Biggest Loser Loses Sight of Contestants' Health

Fasting, dehydration, hospitalization daily reality of reality show
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2009 10:44 AM CST

The Biggest Loser has produced some amazing results for its obese contestants, but at what cost? Many see the pounds come right back, and it’s likely because they engage in dangerous, damaging behavior in the first place in order to win the weight-loss reality show, the New York Times has learned. Season one's winner, who's almost back to his original weight of 330 pounds, dehydrated himself to the point of urinating blood. “I’m just waiting for the first person to have a heart attack,” says a doctor.

This season's first episode resulted in two hospitalizations, which is scary given the content of a release form obtained by the Times. “No warranty, representation or guarantee has been made as to the qualifications or credentials of the medical professionals” on the show, it reads. Shockingly, 400-pound contestants also have to attest that they are “in excellent physical” health. And while the Times got some tidbits—contestants apparently work out in as much clothing as possible when the cameras are off—few were willing to talk. After the paper started digging around, former contestants were emailed a reminder of the serious consequences that come with unauthorized interviews: fines of $100,000 to $1 million. (More The Biggest Loser stories.)

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