During the last episode of season 16 of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, Dr. Robert Huizenga shared his opinion about weight-loss surgery, saying the procedure is a mistake, and that it is inferior to the weight-loss methods practiced by contestants on the weight-loss reality show. The episode spurred much controversy and conversation about weight-loss surgery on social media and in a number of forums across the web. Unfortunately, Dr. Huizenga failed to explain exactly why he disagreed with the concept of weight-loss surgery.
Coping with negative comments about weight-loss surgery
When facing negative comments and stigma surrounding bariatric surgery, it’s important to remember that people will often lash out and form opinions even when they don’t fully understand or know the facts about the procedure. What The Biggest Loser failed to address is that patients often turn to weight-loss surgery as a last resort when dieting and exercise have failed to work.
Furthermore, weight-loss surgery requires a life-long commitment from its patients in terms of adhering to a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Most of the contestants on The Biggest Loser go on to regain the weight they lose following their time on the show because they’re not being taught about the importance of following a diet and exercise regime long-term.
The Biggest Loser exists solely for entertainment purposes
Consider the format of the typical Biggest Loser episode. At the beginning of the episode, contestants are forced to face temptation in the form of desserts and junk food. These temptation offers are then followed by intense, hours-long workouts in the gym. None of these behaviors are recommended methods for weight loss, and rarely do any contestants stick to doing hours-long workouts after their run on the show. The result? Weight regain.
Meanwhile, weight-loss surgery patients continue to lose weight over time because they’re dedicated to the diets and workout routines prescribed by their bariatric surgeons and nutritionists.
A study discussed in US News and World Reports even found that Biggest Loser contestants normally end up with a lower metabolic rate following the show, which increases their risk for future weight gain. Conversely, more and more studies are emerging that reveal how effective weight-loss surgery is at helping patients keep excess weight at bay in the years that follow surgery.
In conclusion, it’s best to keep an open mind about US medical procedures, and remember that your doctor has your best interests at heart. Before contributing to stigma surrounding bariatric surgery, educate yourself on the facts to set the record straight.