Support the news
Weight loss lessons from the TV show “The Biggest Loser”. A study of the show's contestants reveals why it’s so hard to keep off the weight we lose.
With guest host Jane Clayson.
It takes a lot of courage to step on the scale on The Biggest Loser TV show. Sean Algier dropped 155 pounds after grueling training regimen. And then, gained it all back and a little more. Don’t blame donuts. It’s his metabolism that’s done him in. We’ll unpack the physiology and psychology of weight loss. Later in the hour, we'll take a deep dive into American food culture with the author of Devoured. This hour On Point: Weighing weight loss.
Gina Kolata, science and medicine reporter at the New York Times. Author of Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss and the Myths and Realities of Dieting. (@ginakolata)
Sean Algaier, contestant on Season 8 of "The Biggest Loser." He lost 155 lbs on the show. Pastor at the Providence Road Church of Christ in Charlotte, North Carolina. (@seanalgaier)
Kevin Hall, senior investigator for the National Institute of Health, who specializes in the study of metabolism and obesity. Lead researcher on the new “Biggest Loser” study.
From The Reading List
After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight — Researchers knew that just about anyone who deliberately loses weight — even if they start at a normal weight or even underweight — will have a slower metabolism when the diet ends. So they were not surprised to see that “The Biggest Loser” contestants had slow metabolisms when the show ended. What shocked the researchers was what happened next: As the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestants’ metabolisms did not recover. They became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight. (New York Times)
Will obesity reverse the life-span gains made over decades of health triumphs? — "Translation: no pills, no widely available procedures and no life-prolonging improvements in medical care or public health measures are likely to be able to compensate for the life-shortening effects of obesity that are now coming home to roost." (Los Angeles Times)
A widely held belief about childhood obesity that simply isn’t true — "Despite a widespread belief, tied at least in part to the 2014 CDC report, that childhood obesity is trending downward, it argues that the opposite is true: Childhood obesity might not be growing quite as fast as it used to, but it's still growing. The progress among 2- to 5-year-olds, the study argues, is overstated." (Washington Post)
This program aired on May 3, 2016.
Support the news