The Biggest Loser, NBC's cash cow "reality" hit that teaches grown-ass men and women to hate the fat away, is now allowing teens on the show. I think their new tagline is, "Because adults shouldn't be the only one running on treadmills until they puke." There's no better way to get children on the fast track to eating disorder central (The Biggest Losers' specialty!) than by teaching them that their still growing bodies are wrong. Because, you know, being a teenager is so easy to begin with.
According to The Clicker, "In addition to the usual assortment of grownups looking for a way to change their lives, this time, three teens — ages 13 to 16 —will join the game. But unlike the adults, the teens won't participate in weigh-ins and they won't be subjected to elimination."
I guess that part is good, reserving the public weigh-in humiliations for adults seems like a decent move. Well, not a decent move overall, the whole show is a fucking terrible idea, but a decent move because can you even begin to imagine being weighed on national television as a teenager? That's straight from nightmares, and I mean that quite literally.
Golda Poretsky of Body Love Wellness, breaks down why the show is particularly dangerous for kids:
Despite what you've heard about the epic dangers of the childhood obesity epidemic, there is no epidemic (obesity rates have leveled out over the last 10 years). There is no evidence to the claim that children will no longer outlive their parents. In fact, life expectancy continues to increase.
Just like with adults, every attempt to make fat kids thin has failed in the long run. All that dieting does is set these kids up for a lifetime of weight cycling, poor self esteem, and potential negative impacts to their cardiovascular and metabolic health. And it teaches them the sad reality that acceptance from adults means changing their bodies by drastic and dangerous means.
Plus, as I mentioned above, the show legitimates fat bullying, and now it's looking to further legitimate fat kid bullying.
What fat kids really need is unconditional love, respect, appreciation, safe places to play and nutritious food. Just like thin kids. Just like all kids.
If we want to tackle nutrition in this country, that's one thing, but it's painfully obvious that we don't really want that. If we did, we'd be have better school nutrition programs, fewer subsidies of garbage crops, and outreach that focused on health above weight. It's hard work, and something that requires a lot more effort than yelling at fatties to eat less and exercise more.
The Biggest Loser is nothing more than a circus sideshow — a bit of television escapism that's easy to swallow but is actually poison. Please, please, please don't want this bullshit, it pollutes your brain and your soul — puking you out the other side as a more judgmental, hateful person.
Instead, turn off the TV and do something — literally anything — else. You can take a long, delicious walk, eat a slice of decadent double fudge cake, have some freaky sex, clip your hang nails, read to your cat, whatever. Every single one of those things is better for your health than watching that piece of shit garbage show.
The Biggest Loser Is Coming For Your Kids #stopbiggestloser [Body Love Wellness]