Reality Weight Loss Shows - Should They Be Banned?
The aspect about reality weight loss shows that pull them into controversy is the drama associated with weight loss. The dangers of reality weight loss shows are more than those obvious to viewers. And ironically for drama one needs to show stuff that is not necessary part of real life.
Weight as in indicator of one’s physical fitness levels has long changed. With the advent of measures such as BMI (Body Mass Index) and body fat percentage, health professionals don’t rely too heavily on weight as an indicator of health anymore. It is only a little more relevant than height or skin complexion in determining fitness levels. This also is founded in the fact that the body weight of a person is known to vary up to 2-3 Kgs in a span of 24 hours depending on whether weighed before or after meals, exercise sessions, bowel movements etc. For women this range is larger when spread across a month and that the precise weight at any given point in time is also a function of where they are in their menstrual cycle. Furthermore, it is a well known fact now that even people on the heavier side, especially those whose body pre-disposition is such, can still lead a very healthy life by remaining active i.e. following a regular exercise regimen and eating right. This allows them to maintain their weight if not turn skinny and more importantly prevent visceral fat deposition i.e. fat deposited around internal organs which pose much bigger a health threat than fat getting stored under your skin making you look plump.
Such findings have not deterred reality weight loss show producers from cashing in on obese people obsessed about their appearance and body image. They drive the point that maximizing weight loss and minimizing the time span for that weight loss is good for you as you can win in some TV show where you are pitted against a stranger who also has bought into the gimmick. The audience gets roped in as well by ads that sell them weight loss products during the commercial breaks.
We need to wake up and smell the low self-esteem. There is no way one would enter such a contest if they didn’t have low self-esteem. Excessive weight loss in a short time-span is squarely the symptom of innumerable diseases. How can this be made into a competition? But they are not so much off the mark when you see the measures the participants resort to in order to weigh less during the weigh-ins. It really does smell of disease. Extreme fasting routines, dehydration, over doing exercise to the level that might cause one to be hospitalized. How real are these “reality shows” after all? Or is this even what we want reality to be?
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