Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Peeing Blood and Getting Fat

The New York Times published an interesting piece last week questioning the safety and effectiveness of the "extreme" weight loss techniques used on NBC's "The Biggest Loser." The article points out that the winner of the show's first season, Ryan Benson, "is now back above 300 pounds" and has "publicly admitted that he dropped some of the weight by fasting and dehydrating himself to the point that he was urinating blood." Yikes.

The general rule of thumb is that it's unsafe to lose much more than about two pounds per week. According to medical experts, the type of crazy-fast weight loss seen on "The Biggest Loser" can result in a number of medical issues, including "a weakening of the heart muscle, irregular heartbeat and dangerous reductions in potassium and electrolytes."

Plus, you might piss blood.