Weight Loss Programs Seen on TV

The National Center for Health Statistics states 67 percent of Americans are overweight, and many of them are obese. In response to consumers’ interest, television programs are airing shows about obesity and weight loss.

The Biggest Loser

“The Biggest Loser” on NBC airis in more than 90 countries. The show features 16 obese contestants from various backgrounds who share the same goal–losing weight. Contestants stay in a private camp where they are taught about healthy eating and trained vigorously. Teams of two people compete against each other as they are weighed in (which also includes body fat percentage) each week; the person who loses the least weight each week is voted off. In the end, one winner claims title “Biggest Loser” and a grand prize of $250,000.

Dance Your Ass Off

“Dance Your Ass Off” on the Oxygen network documents contestants losing weight by dancing. Each is paired with a professional dancer and is expected to perform a particular dance–ballroom to salsa to even pole dancing–at the end of the week. The show puts a strong emphasis on dancing, and the ultimate vote is determined not only by weight loss, but also by how well the contestants danced.

For those intimidated by the gym and unaware of alternative cardiovascular activities, the show offers a different way to lose weight.


The Style Network chronicles the personal issues of a 500-pound woman on the reality show “Ruby,” who at her heaviest weighed 700 pounds. The show features the emotional and mental struggles of someone who is desperately trying to lose weight. The show also features Ruby’s motivating circle of friends and family.

Diet Tribe

“The Diet Tribe” on Lifetime features five best friends committed to change as they learn to incorporate healthy living and exercise into their daily lives. A personal fitness trainer and a psychotherapist help the women during their 120-day weight-loss journey.

Unlike in other weight-loss reality shows, the women on this show continue to live their normal lives. The program offers a realistic approach to weight loss as they are expected to re-evaluate their priorities and find some way of living their busy lives healthfully.

Cooking Shows

Lifetime also features “Cook Yourself Thin,” in which three culinary experts help a guest cook healthy alternative versions of favorite high-caloric meals without compromising on flavor. The guest is revisited by the experts six weeks later, to check on his progress. The Food Network offers “Down the Line: Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger. ” Krieger, a registered dietitian, cooks healthier versions of classics such as chicken cacciatore and chop suey. She also offers strategies for eating healthfully in social settings like family vacations and parties.

The National Center for Health Statistics states 67 percent of Americans are overweight