Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall TV Line-Up (Uh-oh, Biggest Loser)

It's that time of year again.

Yep.  The time of year where everyone is advertising their new season of TV shows in between political commercials.

Of course, that also means time for another season of my "favorite" show, Biggest Loser...  not that I have any intention of watching the show. 




But it did get me to thinking... I wonder what has happened to all the losers of seasons past?

With the help of Google, that question was quickly answered.  Thanks to this article, I got a little (although slightly outdated) snapshot of where folks are at.

Which lead me to thinking... that article is nice and all, but it doesn't really speak to the hard facts.  How are the losers REALLY doing post-show?

DATA CRUNCH TIME!


Season One

Name Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Andrea Baptise 215 156 59 155 -1 -2%
Ryan Benson 330 208 122 300 92 75%
Kelly Minner 242 163 79 Not Disclosed    
Average Regain            
Pounds 46          
Percent 37%          


Season Two

Name Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Jeff Levine 370 217 153 240 23 15%
Matt Hoover 339 182 157 237 55 35%
Suzy Hoover 227 132 95 175 43 45%
Average Regain            
Pounds 40          
Percent 32%          


Season Three

Name Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Marty Wolff 365 219 146 260 41 28%
Mark Wylie 307 178 129 225 47 36%
Erik Chopin 407 193 214 368 175 82%
Amy Wolff 260 154 106 Pregnant    
Average Regain            
Pounds 88          
Percent 49%          


Season Four

Name Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Nicole Michalik 279 174 105 178 4 4%
Hollie Self 225 150 75 158 8 11%
Jim Germanakos 361 175 186 198 23 12%
Bill Germanakos 334 170 164 207 37 23%
Jerry Lisenby 297 187 110 213 26 24%
Isabeau Miller 298 185 113 220 35 31%
Average Regain            
Pounds 22          
Percent 17%          


Season Five

Name Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Ali Vincent 234 122 112 125 3 3%
Dan Evans 310 174 136 180 6 4%
Bernie Salazar 283 153 130 165 12 9%
Trent Patterson 436 301 135 324 23 17%
Roger Shultz 364 199 165 235 36 22%
Mark Kruger 285 156 129 189 33 26%
Kelly Fields 271 162 109 190 28 26%
Average Regain            
Pounds 20          
Percent 15%          


Season Six

Name Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Jerry Skeabeck 380 265 115 261 -4 -3%
Vicky Vilcan 246 145 101 150 5 5%
Phil Parham 331 185 146 193 8 5%
Amy Parham 229 124 105 137 13 12%
Heba Salama 294 156 138 175 19 14%
Ed Brantley 335 197 138 230 33 24%
Amy Cremen 239 135 104 160 25 24%
Shellay Cremen 216 142 74 165 23 31%
Coleen Skeabeck 218 154 64 179 25 39%
Michelle Aguilar 242 132 110 Not Disclosed    
Average Regain            
Pounds 16          
Percent 17%          


Season Seven

Name Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Estella Hayes 242 159 83 158 -1 -1%
Jerry Hayes 369 192 177 198 6 3%
Nicole Brewer 269 146 123 151 5 4%
Ron Morelli 430 238 192 251 13 7%
Sione Fa 372 226 146 239 13 9%
Damien Gurganious 381 245 136 260 15 11%
Helen Phillips 257 117 140 135 18 13%
Tara Costa 294 139 155 161 22 14%
Average Regain            
Pounds 11          
Percent 8%          


Season Eight

Name Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Sean Algaier 444 289 155 240 -49 -32%
Abby Rike 247 147 100 150 3 3%
Danny Cahill 430 191 239 215 24 10%
Average Regain            
Pounds -7          
Percent -6%          


Season Nine

Name Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
O'Neal Hampton 389 230 159 225 -5 -3%
Stephanie Anderson 264 165 99 170 5 5%
Sam Poueu 372 230 142 242 12 8%
Michael Ventrella 526 262 264 289 27 10%
Average Regain            
Pounds 10          
Percent 5%          


Season Ten

Name Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Ada Wong 258 159 99 165 6 6%
Patrick House 400 219 181 235 16 9%
Mark Pinhasovich 421 208 213 250 42 20%
Alfredo Dinten 367 205 162 247 42 26%
Average Regain            
Pounds 27          
Percent 15%          


Season Eleven

Name Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Denise Hill 256 131 125 140 9 7%
Oliva Ward 261 132 129 142 10 8%
Hannah Curlee 248 128 120 138 10 8%
Moses Kinikini 440 287 153 315 28 18%
Average Regain            
Pounds 14          
Percent 10%          




OK, ok, yes... that's a lot of data.  Let's condense it and make some sense of it.

First off, the big picture:
Season
Average Regain - Pounds
Average Regain - %
One
46
37%
Two 
40
32%
Three
88
49%
Four
22
17%
Five
20
15%
Six
16
17%
Seven
11
8%
Eight 
-7
-6%
Nine
10
5%
Ten
27
15%
Eleven
14
10%
Average Loser Regain (by season)
26
18%


If you average out the seasons, and then take the average of THAT... well...  it doesn't look that great.  The typical contestant leaves biggest loser and regains almost 20% of what they've lost, or an approximate 26 pounds.

And it gets worse if you think about that a little.  What do I mean about that?

Well, it takes time to fall back into old habits. 

Anyone who's been on a recent season is still in the limelight, and fresh on the "I'm gonna be healthy" bandwagon.  For them, it's easy to keep the weight off for a year, or two, or three or four even.  But what happens after the losers have been off the show and out of the public's eye years down the road?

By eliminating the more recent contestants, and looking at the first five seasons, you can answer that question fairly quickly:
 
Season
Average Regain - Pounds
Average Regain - %
One
46
37%
Two 
40
32%
Three
88
49%
Four
22
17%
Five
20
15%
Average Loser Regain (by season)
43
30%


Yikes.  Those off the show 6 seasons or longer are up an average of 40 pounds, or 30% of the weight regained.

You might be saying at this point - but Natalie, at least they are keeping SOME of the weight off.  Plus, not all the contestants have done poorly.  For example, look at Andrea.  She was all the way back on season one, and she's not only maintained but lost MORE weight.

Yes, it's true.  It's great these folks have managed to keep even a portion of the weight off.  And I'm very pleased for Andrea.  It warms my heart to see someone has had long term positive results from this show.  But look at her season's male counter part - he regained 75% of his weight (92 pounds!), and is back up over 300 pounds.  When you look at that and other season's contestants, Andrea seems to be more the exception than the rule.

I say this because I also looked at the above data in terms of who were the biggest re-gainers and who were the best maintainers (as individuals).

Let's start with the positive - the top 20 maintainers:

Name Season/Year Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Sean Algaier Eight 444 289 155 240 -49 -32%
Jerry Skeabeck Six 380 265 115 261 -4 -3%
O'Neal Hampton Nine 389 230 159 225 -5 -3%
Adrea Baptise One 215 156 59 155 -1 -2%
Estella Hayes Seven 242 159 83 158 -1 -1%
Ali Vincent Five 234 122 112 125 3 3%
Abby Rike Eight 247 147 100 150 3 3%
Jerry Hayes Seven 369 192 177 198 6 3%
Nicole Michalik Four 279 174 105 178 4 4%
Nicole Brewer Seven 269 146 123 151 5 4%
Dan Evans Five 310 174 136 180 6 4%
Vicky Vilcan Six 246 145 101 150 5 5%
Stephanie Anderson Nine 264 165 99 170 5 5%
Phil Parham Six 331 185 146 193 8 5%
Ada Wong Ten 258 159 99 165 6 6%
Ron Morelli Seven 430 238 192 251 13 7%
Denise Hill Eleven 256 131 125 140 9 7%
Oliva Ward Eleven 261 132 129 142 10 8%
Hannah Curlee Eleven 248 128 120 138 10 8%
Sam Poueu Nine 372 230 142 242 12 8%


And now, brass tacks time - the top 20 biggest re-gainers:

Name Season/Year Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Trent Patterson Five 436 301 135 324 23 17%
Moses Kinikini Eleven 440 287 153 315 28 18%
Mark Pinhasovich Ten 421 208 213 250 42 20%
Roger Shultz Five 364 199 165 235 36 22%
Bill Germanakos Four 334 170 164 207 37 23%
Jerry Lisenby Four 297 187 110 213 26 24%
Ed Brantley Six 335 197 138 230 33 24%
Amy Cremen Six 239 135 104 160 25 24%
Mark Kruger Five 285 156 129 189 33 26%
Kelly Fields Five 271 162 109 190 28 26%
Alfredo Dinten Ten 367 205 162 247 42 26%
Marty Wolff Three 365 219 146 260 41 28%
Isabeau Miller Four 298 185 113 220 35 31%
Shellay Cremen Six 216 142 74 165 23 31%
Matt Hoover Two 339 182 157 237 55 35%
Mark Wylie Three 307 178 129 225 47 36%
Coleen Skeabeck Six 218 154 64 179 25 39%
Suzy Hoover Two 227 132 95 175 43 45%
Ryan Benson One 330 208 122 300 92 75%
Erik Chopin Three 407 193 214 368 175 82%


Notice anything there?

Here, let me show you:

  Seasons 1-5 Seasons 6+
20 biggest re-gainers 13 7
20 best maintainers 4 16


If you look at who has been able to maintain their weight the best (IE keep it off), 16 of the top 20 people in this category have come from seasons 6+. 

Meanwhile, those who have struggled the most with re-gain have come more commonly from seasons 1-5. 

I feel this proves my theory - the longer you're off the show, the harder it is to maintain the weight loss.

---

Another thing I want to point out about the show is the "type" of contestant they've been featuring in the more recent seasons.

Let's look at the overall pounds lost for the contestants (percentages aside - we're looking at just pounds of weight lost regardless of how large the person was to begin with).

Let's start with the lowest 20 - meaning those who lost the fewest pounds on the show:

Name Season/Year Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Adrea Baptise One 215 156 59 155 -1 -2%
Coleen Skeabeck Six 218 154 64 179 25 39%
Shellay Cremen Six 216 142 74 165 23 31%
Hollie Self Four 225 150 75 158 8 11%
Kelly Minner One 242 163 79 Not Disclosed    
Estella Hayes Seven 242 159 83 158 -1 -1%
Suzy Hoover Two 227 132 95 175 43 45%
Stephanie Anderson Nine 264 165 99 170 5 5%
Ada Wong Ten 258 159 99 165 6 6%
Abby Rike Eight 247 147 100 150 3 3%
Vicky Vilcan Six 246 145 101 150 5 5%
Amy Cremen Six 239 135 104 160 25 24%
Nicole Michalik Four 279 174 105 178 4 4%
Amy Parham Six 229 124 105 137 13 12%
Amy Wolff Three 260 154 106 Pregnant    
Kelly Fields Five 271 162 109 190 28 26%
Jerry Lisenby Four 297 187 110 213 26 24%
Michelle Aguilar Six 242 132 110 Not Disclosed    
Ali Vincent Five 234 122 112 125 3 3%
Isabeau Miller Four 298 185 113 220 35 31%


Compare that to the highest 20 - meaning those who lost the most pounds on the show:

Name Season/Year Original Weight Weight Post Show Pounds Lost Weight as of 2012 Pounds Gained Back Percent Regained
Phil Parham Six 331 185 146 193 8 5%
Sione Fa Seven 372 226 146 239 13 9%
Marty Wolff Three 365 219 146 260 41 28%
Jeff Levine Two 370 217 153 240 23 15%
Moses Kinikini Eleven 440 287 153 315 28 18%
Sean Algaier Eight 444 289 155 240 -49 -32%
Tara Costa Seven 294 139 155 161 22 14%
Matt Hoover Two 339 182 157 237 55 35%
O'Neal Hampton Nine 389 230 159 225 -5 -3%
Alfredo Dinten Ten 367 205 162 247 42 26%
Bill Germanakos Four 334 170 164 207 37 23%
Roger Shultz Five 364 199 165 235 36 22%
Jerry Hayes Seven 369 192 177 198 6 3%
Patrick House Ten 400 219 181 235 16 9%
Jim Germanakos Four 361 175 186 198 23 12%
Ron Morelli Seven 430 238 192 251 13 7%
Mark Pinhasovich Ten 421 208 213 250 42 20%
Erik Chopin Three 407 193 214 368 175 82%
Danny Cahill Eight 430 191 239 215 24 10%
Michael Ventrella Nine 526 262 264 289 27 10%


Here's the summary:

  Seasons 1-5 Seasons 6+
20 biggest losers 7 13
20 least losers 10 10


Interestingly enough, those who lost the least amount of weight were well distributed over early and late seasons.  However, those who lost the MOST amount of weight were more heavily distributed in the later seasons of the show.

To me, this highlights something I've always thought in my head... Biggest Loser has become more and more focused how BIG of a contestant they can find, and how MANY pounds they can shave off them.

Not to mention one other factor.  Did you notice in the two charts above how I kept the yellow and green marks on the percent regained column?  If you go back to my first comparison - the top 20 who kept it off and the top 20 who regained it - you'll notice many of those names are repeated again in this section. 

Pulling those repeat names out, you can do a double comparison - who lost the most amount of pounds, and how did they do in keeping it off?  I saw an interesting trend in that sample:

  Lowest Re-Gain Highest Re-Gain
20 biggest losers 5 8
20 least losers 8 7


What does this tell me?

(1) Of those who lost the MOST pounds - only 5 of them were able to also maintain the least re-gain, while 8 of them were on the top on the list for those who had the most re-gained. 

(2) Of those who lost the LEAST pounds - 8 of them were able to also maintain the least re-gain, while 7 of them were on the top on the list for those who had the most re-gained. 

Or, in other words - those who lost the LEAST pounds did the best in trying to keep the weight off.

Or, in even more other words - as Biggest Loser trends more and more towards massive weight loss, fewer and fewer contestants in the future are likely to be able to keep the weight off.

And this, folks, is why I do not like this show.  Living a healthy lifestyle and trying to lose weight isn't about being over 400 pounds, losing almost 200 of it as fast as you can for TV, and then regaining most of it later and weighing back in at 370.

As you can see in the above numbers, doing it slower is much easier to maintain.  And that's the true success in weight loss - keeping it off