Weight loss shows an exercise turn-off

They are designed to inspire life-changing weight loss in their contestants, but it seems weight loss reality shows are a big real-life turn-off.

weight loss shows an exercise turn-off
weight loss shows an exercise turn-off

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According to researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada, all the motivational speeches and hardcore training does little to persuade viewers off the sofa and into the gym.

In fact, the sight of the contestants being put through their paces in an often military style regime is more likely to inspire a negative attitude to exercise than a desire to follow suit.

In a study at the University's Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, participants were split into two groups - one watching NBC's The Biggest Loser and the other American Idol - for a period of seven minutes.

Tests and questionnaires followed and revealed those who viewed the hit weight loss show developed a bad attitude to exercise.

Lead author Tanya Berry told Science Daily: "The depictions of exercise on shows like The Biggest Loser are really negative.

"People are screaming and crying and throwing up, and 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."

However, the research is set to continue, with the next phase focusing on clips in which the show's contestants rise to the challenge and achieve their goals.

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What do you think? Do weight loss reality shows like The Biggest Loser inspire you to get fit, or do they have the opposite effect? Leave your comments below...