"My Diet Is Better Than Yours" matches trainers with individuals on a 1-on-1 basis, but the teams will compete against each other. ABC will run the show in 2-hour blocks over 4 weeks starting Thursday at 8 pm Eastern.
Shaun T, who you might recognize from the infomercial about "Insanity" that you've seen if you left your TV set on Comedy Central before you went to bed, is the host of the program. Celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser will be along to create and host challenges.
The "star trainers" are Carolyn Barnes, Jovanka Ciares, Jay Cardiello, Dawn Jackson (Blatner) and Abel James. This is the part where I mention that I know Dawn Jackson, as in Dawn Jackson Blatner.
I do like the potential on the 1-on-1 relationship but am less impressed with the game show mentality. But this is reality TV after all.
Because I know Blatner, I did check the bios of the other "star trainers." Dawn Jackson Blatner is the only trainer who is a registered dietitian nutritionist. Barnes, Cardiello, and James are about fitness rather than diet. Ciares describes herself as a "former entertainment executive turned Wellness expert, detox specialist, nutrition educator, and author." I don't see the word "dietitian" in that description.
Blatner's Superfood Swap plan revolves around versions of favorite foods made with healthier ingredients.
We talk about the disconnect in these weight-loss TV shows between exercise (which looks good on TV) vs. food (which gets ignored on TV). A competition between 5 dietitians would make for a more educational show vs. loud people who might be TV worthy.
We are rooting for Blatner to succeed not because I know her and like her, but because we finally have a dietitian on TV, even in a skeptical reality TV show format.
We have complained about the disconnect between dietitians who have information and people who need that information. Dawn Jackson Blatner is very good on television and has a chance in this show to show that dietitians can help people lose weight.
In the interest of full disclosure, here are stories I have written that mention Dawn Jackson Blatner:
I do plan to watch the show to get a full impression and will report back. I plan to be objective in writing about the show and giving an honest assessment. I know Blatner would expect nothing less from me, despite knowing each other.
The biggest news for "The Biggest Loser" is that Bob Harper is the new host of the program. Harper replaces Alison Sweeney, who has hosted the show since 2007. Caroline Rhea, who is one of my favorite comedians, was the original host for the first 3 years.
Admittedly, I haven't been watching lately but I can't think of a single thing Sweeney ever added to the show.
Dolvett Quince and Jennifer Widerstrom remain as trainers. If you thought Jillian Michaels was still on the show, her last season was in 2014. If her loudness was still ringing in your ears, you are forgiven for thinking she was still there.
Harper ought to be a vast improvement as host. We aren't likely to watch, but we are glad the show has a host who will add to the experience for the contestants and the viewers.
The theme for Season 17 is temptation, something we address quite often at BalanceofFood.com. That theme might sway us to write about this season but don't count on anything similar to the coverage of many years past.
The Biggest Loser starts out tonight with a 2-hour premiere at 9p Eastern on NBC.
photo credit: My Diet Is Better Than Yours/ABC
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