While it appears to be inspirational programming and a positive push for the couch potatoes of America, former Biggest Loser contestant Kai Hibbard, who shed 118 pounds on the show, says it's "dangerous."
In an interview on CBS' Early Show, she talked about her extreme experience.
"I have people that come up to me and talk to me and ask me why they can't lose 12 pounds in a week when I did. When I didn't. It didn't happen. It's TV. So, if I'm going to be grateful and be an inspiration, at the same time I need to take blame and responsibility for the fact that I helped perpetuate a myth that's dangerous."
She also said the rate of weight loss we see on TV doesn't always happen like that in reality.
"A week is not a week on TV ... I'm saying that it would be most times longer than a week. And I believe once in my season it was less than a week. Not always a week."
She said she learned "how to dehydrate to manipulate a scale" and "left knowing how to do it better than some fitness competitors that I know."
Hibbard said she left the show with a "very poor mental body image."
Her husband, Jake Zwierstra, said the effects of the show on her were so extreme -- from her obsessing about everything she ate to physical effects like her hair falling out -- that her family had to hold an intervention.
Since leaving the show, Hibbard has gained back more than 70 of the pounds she lost.
While she says she stands to lose financially because of contracts she signed with the show, she still feels it's important to speak out about the show and the damage it can do.
"I participated in something that I feel is harmful to so many people, so I own responsibility to make it better," she said.
Hibbard says she knows at least six other contestants who have had "experiences that were just as bad or worse than mine" on the show.
It's too bad that these dirty details have come out about the show, and while extreme dieting can be dangerous, obesity may be even more dangerous. Perhaps Hibbard's revelations, if true, will push producers to make things a little safer while still inspiring Americans to get fit.
What do you think about Kai Hibbard's claims that Biggest Loser is dangerous?