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Low Metabolic Rate for ‘Biggest Losers’

Brian Turner

Posted on May 10 2018

“The Biggest Loser” is a wildly successful television that ran in the United States for 17 seasons, from 2004 to 2016, and was adapted by television stations around the world. Grossly obese men and women competed for a cash prize to lose the most weight. A long-term study of 14 “Biggest Loser” contestants led by Erin Fothergill and Kevin Hall from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland found that contestants lost an average of 130 pounds, but regained about 90 pounds after six years. Resting metabolic rate— the rate of caloric expenditure— decreased by 610 calories per day at the end of the study, but six years later, it decreased further to 704 calories per day. Weight regain was almost inevitable because of the large decrease in resting metabolism. The contestants might have gained even more weight if they were not in the public eye. (Obesity, published online)