle of its participants.

Now, an article in the Huffington Post points out more problems with the show:

A danger of the show is that its hype reinforces two myths that continue to undermine the chances we have at successfully overcoming and preventing obesity in America. The first is that success should be measured by the amount and speed of weight lost and the second is that willpower is all that is necessary to succeed….

Studies have shown losing five to 10 percent of total body weight can have a tremendous impact on the risk for serious chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. For a 200-pound person, that translates into a weight loss of 10 to 20 pounds. This might seem small, but it is achievable and sustainable in the long-term.

Additionally, studies have found that people who enter weight loss programs expecting to see a huge weight loss tend to drop out sooner, lose less weight overall, and have a harder time maintaining weight loss . Those who were more focused on health benefits tended to have better success and longer maintenance.

Be the tortoise, not the hare!  Start to walk every day; get a weight-loss buddy; triple your vegetable intake.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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