The Checkup: Watching ‘The Biggest Loser’ Makes You Less Inclined to Work Out

Television shows depicting exercise as excruciating is a cardio turn-off, a study says.

• If you’re looking for a bit of exercise motivation, don’t turn on the TV. A new study found that shows like The Biggest Loser, which depict exercise as a painful, awful undertaking, actually make people feel less inclined to work out. To test the theory, researchers gathered 138 college students and showed them seven-minute clips of either The Biggest Loser or American Idol. Afterwards, the ones who watched the former reported feeling less enthused toward working out than the those who watched the latter. Lead study author Tanya Berry says shows like The Biggest Loser depict exercise as “this horrible experience where you have to push yourself to the extremes and the limits, which is completely wrong.” And, given the obesity epidemic, pretty darn counterproductive to boot. Read more at

• Check this out, runners. The Wall Street Journal reports that runners in the 50-and-over age group are one of the fastest growing demographics in marathon participation. Check out these stats: “As the total number of runners finishing marathons in the U.S. doubled to 518,000 in the 20 years ended in 2011, the number of finishers age 50 and older nearly tripled to 92,200, or about 18% of the total.” Read more here.

• Here’s an interesting bit of news related to childhood obesity: Kids who don’t taste bitterness in foods are more likely to be obese than ones who do, in cases where healthy food is hard to come by. “Neither genes nor the environment alone can predict obesity in children, but when considered together a strong relationship emerges,” reports Read more here.