After one federally funded study revealed the reason why former Biggest Loser contestants gain most of the weight back after the show was due to changing metabolic rates. The study also revealed abnormal hormone levels and genetic predispositions. Some of the former contestants claimed the show provided drugs while encouraging them to starve and lie about it.
According to the contestants, what the study is missing was the examination of the show’s secret and brutal tactics. which include providing illicit drug to contestants and submitting them to questionable medical exams by the show’s doctor Ron Huizenga. Dr. Huizenga was known as ‘Dr. H.’ said the report published by the New York Post.
“People were passing out in Dr. H’s office at the finale weigh-in,” said Suzanne Mendonca, Season 2’s contestant. “On my season, five people had to be rushed to the hospital. He knew exactly what we were doing and never tried to stop it,” she added.
According to another participant in the show, Joelle Gwynn, of 2008’s ‘Couples’ season, she was given the drugs. Her trainer, Bob harper, and one of his assistants gave participants Adderall and ‘yellow jackets’. Those pills contain ephedra, a substance banned by the FDA in 2004.
After she took the pills, Gwynn said she felt jittery and hipper so she went and told Huizenga about it. The next day she was provided with a “lame explanation” about why the pills were added to the regimens, according to Gwynn.
The federally-funded study about the show was conducted by Dr. Kevin Hall at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Hall’s research was published two weeks ago. Huizenga collaborated with the study and denied any drug-related situation in the show.
Former "Biggest Loser" contestants claim the show allegedly encouraged them to take illegal drugs to lose weight https://t.co/3wvpKNoSr5
— New York Post (@nypost) May 22, 2016
Huizenga assured that nothing could be further from the true, while referring to the drug allegations. Contestants are told at the start of the show that there is zero tolerance for any weight-loss drugs, urine drug screens are held regularly and the evaluation of serial weights are repeatedly used to flush out possible illicit use, he said.
Lies about nutrition were encouraged as well according to Gwynn. Harper once told her off-camera to lie about how much she was eating in the show. She was told to lie saying that she was eating 1,500 calories when she was actually ingesting only 800.
Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, who specializes in obesity at the University of Ottawa, commented that the show itself was an “atrocity”. The approach is not endorsed by anyone in the medical community and NBC has made an awful lot of money off of damaging these individuals, he said.
According to Freedhoff, the show permanently damage the participant’s metabolic rates but it is impossible to know exactly why this has happened. It is extremely rare for an obese person to permanently lose half of their body weight through diet and exercise. Surgery is the only way but there will never be a control group to prove the NIH’s study thesis, Freedhoff added.
It is unknown whether the show will be back with another season, after its lastest had record-low ratings for the show’s lifetime. NBC has not commented over the accusation or the study since its release.
Source: The New York Post