Opinion: My Problem with The Biggest Loser

I spent quite some time in Germany these past weeks and it was the time when the new season of The Biggest Loser started. Since I was in a funk with my weight loss, I decided to watch the episodes that have aired online and hoped that it will help me to get back on track and focus on myself and my weight loss.

While watching about 5 episodes in the span of a few days I came to some realizations and opinions I thought I would share on this blog. I would love to hear how you feel about the show.

Focus is not really on Weight Loss

One thing I noticed throughout the show is that it’s main focus is on the competitive aspect rather than the Weight Loss. The majority of the air time is contributed to the weigh in (about 50%) and various challenges/ competitions the teams ´have to do throughout the week. Occasionally you can see a workout, but also there the focus is on creating entertaining content rather than showing the actual exercises etc.

No Real Educational Benefit

This one ties directly into the previous point. Since the show’s focus is on entertaining the audience by creating drama and competition, I couldn’t see any educational benefit for the audience. Other shows focus more on things like exercising and nutrition and actually make it a point to educate the audience while still being entertaining.

With a show like The Biggest Loser that has a massive following and audience I generally expect that the show assumes some responsibility for its content and should try to educate the audience and inspiring them.

Creates Unrealistic Expectations

This is probably my biggest issue with the show: it creates unrealistic expectations about weight loss. Generally, a 1-2 lb loss a week is considered healthy, but watching this show people quickly can get the impression that such numbers are not desirable and anything below 10 lb is not acceptable. The audience might forget that candidates on the show work out several hours a day (something that cannot be sustained in a normal day-to-day life) and form unrealistic expectations about their own weight loss. The reaction of candidates on the show that do not loose the amount they have hoped for further facilitates this.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion the show can be a great way to inspire people to start their own weight loss journey, but generally I believe there are better shows out there that educate the audience while inspiring it.


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