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/