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abby! 01-07-2013 09:12 AM

The Biggest Loser
 
Well the Biggest Loser is back and it's a TV guilty pleasure for me. I watch and cry. Lol
I wonder what they feed them daily. Everyone lost between 10 to 28lbs the first week. I can't help but think its low carbish since they are getting such major wooshes. It can't be that carby "Biggest Loser Diet" they try to sell the rest of us. The first week results are astonishing when all the toxins leave and the salty water-retention is reduced and the body starts to become the healthy machine it was meant to be. All in all, an interesting season. One girl left without even trying and it was sad. They have 3 obese kids who are not contestants but are able to participate to get a handle on childhood obesity. I'm glad they're putting some focus on childhood obesity and these brave kids were candid about bullying and all that obesity entails.

LoriAS 01-07-2013 09:18 AM

abby - I am with you. It is a guilty pleasure. I am glad also about the childhood obesity exposure. It is so needed in this country. It makes me continually evaluate what my children are eating both at school and at home.

I can't wait to see tonight!

jmc305 01-07-2013 09:21 AM

I remember on an early season of BL, Jillian said "low carb is BUNK, it's calories in VS calories out." But if you look closely at their menu's, you won't find many carbs at all. Also, I think it was last season or the year before, Bob started calling his diet "lean and green" and if they get starch, it's just a little bit of brown rice or quinoa. The show is not a very accurate portrayal of weight loss. It's entertainment. Another thing that annoys me: they will promote anything that pays them. I have seen them endorse a lot of cereal products and stuff that is just not good for weight loss. The show is all about the product placement now.

LoriAS 01-07-2013 09:34 AM

jmc - You are correct! I love the show, but I do realize it is definitely influence by the entertainment industry. I think that is why we do not see many of their meals. I also ABSOLUTELY HATE the "commercials" worked into the actual show. The pitch for whatever gym was sponsoring them last night was absolutely shameless!

Trigger828 01-07-2013 09:38 AM

8 hrs in the gym working out per day. limited food. they are very heavy so should drop a ton of weight most times on weigh in.

it isn't reality. it is a controlled environment with unreal hrs. in the gym. told what to eat basically. so for entertainment sure, the real world, uh, most of it wouldn't work in the life of a real person to the level of the contestents.

but it gives HOPE. for many. I also am glad it will focus on kids!!!!!!! parents should be locked up with the neglect in diet on children and their weight! It burns me to now end.
(don't get me started LOL)

I think the show helps in general. it promotes good health, exercise, weight loss and all that so at least if ANYONE gets a heads up from the show it is worth it.

the one who left, I wonder what her problem was? I hope they replace her spot with a person who wants to succeed! terrible she took a spot for someone who really needs it and wants it.

Trillex 01-07-2013 09:57 AM

Bodybuilding consultant, Lyle McDonald, did an interview with a former Biggest Loser contestant a while ago. McDonald is not an expert on obesity, so his analysis of the training program that the show uses for obese competitors was very interesting, to me, in the context of how it compares to bodybuilding training that's geared toward people with low starting rates of bodyfat.
And with that said, here are some comments sent to me by a guy who was on the Biggest Loser show along with my comments thrown in throughout. I think what he sent me is interesting for at least two reasons:
  1. What can be accomplished in a short period when you put your mind to it.
  2. How unrealistic some of the changes on the show actually are relative to normal people.
BL: I know that obese people are not your target audience but for anyon who cares, we worked out 4 hours per day 6 days per week. That started on day 2. Day 1 we worked out 2.5 hours. That is from sedentary to 2.5 hours.

We did 1 hour cardio in the morning and 1 in the evening by ourselves and the trainer came in every afternoon for two hours to put us through a circuit resistance based routine for an hour and sometimes her own crazy cardio routine for an hour or we did that third cardio hour on our own also. We never worked out intensely for more than 2 hours at a time.

My comments: As Iím sure Iíve mentioned before in the newsletter (and brought up in at least one of my books), research in general has not supported exercise having a humongous impact on bodyweight. However, a lot of studies have used fairly moderate amounts of exercise in this regards. In contrast, large volumes of exercise, and the above can only be considered a 'large volume', especially coming from essentially a sedentary life, can have a fairly large impact.
Biggest Loser Feedback | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald

To me, the most interesting part of the interview was when this contestant talked about how a guy who tried to speed up his rate of loss by cutting calories below the level the trainers recommended lost a lot less weight than the contestants who followed the instructions and kept their calories at a higher level.
BL: Our goal was to lose 1lb per day (3500 calories). Our particular trainers philosophy was that she was going to BURN it off you in the gym and if you had a poor day in the gym the VERY first question that was asked was "Did you eat". It had to be pounded into us that we had to eat. It seemed counter-intuitive for many of us in a weight loss contest but it proved itself out when a teammate of mine upped his workouts to 6 hours per day and shrank his food to 500 calories per day (on his own) and only lost 3 pounds in 7 days while everyone else averaged 7-10.
He also briefly touched on the topic of carbs:
BL: Today Ė I take in approx. 2500 calories per day and when I am on-point I eat more proteins and fats then carbs. When I 'fall off the wagon' I still stay within my calorie range but I will have more carbs and salt and carbs require 2.7 grams of water for every 1 gram of carbs and salt makes you retain water blah blah blah.

People are still amazed that I can drop 10 pounds in a week (I call it 'fake' weight loss) and they donít understand that it comes by simply cutting out the extra carbs and salt while drinking a gallon of water per day and that sheds all the extra water in your body.

dansamy 01-07-2013 09:58 AM

Trigger, the parents don't know any better either. Locking them up won't help their children.

abby! 01-07-2013 09:58 AM

Yes, the product placements are laughable. Yesterday, thank Goodness, it was Planet Fitness, bikes and toys (even iPad!) that I noticed and not another cereal. They're shameless with the products.

LoriAS 01-07-2013 10:06 AM

Thanks for the great feed back, Trillex. I always love to read your informative posts! Thanks for the link also.

abby! 01-07-2013 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LoriAS (Post 16178333)
Thanks for the great feed back, Trillex. I always love to read your informative posts! Thanks for the link also.

What Lori said! Thanks.

Julie1972 01-07-2013 12:18 PM

Love the show and I do find it inspirational. Understand that it is not realistic, but it is fun watching the contestants transform! I did miss Jillian the last few seasons but I thought she was a little too harsh given it was the first episode. I know it is good for the ratings, but not sure it is the best thing for the contestants. Looking forward to the episode tonight!

Annabel Lee 01-07-2013 07:53 PM

I really feel it is humiliating the way they make them wear those outfits during the weigh ins.
Makes me very uncomfortable.

JMacB 01-07-2013 09:00 PM

I am friends-of-a-friend of a runner up. He's re-gained a bunch, no surprise, but I was impressed with how much the show followed through with him afterwards. They really wanted him to succeed and I think he did for a while, but old habits came back eventually.

LoriWants2Lose 01-08-2013 01:23 AM

I like the show but agree that it is really unrealistic. However, if Jillian would come sit in my living room and scream at me, I think I would work out a lot more. I love her, even if she doesn't get low carb's benefits. LOL

Trigger828 01-08-2013 03:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dansamy (Post 16178307)
Trigger, the parents don't know any better either. Locking them up won't help their children.

yea ignorance is out there but it would make me feel better :)

Trigger828 01-08-2013 03:50 AM

I saw the show about those that regained the weight. even biggest loser people can't maintain. the guy said as soon as you get home in reality no one tells you how to maintain for life and the show just drops you. no extra support. he wasn't prepared to eat at home or keep off the weight. it was interesting.

stardustshadow 01-08-2013 04:45 AM

Hm. I have mixed feelings. In some ways I see shows like this as Fatploitation. Lets look at the fatties, and be happy that we are not them...think wow, how did they ever GET that way, etc. I see a little too much 'fat shaming' going on there. I also HATE how Jillian screams at people. Sorry, but if she were screaming at me in the gym, I'd get a good workout in with my right hook!

It promotes the idea that all overweight people are lazy and have bad eating habits, which while true in some cases is NOT something you can say about everyone. And it represents an unrealistic portrayal of weight loss. Are people going to be disappointed if they don't loose so much every week? On top of that, it has come out that the 'weeks' are actually longer than 7 days, there is a lot of editing and so much pressure that some former contestants claim to have developed eating disorders.

On the other hand, it can be inspirational, and all that stuff. But really...there is a tendency for fat bodies (especially WOMEN's fat bodies) to be thought of as public property...for everyone to criticize and openly make judgements upon. This show promotes that idea. Many viewers don't understand that just because a contestant signs up for public humiliation on national television because of their weight, that not every overweight person has signed up for that too. Our society shames and dehumanizes the overweight enough without 'legalizing' it through the entertainment industry.

Mistizoom 01-08-2013 08:48 AM

I have watched the first two episodes, but I have mixed feelings about the show. It definitely isn't realistic. I would like to see them focus on what they are eating more and not so much on the exercise. I would like to see a version where they do a low-carb diet vs. a standard low calorie diet and see the difference, but it sounds like maybe they already are doing low carb and are just not promoting it?

Big Stevie 01-08-2013 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JMacB (Post 16179931)
I am friends-of-a-friend of a runner up. He's re-gained a bunch, no surprise, but I was impressed with how much the show followed through with him afterwards. They really wanted him to succeed and I think he did for a while, but old habits came back eventually.

they want to protect their show.. if he gains weight, the show looks bad like they really didn't change him.

cleome 01-08-2013 09:17 AM

No thanks. I cannot abide they way they treat the participants, nor the million dollar gag orders that prevent contestants from speaking about inhumane treatment.

From an interview with Kai Hibbard: "From seeing her fellow contestants forced to workout with injuries against doctorís orders, to the extreme dehydration prior to weigh-ins, to the resultant eating disorder that Kai still is working to heal, the story she told was nothing like the fantasy that the Biggest Loser seeks to promote."

Of course real life healthful living would not make for 'must see TV' :-/

Trillex 01-08-2013 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stardustshadow (Post 16180199)
Hm. I have mixed feelings. In some ways I see shows like this as Fatploitation. Lets look at the fatties, and be happy that we are not them...think wow, how did they ever GET that way, etc. I see a little too much 'fat shaming' going on there. I also HATE how Jillian screams at people. Sorry, but if she were screaming at me in the gym, I'd get a good workout in with my right hook!

It promotes the idea that all overweight people are lazy and have bad eating habits, which while true in some cases is NOT something you can say about everyone. And it represents an unrealistic portrayal of weight loss. Are people going to be disappointed if they don't loose so much every week? On top of that, it has come out that the 'weeks' are actually longer than 7 days, there is a lot of editing and so much pressure that some former contestants claim to have developed eating disorders.

On the other hand, it can be inspirational, and all that stuff. But really...there is a tendency for fat bodies (especially WOMEN's fat bodies) to be thought of as public property...for everyone to criticize and openly make judgements upon. This show promotes that idea. Many viewers don't understand that just because a contestant signs up for public humiliation on national television because of their weight, that not every overweight person has signed up for that too. Our society shames and dehumanizes the overweight enough without 'legalizing' it through the entertainment industry.

There is a UK show called Supersize vs Superskinny, which is the absolute pinnacle in reality show exploitation, in my opinion. The show puts a "supersize" person in a house with a "superskinny" person and has them swap meals for several days. The participants spend those "food swap" days talking about their eating habits -- with reluctance, shame, defensiveness, confrontation, fear, and eventually quite a lot of insight into their personal food histories -- while they eat the other person's daily meals.

As sensationalistic and exploitative as the show is, I do have to give the show's producers credit for creating a formula that effectively reveals *why* some people make the choices they make with regard to food. It's genuinely fascinating, and not just in a "watching a train wreck" kind of way. There's often a lot of genuinely moving insight.

There's also a segment in each episode where the "supersize" participant visits a person whose excess weight has led to deadly medical complications. The most fascinating visit, in my opinion, was to a gentleman in Florida who had gastric bypass surgery and then he had a gastric band installed in addition to the gastric bypass -- because he absolutely refused to comply with the eating rules following his bypass surgery. He was forcing food into his stomach, despite the surgery, because he wanted food more than he wanted to stay alive. He had medical problems like you wouldn't believe! And because of his mobility limitations, due to his weighing more than 600 pounds, his life was also incredibly isolated and tragic. He couldn't even get to the bathroom on a regular basis, because he has trouble moving, but I will spare you the details of that part of the show.

The show lectures a lot about eating a "balanced diet," which I don't think anyone on this forum would be interested in being lectured about. But it's actually a very interesting show. Even though it's emotionally manipulative, it's actually fairly compassionate to the participants and no one yells or verbally abuses the participants.

If you're interested, here is the episode where they visited the gentleman in Florida:

James vs Modasser - YouTube

There's also a related UK show called Secret Eaters, which is freaking amazing! The show installs cameras in the participant's home -- which the participant agrees to and is fully aware of -- and the show films everything they eat. But unknown to the participants, private detectives follow the participants 24/7 and their friends, family, and work colleagues also gather evidence of what the participant eats during the day and they file reports on it. The amazing thing is that the participants *know* they're being filmed, yet their food logs almost never match what they actually eat while on film. They're not *lying* about what they're eating, exactly, because they know that the cameras can see them. They just, honestly, eat some things without noticing. One participant had 14 pints of beer one night -- FOURTEEN! -- which he didn't log because it just didn't occur to him to count the beers. And almost none of the participants counted the food they just "grabbed" while on the go. These aren't people with huge weight problems, I just find it interesting to see the way that a mind/body disconnect can happen in perfectly well-meaning people.

I don't think either of these shows are an accurate commentary on the broader issues of obesity and anorexia. But I do think they are very interesting portraits of individual struggles.

Lyric's Mom 01-08-2013 07:19 PM

I do watch BL but I've never agreed with the unrealistic weight loss expectations or the extreme low cal diets & exercise used to achieve that. Still, I'm often intrigued & touched by some of the background stories and I do root for them to succeed. I used to really like Jillian but she came across this time as having something to prove--in her own words, she didn't want people to think she went soft now that she's a mother of two kids.
Anyways Secret Eaters sounds like an interesting show. I usually watch all those BBC shows but I never heard of that one--I'll have to look for it.

spoiltmomof2 01-08-2013 07:45 PM

I do enjoy watching the show but it is very unrealistic. They couldn't be eating many carbs. Think about, they are on low calorie diets and carbs are high calorie compared to veggies and lean meat.

Did you notice on the first episode where they are all laying around with multiple I e packs on their legs and knees after working out? That cannot be good on their joints:(

Big Stevie 01-08-2013 07:49 PM

There were a couple of people that lost thirty pounds in a week, while several others lost around 20. I am not sure what you could do to loose that much weight in a week. Around here, if anyone looses 10 pounds in a week, it is a very big week. Most of us lose 2 or 3. What are they doing to get there?

Don't tell me it is just exercise, you can't exercise that much. Since eating is a key to getting fat, I really wish they would focus a little more on it, or should I say, on it at all. They only focus on exercise, implying all people are fat because they are lazy. I personally have lost 60 pounds on Atkins without working out at all. So I guess my laziness really hasn't played that big of a roll in my weight issue.

While we are on the exercise point, the exercises they have 300 to 400 pound people doing are inappropriate. They don't need to be doing things like lunges, deep knee bend, and other stuff that is way too hard on the knees. I would love to see Jillian strap on 200 pounds of extra weight to get her up over 300 pounds and then do the exercises she screams out. It is not even about being out of shape, it is about a body carrying that much weight can't move like that. That is why all the injuries you see. Having people smash on treadmills is outlandish and completely inappropriate. Have them on stationary bicycles so they aren't going to hurt themselves yet get the cardio benefits.

biancasteeplechase 01-08-2013 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stardustshadow (Post 16180199)
Hm. I have mixed feelings. In some ways I see shows like this as Fatploitation. Lets look at the fatties, and be happy that we are not them...think wow, how did they ever GET that way, etc. I see a little too much 'fat shaming' going on there. I also HATE how Jillian screams at people. Sorry, but if she were screaming at me in the gym, I'd get a good workout in with my right hook!

It promotes the idea that all overweight people are lazy and have bad eating habits, which while true in some cases is NOT something you can say about everyone. And it represents an unrealistic portrayal of weight loss. Are people going to be disappointed if they don't loose so much every week? On top of that, it has come out that the 'weeks' are actually longer than 7 days, there is a lot of editing and so much pressure that some former contestants claim to have developed eating disorders.

On the other hand, it can be inspirational, and all that stuff. But really...there is a tendency for fat bodies (especially WOMEN's fat bodies) to be thought of as public property...for everyone to criticize and openly make judgements upon. This show promotes that idea. Many viewers don't understand that just because a contestant signs up for public humiliation on national television because of their weight, that not every overweight person has signed up for that too. Our society shames and dehumanizes the overweight enough without 'legalizing' it through the entertainment industry.

I'm quoting the whole post, because I agree with the whole post!

Americans are so convinced that obesity comes from bad behavior - and you put that together with the expectation that the most important thing a woman can do is to be sexually attractive, and you get such viciousness.

I once overheard a guy talking about meeting a very famous actress who was in her late sixties, and no longer the sylph she was in her prime. He bragged that he'd said "I'm looking forward to seeing you again once you've taken the weight off." And I'm sure he considered that to be honest and supportive, rather than rude.

stardustshadow 01-09-2013 02:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biancasteeplechase (Post 16182287)
I'm quoting the whole post, because I agree with the whole post!

Americans are so convinced that obesity comes from bad behavior - and you put that together with the expectation that the most important thing a woman can do is to be sexually attractive, and you get such viciousness.

I once overheard a guy talking about meeting a very famous actress who was in her late sixties, and no longer the sylph she was in her prime. He bragged that he'd said "I'm looking forward to seeing you again once you've taken the weight off." And I'm sure he considered that to be honest and supportive, rather than rude.

Exactly! When I was overweight, the amount of people (strangers AND friends) who felt the need to comment on my body was pretty amazing. Not that it happened every day, but I had some pretty humiliating experiences. And who gives anyone a right to say anything about another person's body (especially a strangers?!). It is also worse for women, I think. As you say, the most important thing a woman can do is be sexually attractive...EVERY message we get (and send, with our clothes, our hair, our makeup, etc) is designed to promote our sexual attractiveness....and then, think about that when buying clothes as an overweight woman! How can anybody feel sexy in a tent!? I personally feel that, along with the shaming, society sends a message to overweight women...and that is, you do not deserve your sexuality. We are going to strip you of it, because you do not conform to some ridiculous standard.

And yeah, half of the people who decide to tell a fat person something about their body probably don't even know they are being rude. They might think it is a normal thing to say, or even that 'it is for their own good'.

stardustshadow 01-09-2013 02:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trillex (Post 16182175)
There is a UK show called Supersize vs Superskinny, which is the absolute pinnacle in reality show exploitation, in my opinion. The show puts a "supersize" person in a house with a "superskinny" person and has them swap meals for several days. The participants spend those "food swap" days talking about their eating habits -- with reluctance, shame, defensiveness, confrontation, fear, and eventually quite a lot of insight into their personal food histories -- while they eat the other person's daily meals.

As sensationalistic and exploitative as the show is, I do have to give the show's producers credit for creating a formula that effectively reveals *why* some people make the choices they make with regard to food. It's genuinely fascinating, and not just in a "watching a train wreck" kind of way. There's often a lot of genuinely moving insight.

There's also a segment in each episode where the "supersize" participant visits a person whose excess weight has led to deadly medical complications. The most fascinating visit, in my opinion, was to a gentleman in Florida who had gastric bypass surgery and then he had a gastric band installed in addition to the gastric bypass -- because he absolutely refused to comply with the eating rules following his bypass surgery. He was forcing food into his stomach, despite the surgery, because he wanted food more than he wanted to stay alive. He had medical problems like you wouldn't believe! And because of his mobility limitations, due to his weighing more than 600 pounds, his life was also incredibly isolated and tragic. He couldn't even get to the bathroom on a regular basis, because he has trouble moving, but I will spare you the details of that part of the show.

The show lectures a lot about eating a "balanced diet," which I don't think anyone on this forum would be interested in being lectured about. But it's actually a very interesting show. Even though it's emotionally manipulative, it's actually fairly compassionate to the participants and no one yells or verbally abuses the participants.

If you're interested, here is the episode where they visited the gentleman in Florida:

James vs Modasser - YouTube

There's also a related UK show called Secret Eaters, which is freaking amazing! The show installs cameras in the participant's home -- which the participant agrees to and is fully aware of -- and the show films everything they eat. But unknown to the participants, private detectives follow the participants 24/7 and their friends, family, and work colleagues also gather evidence of what the participant eats during the day and they file reports on it. The amazing thing is that the participants *know* they're being filmed, yet their food logs almost never match what they actually eat while on film. They're not *lying* about what they're eating, exactly, because they know that the cameras can see them. They just, honestly, eat some things without noticing. One participant had 14 pints of beer one night -- FOURTEEN! -- which he didn't log because it just didn't occur to him to count the beers. And almost none of the participants counted the food they just "grabbed" while on the go. These aren't people with huge weight problems, I just find it interesting to see the way that a mind/body disconnect can happen in perfectly well-meaning people.

I don't think either of these shows are an accurate commentary on the broader issues of obesity and anorexia. But I do think they are very interesting portraits of individual struggles.

I have actually seen Supersize vs. Superskinny (they air it here where i live on the BBC). It is quite interesting, and while I agree that there certainly are exploitative elements, I don't think it is quite as sensationalistic as The Biggest Loser. It can at least inspire people to consider how much and what they eat (meaning, the viewer at home might start thinking about it). I agree that there is a bit more compassion involved. Of course maybe I am biased since it isn't ONLY about making fat people skinny, but making too skinny people healthier too. And nobody is screaming at them.

WOW about the secret eaters show! I have got to see that...it is fascinating, what people can convince themselves of, or even do subconsciously!! But I have actually noticed this among my friends who tried to follow diets. There is always something they are forgetting to take into account (drinks are a big one) or making an excuse for that they are not aware they are making at the time. It is quite interesting to see who can develop the discipline it takes to stick to a diet (even Atkins, despite the general lack of hunger issues, takes discipline, planning and commitment, esp. in the beginning). That should would be a fascinating watch!

svenskamae 01-09-2013 06:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stardustshadow (Post 16182549)
WOW about the secret eaters show! I have got to see that...it is fascinating, what people can convince themselves of, or even do subconsciously!! But I have actually noticed this among my friends who tried to follow diets. There is always something they are forgetting to take into account (drinks are a big one) or making an excuse for that they are not aware they are making at the time. It is quite interesting to see who can develop the discipline it takes to stick to a diet (even Atkins, despite the general lack of hunger issues, takes discipline, planning and commitment, esp. in the beginning). That should would be a fascinating watch!

I recently read some books by psychologists who study eating habits, and how what and how much people eat are affected by things like the size of the serving bowl and the original container, where food is placed, variation in color of foods (such as M&Ms), how many steps away the candy dish is, etc. Most people studied in experiments think that they are just guided by hunger in eating, but in fact almost everyone's intake is affected by other cues. To grab a bite of something as you walk by or open the fridge isn't just an oddity of a few people; it's what almost everyone does unless they are following a careful plan and (almost obsessively) writing everything down and/or tracking everything. So it doesn't surprise me a bit that these "secret eaters" are "caught" eating what they don't record; the vast majority of people tend to eat what they see, from what I've read. That may be part of the reason why intermittent fasting works well for many people (some hours of the day, you just don't eat anything, period). One can imagine that this habit of "see food, eat it" served our species well during most of human evolution, but could be a problem when food is plentiful everywhere.

DairyQueen 01-09-2013 07:31 AM

all right. I have a few questions. first.... I'ce only seen about 10 minutes of Biggest Loser and I can't imagine giving it any more than that. How can they NOT tell the audience what the contestants are eating???? Thwt just doesn't make any sense!

Trillex 01-09-2013 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by svenskamae (Post 16182815)
I recently read some books by psychologists who study eating habits, and how what and how much people eat are affected by things like the size of the serving bowl and the original container, where food is placed, variation in color of foods (such as M&Ms), how many steps away the candy dish is, etc. Most people studied in experiments think that they are just guided by hunger in eating, but in fact almost everyone's intake is affected by other cues. To grab a bite of something as you walk by or open the fridge isn't just an oddity of a few people; it's what almost everyone does unless they are following a careful plan and (almost obsessively) writing everything down and/or tracking everything. So it doesn't surprise me a bit that these "secret eaters" are "caught" eating what they don't record; the vast majority of people tend to eat what they see, from what I've read. That may be part of the reason why intermittent fasting works well for many people (some hours of the day, you just don't eat anything, period). One can imagine that this habit of "see food, eat it" served our species well during most of human evolution, but could be a problem when food is plentiful everywhere.

They actually did some of those experiments on Secret Eaters! They did a different eating experiment with the public on each episode. In one episode, they went into an office and told the employees that their hard work was being rewarded by the company and so they would each get a dish of candy as a token of the company's appreciation. They weighed equal amounts of candy into each dish, then they put half of the dishes directly onto some of the workers' desks while they put the other half of the dishes on a separate table that was six feet away from the employee's desk. At the end of the day, they gathered the bowls and weighed them. The employees who had the dish directly on their desks ate most of the candy in the dish, while the employees who had to get up and walk to the bowl ate very little candy during the day.

They also did an experiment with ice cream, in which they set up an all-you-can-eat self-service ice cream shop in a public area. But they gave half the patrons small bowls and gave the other half large bowls. So people scooped their own ice cream into the bowls and the bowls were weighed (minus the weight of the bowl), then the bowls were weighed again when people were done eating. The patrons didn't know, though, that the amount they ate was being measured and recorded. All of the people who were given smaller bowls ate less ice cream, even if they'd initially over-filled the bowl.

And they did a similar experiment in a bar where they let people pour their own drinks. Half of the patrons were given tall, skinny glasses, while the other half were given short, wide glasses. All of the people who were given tall, skinny glasses poured a fairly accurate single serving, while the people who were given short, wide glasses all poured double or triple the amount. Apparently, most people perceive liquor servings in terms of the "height" of the liquor in a glass. So if the glass is wide, the perception of a single serving is much larger than it would be in a narrow glass.

My favorite public experiment from the show was when they went to a movie theater and told the patrons that they were doing an experiment on "memory" (not told that it was a study of eating habits) and as a reward for participating in the experiment, the researchers offered all of the patrons as many free snacks as they wanted from the theater snack bar. Half the patrons were given oven mitts to put over their dominant hands while they watched the film, while the other half weren't given the oven mitts. So half the patrons had to eat their snacks using their non-dominant hand. The snacks were weighed before they were given to patrons and then were gathered up after the film and were weighed again. The people who had to use their non-dominant hand while eating, all ate significantly less than the people who were allowed to use their dominant hand.

UK Channel 4 has all of the episodes "on demand" but I'm not sure if they've put them on YouTube. Supersize vs Superskinny is on YouTube, so I would think Secret Eaters would be on YouTube, as well.


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