Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Who's the biggest loser?

The after-holiday dulldrums (misspell intentional) have left me without inspiration or direction, therefore I'm left to fixate on a subject that would perhaps not otherwise interest me or consume me. I'm not generally a television watcher, but since we've acquired a DVR, I've discovered that there are several programs off the beaten network path that I am drawn to on a weekly, train-wreck basis.

My favorite reality (freak) shows:
  • The Biggest Loser (Tuesdays at 8:00 on NBC) Morbidly obese people compete to lose the most weight in a secluded setting, with the help of two personal trainers who simultaneously berate and encourage them (where your dysfunctional parents may have left off, Bob and Jillian will take over.)
  • I Lost It (Discovery Health, times varied) Morbidly obese people succeed in their weight loss battle through various weight loss sItrategies. More dysfunctional childhoods, trysts with Dunkin Donuts, and generalized self pity.
  • X-Weighted (Discovery Health, times varied) Morbidly obese people attempt weight loss (if you're not noticing a theme here, you may be a few fries shy of a partially hydrogenated Happy Meal) Personal Trainer Paul Plakas (complete with his sexy/dorky Canadian accent) attempts to remold eating and exercising habits in a six month time frame. I'm in love with him, but I'll never get why he makes people throw out their peanut butter. Those are good fats Paul!
  • Big Medicine (TLC, times varied) Bariatric surgeons, father-son duo Drs. Robert and Garth Davis, team up with plastic surgeons and a psychotherapist to transform (once again, the Happy Meal) morbidly obese people into slimmer, psychoanalyzed, and bodily sculpted versions of their former selves.

I think you get the point. I'm drawn to this type of program.

And while I will always believe that there are physiological reasons for obesity, I will remain adamant that our society in general is not overweight due to those physiological reasons. Also, even though I'm a firm believer in the "we are a product of our dysfunctional upbringing" theory, I still feel that the percentage of the "dysfunctionally" overweight in our country accounts for only a nominal number of the obese. The majority are simply victims of the life style that has become the norm for most of us living in the United States. Fast food and fast life have turned us into a nation of people who have relegated their meal ticket to corporations who do not have our best interests (health) at heart. Many studies have been directed at the addictive properties of high fat, high sugar, and processed foods. And even though we're years away from legislative intervention for the most part, we only need the proof of the shape of today's youth to confirm that childhood obesity is indeed an epidemic.

There was just NOTHING on TV end rant.

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