Fitness in Pop Culture: The Biggest Loser

There seems to be a surge of research each year that shows the astronomical numbers for obesity in America. As someone who is reading this blog in particular, you know these numbers and how if someone would like to lose weight–it is not something that just happens over night. Losing weight not only takes work, but it is altogether a change of lifestyle.


In 2004, NBC launched “The Biggest Loser”, a reality television show that centers around overweight contestants who fight for a cash prize by losing the most weight. Whoever loses the most not only gains the title of the “biggest loser” but also wins $250,000.

With a prize this high, the contestants do not have it easy, they have to go through many hurdles including challenges, temptations, weigh-ins and eliminations until the final contestant remains to claim the title.

The contestants live on a secluded ranch for 12 weeks (with their own gym that 24 Hour Fitness built), two trainers (Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels), and a supportive group of people in their fellow “losers” to help them lose the weight. After they have reached the 12 week period, three contestants go to the finale, which is after they have been in the “real world” with no trainers and no designated schedule for three months.


Erik Chopin, Winner of Season Three of "The Biggest Loser" source:

There are skeptics to the way the contestants lose weight being applicable to the real world because the contestants work out for four to six hours everyday. But the show’s point is simple: diet and exercise alone (without extra supplements or surgeries) can/will lead to dramatic weight loss.

Trainer Bob: “This isn’t just a reality television show. This is about eight people’s lives and about our lives too.”

Although this show does have a good message and has valuable information for the viewers such as diet and exercise tips, it is still a reality show and they have to bring the drama. For example, in last night episode (week nine), there were seven contestants left when they threw the curve ball that there would be two separate contestants leaving instead of the usual one. The first person that would go home is the one that had the lowest percentage of weight loss compared to everyone else, and the second would be voted off.

During the commercials,  Bob Harper provides trainer tips to help viewers make small changes in their lives that might help them lose weight. For example: many people forget to monitor their caloric intake in beverages, one way to do so is to not drink them. There are 2.5 servings of in this 20 oz. bottle of juice, that means it contains 20 to 30 grams of sugar per serving which is more than a can of soda. Although this is something small that you can do in your life, it is a small step that can help people become part of the lifestyle.

The contestants who went home last night were Daniel Wright and Shay Sorrells.


Shay has lost 152 lbs since start of Biggest Loser

With a starting weight of 476 pounds, Shay was the heaviest contestant ever on the show. “I lost 100 pounds in nine weeks…I won my life back,” says Sorrells on Jay Leno last night in the video below. “The last time I was this weight was when I was a sophomore in high school.”

[clearspring_widget title=”The Latest Biggest Loser Castoffs” wid=”4727a250e66f9723″ pid=”4afb8381515189f3″ width=”384″ height=”283″ domain=””]

What do you guys think, does this show motivate you to keep up with your exercise routines? Let me know in the comments!

The Biggest Loser airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m on NBC.


9 Responses to Fitness in Pop Culture: The Biggest Loser

  1. lonnyca says:

    I love, love, love Biggest Loser!!! especially the marathons. Did you see one of the winners on Oprah after he gained back half of his weight? That was crazy.

  2. Erin Harris says:

    I LOVE this show. I don’t watch much TV, but this show is pretty entertaining. I don’t know if it motivates me to keep up with exercising, but it’s a definite feel-good show. Shows how much you can accomplish if you put your mind to something.

  3. […] 400_thebiggestloser_ssorrells_090820_nbc_chrishaston: Shay has lost 152 lbs since start of Biggest Loser . With a starting weight of 476 pounds, Shay was the heaviest contestant ever on the show. “I lost 100 pounds in nine weeks… …Read More […]

  4. Jerry says:

    wow this guy that won is awesome he lost a lot damn i should get into this show

  5. MZDC says:

    Do they ever discuss the surgery that these people must have? My understanding is that if you lose 100+ lbs, you’ll need to have surgery to remove excess tissue at the waist (belt-line surgery that completely encirlces the torso), surgery on your arms, and probably legs. That’s a lot of incisions, and potentially health threatening for people with diabetes and high blood pressure. My point is, losing the weight (and keeping it off) is still not the end of their health problems.

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