Recently, I read a few blurbs about how an episode of Glee botched the job in their attempt to cover the topic of eating disorders, trivializing it on the one hand but going into specific health harming techniques a little too explicitly on the other. When have eating disorders ever been handled well on television though? It's unfortunate, but it's to be expected. All shows attempting to cover eating disorders as a topic follow the same pattern and are resolved in one to three episodes: A girl wants to lose weight and doesn't eat, takes laxatives or pills and/or throws up; she passes out; someone has a talk with her, and Boom! the problem is solved. The writers of Glee have dealt with the issue in a careless way. It's important to note that the program is not a reality show, but even productions not based in reality can affect viewers. In this case, I have heard some people explain that show is triggering for anyone with a tendency toward disordered eating.
I just read that The Biggest Loser is going to be casting children on their show. First let me say that I stopped watching the show in 2004 after I saw two episodes way back before it was popular. Second, I refuse to watch it after dealing with the sour taste it left in my mouth while watching those first episodes. As far along in my recovery as I was at the time, I found the show to be hugely discomforting in all kinds of ways. Now the producers want to bring children into the fiasco.
|Not an effective training method.|
Here's a petition to sign if you agree that children should be spared the trauma of being immersed in an atmosphere of extreme dieting and ridicule: Keep Kids off the Biggest Loser.
|Kai suffered from an eating disorder brought on after being on the Biggest Loser.|
Former Biggest Loser contestant Kai Hibbard, who suffered from an eating disorder after filming the show, claims that the show stretches the truth and promotes unhealthy diet methods. That much was obvious at a glance, but what's even more troubling is that so many people defend the series, claiming it inspires others to lose weight. Does it? I never responded well to yelling, so watching others get yelled at has never been inspiring to me. I think I have mentioned before my experience with one riding instructor who yelled at me the entire 45 minutes I was on the horse. I refused to go back, because I got so stressed out anticipating the woman's shouts. I respond better to positive reinforcement. It's less dehumanizing and less demoralizing.
|Please keep this away from children.|
The biggest Loser is a contest designed to get viewers. It's not a weight-loss camp where health is encouraged. Supposedly the children won't be weighed or part of the actual competition, so I'm not sure what their role will be. I wonder why anyone would put kids in that questionable setting anyway, but I'm sure it has to do with an attempt to increase viewership.
|It's a myth that yelling gets results in training.|