Dr. Oz Weighs in on Weight Loss Reality Shows

Daytime Emmy-winning talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz has a lot going on these days. With his TV mentor Oprah Winfrey having vacated the daytime airwaves for her OWN channel, his Dr. Oz talker is inheriting numerous timeslots across the country and finds itself amid a changing daytime landscape, where celebrity talk shows and lifestyle programming are taking over.

One such lifestyle show coming to our screens in January of 2012 is The Revolution, a weight loss docudrama, featuring obese housewives trying to lose massive amounts of weight in a short amount of time. The Revolution, which will take the place of long-running soap opera One Life to Live on ABCwill join such rapid weight loss-themed series as NBC's The Biggest Loser, ABC primetime's recent Extreme Makeover: Weigh Loss Edition and countless others on the TV dial. I asked Oz what he thought of shows like these, which I've dubbed "fat porn" because of America's insatiable appetite for tuning in and watching morbidly obese people struggle to lose weight quickly. Are these shows realistic?

"I love that," he said laughing at my nickname for the rash of weight loss-themed programming. "I've never heard 'fat porn' before! I don't think they're realistic, I do think they provide a service, because they give you hope. Hope is not wishing the right thing will happen. Hope is making sense of what's going on in your life. When you see these people figure out what they're doing wrong, you can take lessons from them."

Oz recalled the 100th episode of his talk show which profiled 100 formerly obese people who had each lost 100 pounds or more.

"Richard Simmons was on the show with me, he cried at every act," he joked.  'When I asked [the guests], all hundred, 'What's your tip? How have you lost 100 pounds and kept it off?' You know what they told me? Everyone one of them gave the same answer. It's about self-esteem. 'When I realized I was worth it, the weight came off.' So I think these weight loss shows, because they take you into the psyche of these people, as well as beat them up and put them through things you can't normally do, gets that point across."

Yeah well, I'd still rather watch One Life to Live in my pajamas, while eating Double Stuffed Oreos. 

The Dr. Oz Show airs daily in syndication. Check your local listings.

7 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    I don’t watch Oz and I will not watch Chew or Revolution.

    I saw my first portion of The Talk yesterday ONLY cuz one of my favorite actresses, Alfre Woodard, was on.
    The only one who had something noteworthy to say was Sarah Gilbert. The rest all just spewed noise that was cringeworthy. Never again!!!
    Alfre of course was divine.

  2. Profile photo of ddkattar

    I think these weight loss reality shows by their very nature are exploitative, and shows people at their most vulnerable. I would rather escape and watch angst and vulnerability on a soap any day. I will not tune into the revolution. I have no interest in watching that type of programming.

  3. Profile photo of Katiebug9624

    I’ll admit that I do sometimes enjoy the biggest loser or extreme makeover weight loss edition. Only because since I’m overweight I feel proud for those who lose it. But there is a time and place for everything, I watch weight loss shows at night, along with my food network at night. I don’t believe that women want to watch a weight loss show during the day I think that there are way to many channels now and I’ll be honest if I had the choice to watch The Revolution or The Chew over say Judge Judy well you can bet I’d rather watch Judge Judy I want to be entertained and I want escapism.

  4. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    I actually enjoy Dr. Oz. I find him to be very charming and informative. However, what I like most about his show is that NONE of my belove soaps had to be sacrificed in order for it to exist.

    As someone who has been underweight most of his life, I can’t relate to the struggles of the overweight and/or obese, but I do realize that obesity is an overwhelming epidemic in this country.

    With that being said, how many weight loss/health-related shows do we need? We have “The Doctors” and “Dr.Oz”, both of which I find very entertaining. Don’t believe we need anymore. Those who don’t feel compelled to watch THESE two programs will more than likely not feel any more compelled to watch new ones.

  5. Profile photo of No Daisy
    No Daisy

    I hate these shows. I did catch the biggest looser sometimes the first season, butlater on the “contestants” started playing the “game” like they were on Survivor. They obviously weren’t there for weight loss benefits, and the show (for me) lost its heartfelt appeal.

    Now here’s a thought. Survivor contestants always loose a ton. Lets send the dieter wannabes to the island and let them duke it out for cash. The weight loss would just be am after effect.

    BTW, I saw my first add for The Chew during OLTL yesterday. That’s in pretty poor taste if you ask me ABC.

  6. Profile photo of Trisket

    Like alstonboy, I just can’t relate. My whole life, the heaviest I have ever been was still within the appropriate weight range for my height. But for most of it, I’ve been underweight. Dr. Oz and The Doctors are only helpful to me half of the time. I usually tune out when they discuss weight loss or issues you may come across when you’re over 40.

    I guess I’m more upset because my favorite soap is being replaced by something I have no interest in watching. I’ve watched OLTL for 17/18 years. Some of the best memories I had with my mom was curling up with her and watching AMC, OLTL, and GH.

  7. Profile photo of loyalsoapfan31

    No way will I watch the the two shows that shall remain nameless–if I want a show like that I will watch the style channel or something of that nature–if I want the other one I can tune into the Food Network to see something similar. I don’t watch anything on ABC but the soaps–even before they announced the cancellation. ABC programming has bored me for as long time as with most daytime. If the soaps are not on I don’t watch any local programming, I find something else on my 180 channel list. If they don’t choose by some mircle to keep these shows on the air I will be forced to change to remaining soaps.

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