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Keep Kids Off The Biggest Loser
  • Petitioned THE BIGGEST LOSER

This petition was delivered to:

Executive Producer
Dave Broome
Executive Producer
JD Roth
Executive Producer
Todd A. Nelson
Executive Producer
Mark Koops
Medical Expert for the Kids
Joanne Dolgoff, MD

Keep Kids Off The Biggest Loser

    1. Ragen Chastain
    2. Petition by

      Ragen Chastain

      Los Angeles, CA

Boycott The Biggest Loser Until They Take the Kids Off The Show!

UPDATE:  The show is airing - in the first half hour of the first episode several constestants had fallen of the treadmill, one was vomiting, and another needed paramedics, all the whille their trainers shrieked at them to continue.  This is no place for children, these are not role models for children.

Let's up the stakes - sign the petition and Boycott the Biggest Loser.  In his blog, Weighty Matters, (http://tinyurl.com/aqz9mew) Dr. Yoni Freedhoff has also suggested a boycott of their sponsors as well including Quaker Oats, Brita water filters, Wrigley's Extra gum, Yoplait yogurt. Subway, Jennie-O meats. Bodymedia (they make FIT exercise trackers), Cybex exercise equipment, Planet Fitness, Weight Watchers, Sprint, Ford 

Here's the original information:

Season 14 of sensationalistic reality show "The Biggest Loser" wants to include children for the first time. We need to stand up for kids and say no.

Based on current plans the kids, two 13-year-olds and a 16-year-old, will be partially participating in the show by being "mentored."  Apparently they won’t be eligible for prize money, and they won’t participate in weigh ins. But that will likely be cold comfort considering the brutal nature of the program in which they will be participating. "The Biggest Loser" program has been described by a former contestant as a “dehumanization process…where they start teaching you that because you are overweight you are sub-human.” In an interview with Golda Poretsky of bodylovewellness.com, a former contestant describes the conditions into which they are now planning to place children:

“There was a registered dietician that was supposed to be helping as well…but every time she tried to give us advice…the crew or production would step in and tell us that we were not to listen to anybody except our trainers. “

“The doctor had taken our blood and tested us and sent us a solution…when the trainers found out we were taking it, they told us under no certain terms were we to be taking that, because it would make us retain water and gain weight on the scale and we’d have to go home. The doctors had ordered us to take it and the trainers were like, ‘throw it out, right now.’ There was this interference between the people who were actually probably trying to get us healthy from the people who wanted a good television show.“

"The Biggest Loser" is not a camp where people go to get healthy. It is a reality show where people risk their health and their very lives in a 21st-century coliseum. They are routinely verbally and emotionally abused in an attempt to win money by making their bodies as small as possible as fast as possible. If adults want to do that it’s their choice, but do we really want that for our kids? Do we want children to see this as the type of behavior they should model?

Besides which, there’s no proof that this will be good for the kids anyway. Studies clearly show that the techniques used by the show produce ratings-friendly short term weight loss but long-term weight regain in most people. When it comes to kids, research from the University of Minnesota found that “none of the behaviors being used by adolescents (in 1999) for weight-control purposes predicted weight loss[in 2006]…Of greater concern were the negative outcomes associated with dieting and the use of unhealthful weight-control behaviors, including significant weight gain.” Also of great concern is the fact that hospitalizations for eating disorders in kids under 12 are up 119% in the last decade. Kids UNDER 12. Shows like "The Biggest Loser" hardly demonstrate a healthy or balanced approach to either eating or exercise.

"The Biggest Loser" wants to put children on a show under the direction of trainers who insist that contestants ignore the advice of dieticians and doctors while screaming supportive words of encouragement like “I’M BORED WITH YOUR PATHETIC STORY!” and “GET ON THE F*CKING TREADMILL” in their faces.

Healthy habits are good for kids of all sizes, and humiliation is bad for kids of all sizes, and if we want to help kids develop a lifelong love of heatlhy habits, we can do way better than this. Sign this petition and tell "The Biggest Loser" that we will not allow them to profit from the bullying and stigmatization of fat kids.

Jeanette DePatie and Ragen Chastain, co-founders of the Fit Fatties Forum www.FitFatties.com

You can also check out Golda Poretsky’s post that inspired this petition http://www.bodylovewellness.com/2012/12/10/the-biggest-loser-is-coming-for-your-kids-stopbiggestloser/

and join the Twitter campaign #stopbiggestloser

Read the full interview with Golda Poretsky and former Biggest Loser contestant Kai Hibbard at http://www.bodylovewellness.com/2010/06/09/kai-hibbard-biggest-loser-finalist-part-1-of-3/


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 4,000 signatures
    2. Yale Researcher Expresses Concerns About The Biggest Loser and Kids

      Ragen Chastain
      Petition Organizer

      Yale researcher Rebecca Puhl writes "While the premise of the show (to promote significant weight loss among its contestants) is clearly apparent, the show has come under criticism from health experts for the methods and rate in which weight loss is achieved, the artificial environment created on the show which cannot be realistically replicated for the vast majority of Americans to want to lose weight, as well as the overly simplistic message communicated by the show that significant weight loss can be achieved through discipline and willpower. ...it appears that the show may be reinforcing weight-based stereotypes toward obese individuals and may not be particularly motivational for encouraging exercise behaviors...I hope that researchers will continue to pay attention to this and study the true impact of the show – especially on America’s youth who are watching." http://blogs.medscape.com/sizableissues

      rebecca puhl (Sizable Issues Blog), Public Health, Connecticut on Medscape

      To date, one of the most popular reality television shows in America is The Biggest Loser. While the premise of the show (to promote significant weight loss among its contestants) is clearly apparent, the show has come under criticism from health experts for the methods and rate in which weight loss is achieved, the artificial environment created on the show which cannot be realistically replicated for the vast majority of Americans to want to lose weight, as well as the overly simplistic message communicate...

    3. Reached 1,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Sara Javanparast AUSTRALIA
      • 5 months ago

      The show just aims to take advantage of people's emotion who are already suffering from obesity and the stigma associated with it. They use a victim blaming approach and try to justify that obesity in individuals are due to their own problem and lack of control over thei health and eating behavior. It is a disgusting TV show

    • Nora Gayer MCLEAN, VA
      • 6 months ago

      I care about kids.

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 7 months ago

      Do images of superthin supermodels play a role in eating disorders?

      Eating disorders are responsible for the highest number of deaths from psychiatric illness. The Eating Disorders Association estimates that about 165,000 people in the UK have eating disorders with 10% dying as a result, but experts believe it could be higher. Most sufferers are women, but one in 10 are now men.

      The most common eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia and compulsive over-eating. But other disorders exist. For example, some people severely restrict the range of food they eat or several children have a psychological fear of food.

      Anorexia, which involves depriving the body of food, is more common in young people. Children as young as three have been treated for it.

      Bulimia, characterised by a cycle of starving and bingeing, is more likely in adults.

      The emphasis on super-thin models has been blamed for the increase in eating disorders.

      Experts say that these can have an effect on how people perceive themselves, but the causes of eating disorders are usually more complex and are linked to general feelings of self-worth.

      Anorexia nervosa

      Around 5% of young girls in the UK are estimated to have anorexia nervosa. Boys and children from ethnic minorities are much less likely to be affected.

      The condition results in death in 20% of cases after 20 years of onset of the illness.

      Only around 60% of anorexics recover. The illness is also one of the most controversial areas in mental health.

      Psychiatrists have singled out several characteristics which they say are typical of anorexics.

      These include: a dominant, over-protective and critical mother and a passive or withdrawn father and a tendency to perfectionism, a strong desire for social approval and a need for order and control.

      However, many of these characteristics have been the subject of dispute.

      The media and its emphasis on super-thin models is also blamed by some for influencing the way people, particularly girls, see themselves and making them believe looks are all-important.

      Feminists argue that it is not the images in themselves which are harmful, but the fact that women still derive much of their sense of self-worth from whether they please men.

      Anorexia nervosa is a form of intentional self-starvation. What may begin as a normal diet is carried to extremes, with many reducing their intake to an absolute minimum. It is also characterised by obsessive behaviour. The majority of anorexics deny they have a problem.

      Lack of food deprives the body of protein and prevents the normal metabolism of fat. The effects of this can include:

      an irregular heart beat caused by a change in the heart muscle. This can lead to heart failure and death.

      ceasing of menstruation

      dehydration, kidney stones and kidney failure

      the growth of fine downy body hair, called lanugo, on the face and arms

      wasting away of muscles, leading to weakness

      constipation or bowel irritation

      osteoporosis caused by lack of calcium.

      Symptoms of anorexia

      Symptoms of anorexia range from extreme weight loss for no discernable medical reason; ritualistic food habits, such as excessive chewing; denying hunger and exercising excessively to choosing low calorie food and hiding feelings. A person with anorexia may be excessively thin but still see themselves as overweight.

      The average age for onset of the illness is thought to be 16, although the age range of anorexia is between 10 and 40. Around 90% of cases are female. Most have no history of being overweight.

      Treatment for anorexia

      Over 25% of anorexics are so weak that they require hospitalisation. This may involve force feeding as well as advice on healthy eating and counselling.

      Many doctors believe that once a person's bodyweight has fallen below a certain level, they are no longer capable of making rational decisions.

      There has been wide-ranging debate over whether anorexics should be force-fed or whether they have the right to literally starve themselves to death.

      In 1997, guidance was offered to doctors, telling them that they can force feed anorexics over the age of 18 under the Mental Health Act 1983. The anorexic must be shown to be incapable of making rational decisions about their condition.

      Other forms of treatment range from group therapy, family counselling and psychotherapy to antidepressants.

      Around one third of patients recover fully; another third improve significantly and the last third do not recover.

      Bulimia nervosa

      Bulimia is thought to be two to three times more common than anorexia, but is not generally as physically dangerous.

      However, excessive use of laxatives and self-induced vomiting can cause rupture of the oesophagus, mineral deficiency and dehydration, which can have serious effects on health.

      Bulimia was only officially recognised in the 1970s and is characterised by a cycle of bingeing and starving.

      Many bulimics seem fine, but experts say that, under the surface, they often feel worthless.

      Bulimics may have irregular periods or stop having periods at all because of excessive use of laxatives and vomiting.

      Using laxatives can also cause kidney and bowel problems and stomach disorders.

      Laxatives do not cause people to lose weight, but remove water and essential minerals, such as potassium, from the body, giving the appearance of weight loss.

      Excessive vomiting can cause tooth decay, bad breath, mouth ulcers, sore throats and stomach disorders and may have serious long-term health implications.

      Some experts believe bulimia is the result of an imbalance of chemicals to the brain, but others think the illness is more likely to be linked to a lack of self-worth.

      It is thought that up to half of anorexics also suffer from bulimia and some 40% of bulimics are reported to have a history of anorexia.

      Sufferers tend to be older than anorexics, take a longer time to recover and are more likely ot commit suicide.

      Treatment for bulimia includes the use of drugs such as antidepressants, counselling which examines the cause of bulimic behaviour and behavioural modification, including education about healthy eating.

      Power Control and obedience

      In her book Unbearable Weight, Susan Bordo (1993) makes the argument that the fear of women's fat is actually a fear of women's power. Thus, as women gain power in society, their bodies dwindle and suffer. She states that "female hunger--for public power, for independence, for sexual gratification-- [must] be contained, and the public space that women be allowed to take up be circumscribed, limited... On the body of the anorexic woman such rules are grimly and deeply etched" (Bordo, 171).

      Naomi Wolf (1991) has a similar explanation of the origin of eating disorders in her bestseller The Beauty Myth. She states: "a cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession.

      Topless feminists from the feminist group Femen protested against use of the anorexic models outside the Versace fashion show in Milan in 2012. Topless feminists tried to enter into Versace Fall-winter 2012-2013 show during the Milan Womenswear Fashion Week having a handwritten slogan such as ‘Fashion = Fascism’ and ‘Anorexia’ illegible

      across their bare bodies. But Italian police prevented them from entering the Versace fashion show.

      Allegra, the daughter of Donatella Versace and successor to the fashion throne battling anorexia for years.Femen group battling against sex tourists, international marriage agencies, sexism and other social, national and international ills.

      Feminists have claimed that 150,000 women DIE each year because of anorexia.

      Feminists have identified women’s bodies as the locus of patriarchal control and power, for example in the medicalisation of reproduction and reproductive rights, physical and sexual abuse, in the sexualisation of the female body and the ‘beauty’ standards which women strive to achieve. Discuss how this process of objectification of the body may or may not work to weaken the position of women in society (Robin Grace).

      Another problem is that the illness causes a huge shift in the way in which we perceive the size and shape of our bodies, meaning that the little bit of weightloss is never, ever enough – those thighs are always too chubby, the stomach too rotund, the arms too wobbly and the cheekbones invisible, hidden beneath a cushion of podgy fat. You engage in a behaviour to control the way you looks – and in the case of plastic surgery, although people do get addicted and spend thousands on repeated procedures (many suffering from the same Body Dysmorphia as Anorexia and Bulimia sufferers), there is at least a degree of control and safety. There are protocols, rules and restraints, there are people to make the changes to you, for you, to look after you and make sure that everything goes perfectly. Eating Disorders are solitary – your actions, your choices, your illness and nobody interferes with that. In terms of dramatically changing ones appearance, being Anorexic or Bulimic – risking health and even life to alter the shape of the human body – would come close to extreme surgery only if the person were to perform the surgery themselves.

    • Judy Terrill HOLIDAY, FL
      • 7 months ago

      I am opposed to bullying.

    • Ben Weiser SOMERVILLE, MA
      • 8 months ago

      Children are supposed to grow, not shrink. Are we mental?


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