The NBC reality show Biggest Loser has kicked off another season and another chance to drive home to our country just how out of control obesity is and, well, how much work it takes to overcome it once you’ve lost control.
I haven’t watched the show since I followed an entire series in my blog a few years back and was very disappointed when the whole point of the show was lost by one contestant playing games with the system and, frankly, NBC allowing it.
In concept the show is right on the money for what we American’s need. We need to have fat thrown in our face, visually and intellectually. We need to know, and I fault NBC for not taking more license to do it, that obesity is the tip of a deadly iceberg. Being overweight is just the first step off into a world of health problems that include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart attack, coronary artery disease, stroke and cancer.
From a life insurance underwriting standpoint the potential risks have to be weighed. All life insurance companies have build charts and all of them have a limit. While there are a few companies that will still insure someone who is, say, 6’1, 425, they do so cautiously. Insuring someone of that stature at all requires them to be healthy at the time. They can’t have started down the slope of health risks described above.
It is that list of potential disasters waiting to happen that leads more life insurance companies all the time toward a more lenient stance toward bariatric surgery, gastric bypass. What was often derided by the public and a lot of health professionals as the lazy way out of a self induced problem, is now seen as a prudent way to regain a foot hold on health that might not otherwise be achievable.
Bottom line. So Biggest Loser makes a reality “game” show of it. I truly hope that it inspires some to follow and tackle their challenges head on, but I also truly hope that NBC will see the chance they are missing for real education and allow 5 minutes of their precious air time per episode to make that education a reality.