Wednesday, February 04, 2009

How Real are Reality Weight Loss Shows?

Well if Bulging Brides is any indication, not so much.

Bulging Brides is a Canadian "reality" TV show that you guessed it, tries to help brides lose some weight pre-wedding.

According to this piece not only did the show misrepresent itself to a former participant, it also fabricated drama for the sake of the show.

Cathy Snow was originally recruited to be on a show she was told was entitled, "Buff Brides" and apparently was horrified when she learned that she was to be featured on a show that was actually called, "Bulging Brides",
"They portrayed me as an overindulgent pig, like all I do is eat my face out. They send you down the ‘aisle of shame’. They basically doubled what I ate and drank. They planted things in my cupboards. You know the whole time what’s happening. I’m a normal-sized person who eats a normal diet, but they need to make it good TV watching."
So what does the show have to say for itself?

Mea culpa according to one of the show's producers,
"The food diary, the ones [days] we choose to illustrate could be a worst-case scenario.…To be honest, we always pick the day where she’s like, ‘Oh my God! Did I eat that?’ If the audience thinks that’s what she eats for every meal, well...."
Snow reports that once everything was said and done she didn't regret her experience on Bulging Brides. She also reports gaining back the weight she'd lost. No shocker there given that the show's hosts and "experts" (note the sarcastic quotes), Tommy Europe and Nadeen Boman rely on the classically useless exercise-like-stink and eat-far-too-little short term diet.