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|Title: ||You win some, you lose more|
|Authors: ||Carter, SM|
|Issue Date: ||2014|
|Publisher: ||RMIT Publishing|
|Citation: ||Carter, SM (2014) You win some, you lose more. Ethics Quarterly, No. 95, Autumn 2014: 16-17|
|Abstract: ||Ratings consistently show Australians love reality television. In 2013 our favourite thing on TV was to watch one another singing, dancing, cooking and renovating. Every year producers dish up more contrived scenarios, bitter conflicts, shameful embarrassments and heart-warming triumphs under familiar reality brands. We are entertained; they make money.
Not surprising, then, that a new season of The Biggest Loser starts this weekend. More surprising is that recent years have seen the show's ratings fall. It's hard to know why: perhaps we're just bored. Perhaps we're more interested in watching someone sauté a quail in butter. Or maybe - and I'm being optimistic here - we're starting to listen to our intuition that this show is a bit wrong. That it is exploitative, even by reality TV standards. That it is ethically questionable.
In the past 50 years, we have built a society in which it's easier to be fat than thin.
I am not the first to criticise The Biggest Loser: Google can introduce you to my fellow travellers. Personal trainers, dieticians, weight-loss doctors, contestants and former employees of the show have critiqued its methods, its motives and its outcomes. And their criticisms suggest deep ethical problems.
The simplest is this: the show is likely to harm contestants and unlikely to benefit them. They are rewarded not for improving their health, but for decreasing their weight.|
|Type of Work: ||Article|
|Type of Publication: ||Post-print|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Papers and Publications. Sydney Health Ethics|
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