G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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My girlfriend recently informed me about a website called Diet Bet which is playing off of the recent trends set by weight loss game shows like The Biggest Loser.
With Diet Bet, participants deposit a set amount of money into a pool. The company takes a cut, but any participants who lose 4% of their body weight over 28 days are considered winners. All winners split up the money in the pool.
One of the FAQs asks about the advantages that people of certain ages, genders, and body sizes have. The company provides a generic answer about the game leveling the playing field despite not being perfect.
These types of competitions seem primed for take off so it will be interesting to see how they adapt to such differences. At sites like Diet Bet, we might expect groups to begin setting rules for entry based upon sex, age, or even lifestyle.
It’s been noted that 70% of the winners on The Biggest Loser are men. The reasons for this particular gender gap are several fold: men are more competitive, men have better self-control when it comes to food, and men have more muscle mass and this helps them burn fat. If they go into weight-loss mode they have an advantage over women.
All in all, though, it’s a pretty interesting idea. One reason I’m mentioning it here is that I expect the company to address this sex difference and then I expect some feminist website to become outraged in one way or the other about the change.