Please, Mrs. Obama, don't go on "Biggest Loser"

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I don't generally sign online petitions because I question what they truly reflect, but occasionally one raises an issue important enough to lift me above my cynicism. It is far more occasional that I also write to tell others about the effort and to ask them to sign as well.

In fact, I think Lizabeth Wesely-Casella's peitition urging Michelle Obama not to go on "The Biggest Loser" is the first one to make it into this blog.

"The Biggest Loser" is not helping the cause of obesity in America, which is perhaps unfair commentary because whoever said it was supposed to? TV shows are conceived to draw viewers, often regardless of what other effects also accrue, and judging by the fact that TBL is in its 15th season, it has been a most effective sideshow. (Wow. 15? Yikes.)

Wesely-Casella says organizations such as BEDA, ANAD, AED, University of North Carolina, Yale maintain that such shows are not only sensational, they are harmful, not only to participants by to viewers influenced by its methods.

Of TBL, Canadian physician Yoni Freedhoff recently wrote:

"Perhaps not surprisingly, given the apparent tenor of the show — that obesity is a consequence of personal laziness and gluttony — [a] study published in the journal Obesity showed that watching even a single episode of The Biggest Loser led viewers to dramatically increase their own hateful and negative biases towards those with obesity."

Is this how Mrs. Obama wants to deploy the considerable spotlight that follows her?

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