Ask an expert

10 Aug 2010

Biggest Loser Contest
Dear Doc,

I''m thinking of starting a weight loss contest to encourage people to lose weight and stick to their plans. I think ppl work harder at things when there''s competition from others and a reward involved.

I''m still working through the logistics of it all but planning to get a joining fee from club members to be able to get a prize for the ''biggest loser''

My worry is that poeple can also get desperate in such situations and I''m worried they might starve themselves to lose weight or something drastic like that. Is it safe to assume that drastic measures won''t affect their body fat but only their BMI, in which case I can stress that we measure both BMI and body fat? Also, I''ve read about scales that can measure body fat with body weight, how reliable are these? and where can I get one if they are reliable?

Answer 385 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Sebe
While I think your idea to start a communal club to lose weight more or less based on 'The Biggest Loser', I would like to urge you NOT to attempt this without the assistance of a clinical dietitian. Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area. You need someone in your town who is constantly available to monitor what your club members are up to so that they don't resort to drastic or harmful measures like starvation diets which will affect both their body fat and BMI and also slow down weightloss. At the very least, make an appointment with your nearest dietitian and ask her/him to work through your intended programme. The dietitian will also be able to advise on which measuring instruments like scales, etc, you may require.
Wishing you the best of luck with your slimming club
Best regards
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.