Ok, it may not be the most ridiculous, but this one is definitely a contender. It’s well known that most people can lose weight on most diets in the short term, and almost everyone gains it back long-term. In fact there is no study where more than a tiny fraction of people are able to maintain weight loss long-term. The diet industry, and shows like The Biggest Loser, have long taken advantage of this fact to tout their ability to “transform” people, ignoring the fact that those people “transform” right back within a few years, often “transforming” into a bigger body than the one they started with. ABC’s “My Diet is Better Than Yours,” will take this fraud to the next level. Here’s what they say about the show:
“My Diet Is Better Than Yours” is the first weight loss competition show to put its experts to the test. Hosted by fitness mogul Shaun T (creator of the workout phenomenon “Insanity”), “My Diet Is Better Than Yours” features celebrity trainers Carolyn Barnes, Jovanka Ciares, Jay Cardiello, Dawn Jackson Blatner and Abel James, who will change the lives of five ordinary Americans with their unique diet and exercise plans. In an interesting twist, the competitors hold the power of elimination and the trainers and their plans can be sent packing if their teams do not feel that they are hitting their fitness goals. Throughout the journey, contestants will be presented specific milestone fitness challenges, designed by celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser, that will test their progress along the way while learning tips and tricks to help them achieve their long-term weight loss goals, all while helping America decide who’s diet is better than who’s.
Right. Now let’s translate this into reality:
“My Diet Is Better Than Yours” is yet another weight loss competition show to promote so-called experts who are either legitimately deluded about weight loss or just willing to take advantage of fat people for money. Shaun T will host this piece of crap show in which people who sell fad diets will set up five ordinary Americans for another ride on the diet roller coaster with their most likely ineffectual diet plans. In a move that is best done on the first day, moments before quitting the show, competitors will be allowed to fire their trainers.
The competitors will be put on display in a way reminiscent of a Roman Colosseum for the entertainment of the masses. They will be given tips and tricks that supposedly will help them achieve their long-term weight loss goals but in reality will have absolutely no basis in evidence, and will be no help. That doesn’t matter as long as they successfully set up the contestants, to blame themselves when, almost inevitably, they gain the weight back. Because the cameras will stop before the contestants gain their weight back, people will be fooled into doing these fad diets and buying the products from the celebrity trainers who will each be issued their “Fat Person Whisperer” club membership and jacket.
Not horrified already? One of the diets highlighted will be The “cLEAN Momma Plan,” which “promotes burning calories through performing different household chores” and includes something called Taskercises (“Pillow Plump and Pump” – I wish I were kidding, but this is real and even my alliteration addiction can’t make it ok) adding a delightful side of outdated gender expectations to unrealistic weight loss promises.
We don’t yet know if, like The Biggest Loser before it, this show will simply become an ode to the physical and emotional abuse of fat people for sport, but regardless it exploits America’s negative attitudes about fat people, conflation of body size with health (you’ll notice there are never shows about thin people adopting healthy habits,) and incredibly stubborn ignorance about the realities of weight loss. And you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I won’t be tuning in.
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