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Jay, do you feel that the methods employed in the TV show, The Biggest Loser, are safe and effective?

I'll begin by saying that I find The Biggest Loser to be a very inspiring show.  These people have reached a point in their life where they have had to make a very tough decision and I cannot express how much respect I have for each and every one of them as a result.  It takes guts and determination to put your whole life on display like that.  Plus, it's pretty entertaining too.  In addition to this, I also hold a great respect for Bob and Jillian in particular, who are both exceptional trainers.

The Biggest Loser selects a number of clinically obese contestants to lose a significant amount of weight in a very quick period of time.  I am pretty sure that these contestants are all thoroughly screened by professional medical experts prior to embarking upon this challenge to avoid any unneeded risk due to possible medical complications.

Whilst the idea is good in theory...I do not believe that this show should be treated as an educational tool (for the most part), but rather a form of entertainment.  These contestants can lose in excess of 5 kilograms per week which can be extremely dangerous to their health and wellbeing.  Such rapid weight loss can put so much stress on all of the bodily organs and cause some serious medical complications.  Take Artie from last year's Australian Biggest Loser - he was admitted to hospital with gallstones last year.  According to, "Doctors said it was due to weight loss".  (Read the full story here in our news sectionstress they have to endure.  Even though medics are on sight, such extreme levels of exercise are, according to many professionals (and myself), by no means safe (as demonstrated) - particularly for the untrained individual.

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