documentary series "Keeping It Off", which was on
Life Networks, showcased six people who were to attempt to
continue to lose weight through changing their lifestyles.
one of the six persons gained more fat over the six months
they were followed. Prior to this six month period, each of
them lost some weight in another six month lose-fat regimen
show called, "Taking It Off". In the sequel Keeping
It Off, people were "documented" living in denial
and participating in totally stupid exercise and diet regimens
in an attempt to lose fat. As usual, people initially lose
some weight on ridiculous crash diets and goofy exercise programs,
only to gain the weight back because the diet and exercise
they engaged in was not sustainable.
show Taking it off is another prime example of stupidity.
In this show, overweight out of shape people are "tested"
via a two kilometer running test. After a battery of other
tests such as body composition and weight, the contestants
begin ridiculous diet and exercise programs.
fact, no legitimate trainer or doctor would ever believe that
an all out two kilometer run is a safe or even relevant initial
fitness assessment. In one show, a contestant collapsed during
the running test, requiring medical attention. How could this
happen? Turns out the man has a heart condition. Hmm, so how
does a man with a heart condition get cleared to perform an
all out two kilometer running test? Were these people examined
by a physician before participating?
"documentary" actually received a Gemini Award.
I guess showing the reality of a stupid production is worth
in the NBC show, "The Biggest Loser", Keeping It
Off, and Taking It Off, ridicule people during weigh in and
girth measurements by lining them up like cattle in front
of a scale.
the second season of Taking It Off, contestants had their
fitness "tested" by measuring how far they could
swim in 10 minutes. Again this is a nonstandard totally irrelevant
test of a persons fitness. In fact, it is well known that
swimming is so technique dominant that a fit person who is
a poor swimmer will not be able to swim quickly despite their
person may have an increase in fitness that is not revealed
by a swim performance comparison test. If the persons swimming
technique has not improved, fitness gains made outside the
pool will not be accurately reflected in a swim test.
contestant developed a leg cramp during the swim test. Another
was terrified of the water. Hello? What fool would use a swimming
test on a person who is terrified of the water? These shows
are all about sensationalizing emotional extremes and peoples
personal pain. They are not about what it takes to get healthy
and fit. One man was completely exhausted at the end of the
swim and the trainer remarked, "everything is OK, his
heart rate is just a little high". Ugh huh, I didn't
see the trainer measure the mans heart rate, nor did I see
a heart rate monitor worn by the man. The fact is, if you
have an obese person painfully gasping for air, there certainly
is something to worry about. The man should not have been
pushed to this limit in the first place.
the entire show, clinically obese people are always cracking
jokes at their weight and what it may take to get fit and
lean. Aside from sparse 20 second fitness tips, there is no
serious effort to educate either the participants or the viewer
on what changing to healthy living or losing weight really
have been asked by people what I think of these "reality"
fitness shows, and I tell them exactly what I have written
here. They are almost always surprised, as they perceived
that the shows accurately depicted what a real weight loss
program entails, which they do not. Weight loss scams have
now made a bridge from books and supplement retailers to TV
"reality shows", and non are worth paying attention
2005 Rhino Fitness/ Cris LaBossiere