Who is really the biggest loser?

New study shows the people who watched The Biggest Loser were more inclined to negatively view exercise. (AP Photo)

Watching TV about exercise may do more harm than good

By Justin D’Ancona

How’s this for an oxymoron?

Watching TV about exercising can in fact kill our desire to get off the couch and workout.

TV advocates just can’t catch a break.

Researchers in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation compared the immediate reactions of 138 students from the University of Alberta after watching seven minute clips of The Biggest Loser and American Idol.

They found that the people who watched The Biggest Loser were more inclined to negatively view exercise than the ones who watched American Idol.

“The depictions of exercise on shows like The Biggest Loser are really negative,” lead author Tanya Berry, Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity Promotion told a reporter for the University. “ … if you’re not a regular exerciser you might think this is what exercise is—that it’s this horrible experience where you have to push yourself to the extremes and the limits, which is completely wrong.”

At a time when more than one-third of American adults are obese, this comes as unfortunate news.

The biggest hurdle people must overcome when looking to get involved in some form of physical activity is getting motivated. With shows like, The Biggest Loser, displaying overweight people crying and throwing up, it’s no wonder first timers might find it harder to get off the couch.

Source: American Journal of Health Behavior

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