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'The Biggest Loser' Really Needs to be Better for its 18th Season

Gettyimages | NBC
By Megan Prevost

Do you remember The Biggest Loser? It ran for 17 seasons before an unexplained cancellation in 2016.

The reality show featured contestants fighting each other to lose the most weight over the 11-week time frame.

Biggest Loser features aggressive trainers who wouldn't let people stop until they were literally passing out, and junk food temptation challenges.

Overall, it showed its contestants the wrong way to lose weight. Most of the contestants ended up gaining all their weight back after the show ended anyways.

Promises of Change

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But what exactly caused the show to go off air for four years? You would think that if its antics were really a problem, it wouldn't have aired for 17 seasons before people noticed the issues.

And there were issues, lots of them. However, season 18 (which aired its first episode last night), promises to be better. They said that the contestants are going to, "make a serious lifestyle change, rather than focus solely on weight loss." That's good news, if they follow through with it.

A Change in Format

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The format of the show is also changing for the better, but it's still not perfect. In previous years the contestants have voted each other out (how did this ever work), but now there's not voting at all.

Instead, the person who loses the least amount of weight will be sent home. However, it will be a percentage of their weight relative to their initial weight.

The person who loses the smallest percent of weight will be sent home. Which it an improvement, but by how much?

Quantifying Weight Loss

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Quantifying weight loss can be very difficult. Our bodies are all different. One person losing five pounds can be just as much a victory as another person losing 15.

It also promotes body negativity to potential young audiences. The amount of fat-shaming in the earlier seasons was way too much. Hopefully, they'll be fixing that as well.

Former contestants also stated that they were often forced to take illegal weight loss supplements or pills to encourage them to lose more weight.

Real Change or Nothing

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Hopefully, the show can find a way to be much better than it used to be. They've also stated that they're focusing more on after-show care.

Contestants will all leave with a gym membership, a nutritionist, and access to group therapy. While this is great, and totally good news, it's not an overall solution.

The Biggest Loser is going to have to do a lot better overall if it wants to succeed this time around. For the most part, they just need to treat their contestants like human beings with feelings. We'll see how they do.

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