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Friday, May 2, 2008

Another male Loser

After weeks of mesmerising weight loss reality TV, we finally have the 2008 Biggest Loser and surprise, surprise it is another male. What will it take for the producers of The Biggest Loser both here and in the States to understand that you cannot compare women and men in the weight loss stakes.

Physiologically, hormonally, emotionally and psychologically men and women are fundamentally different. The menstrual cycle alone can see a female gain up to 2 kgs of extra fluid over the course of a month. And you can easily dehydrate the body to a 2-5kgs weight loss difference. Points that may not seem that interesting until you consider that the win on this years Biggest Loser was based on just a 1% difference in % weight loss between contestants.

Surely, given that we are talking about serious cash, and serious attempts at weight loss we can afford to at least body scan the final contestants to make sure that the game is not won on a fluid deficit but rather actual fat mass lost? Why don't we? Most probably because watching a body scanner in action does not make for the most exciting television the way that huge scales (and apparent AJ Rochester) do.

Don't get me wrong. I believe that any program that draws attention to both the problem of obesity in Australia AND to the enormous dedication and hard work fat loss requires is awe inspiring and congratulations to Sam for an amazing transformation. It is just that I still can't help but feel that the female finalists deserve the win just as much as the young tucker does.