Tags: Obesity | biggest | loser | weight | gain

'Biggest Loser' Contestants Regained Weight Lost, and More

'Biggest Loser' Contestants Regained Weight Lost, and More
(Copyright DPC)

Monday, 02 May 2016 01:22 PM

Most of the 16 contestants on “The Biggest Loser” lost hundreds of pounds during the program’s eighth season, but gained them back — and then some.

A study of eight contestants' struggles helps explain why so many people fail to keep off the weight they lose, The New York Times reports.

Kevin Hall, an expert on metabolism at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, says decided to follow the “Biggest Loser” contestants for six years after watching the show’s finale.

The project is the first to measure what happened to people up to six years after they had lost large amounts of weight with intensive dieting and exercise.

The results showed just how hard the body fights back against weight loss.

“It is frightening and amazing,” said Hall. “I am just blown away.”

Much of the weight regain has to do with resting metabolism, which determines how many calories a person burns when at rest. When the show began, the contestants had normal metabolisms for their size, meaning they were burning a normal number of calories for people of their weight. But when it ended, their metabolisms had slowed radically and their bodies were not burning enough calories to maintain their thinner sizes, the researchers found.

In addition, as the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestants’ metabolisms became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight, Hall said.

The study’s findings, published in the journal Obesity, may help to answer some of the most fundamental questions about obesity. Researchers are trying to determine why being fat makes so many people develop diabetes and other medical conditions, and they are searching for new ways to combat it.

Dr. Michael Schwartz, an obesity and diabetes researcher at the University of Washington, said the research showing the body will fight back for years to regain lost weight is “new and important.”

The hope is it could lead to new therapies that treat obesity as a chronic disease and can help keep weight under control for life.

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Contestants on 'The Biggest Loser' lost hundreds of pounds during the program's eighth season, but gained them back - and then some. A study of eight contestants' struggles helps explain why so many people fail to keep off the weight they lose.
biggest, loser, weight, gain
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2016-22-02
Monday, 02 May 2016 01:22 PM
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