"The Biggest Loser" is a reality show on  NBC that challenges overweight contestants to lose pounds. The contestants compete for a cash prize. Mark Kruger, of Dartmouth, and Jay Kruger, of New Bedford, competed in Season 5, after they were spotted outside Fenway Park by a casting director. It's a huge struggle, as you can imagine, to weigh 395 and work hard to lose 100 or more pounds. But this story isn't about our two local celebrities. It's about a new study by the federal research center that's attempting to explain why so many contestants from The Biggest Loser ended up gaining their weight back!

Scientist Kevin Hall followed contestants from the show's eighth season for six years following their weight loss success and recently published his findings. The study found that 13 of the 14 contestants gained weight again and four of them are now heavier than they were before the show! The research indicated that their metabolism were pretty much destroyed by the intense fitness and diet routine, and never recovered in the years that followed which says that their bodies were fighting to bring the weight back on.

Obesity and diabetes researcher Dr. Michael Schwartz reacted to the findings to the New York Times saying, "The key point is that you can be on TV, you can lose enormous amounts of weight, you can go on for six years, but you can't get away from a basic biological reality. As long as you are below your initial weight, your body is going to try to get you back."

The Biggest Loser's resident doctor, Robert Huizenga, responded to the recent findings with some skepticism. He wrote, "Unfortunately, many contestants are unable to find or afford adequate ongoing support with exercise doctors, psychologists, sleep specialists, and trainers, and that's something we all need to work hard to change."

The study also found that the contestants were constantly dealing with hunger, cravings, and  binges due to lower levels of leptin, a hormone that controls hunger.

One might wonder if shows like The Biggest Loser tend to ignore actual health and medical research for entertainment purposes? Whether there's a secret to weight loss or if everyone is different, the fact that it is a struggle to lose weight and keep it off.

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