"My Diet Is Better Than Yours" was very good at giving health numbers: blood sugar, blood pressure, waist circumference. Shaun T even told Jasmin in the Week 7 weigh-in that her BMI had gone from obese to not obese. She sarcastically thanked Shaun T for telling everyone. But the show should be commended for giving health numbers and noting that even if the weight loss isn't too high that other numbers are important, too.
The show ran into significant problems with the body fat numbers.
Shaun T made a common math mistake by using subtraction instead of division to underestimate the body fat loss percentage.
As an example, in the first 7 weeks, Latasha's body fat went from 49.7% to 45%. Shaun T told us that Latasha lost 4.7% of her body fat.
That's wrong. Her actual body fat percentage loss was 9.46%.
At the final weigh-in, Shaun T told us that Latasha lost 8% of her body fat. That sounds like the same mistake, so if Latasha lost 8 percentage points, which is different than losing 8%, her actual body fat loss percentage was 16.1%.
Latasha lost quite a bit of body fat after the experts left. That significance will become relevant shortly.
At the Week 7 weigh-in, Jeff went from 44.2% body fat to 35.8% body fat. Shaun T wrongly told us this was a 8.4% body fat loss. The actual percentage was 19%.
In the final weigh-in, we learned that Jeff had "lost 8% body fat." Not true. But it also showed that Jeff lost 24 lbs. in the 7 weeks once the experts left but didn't lose any body fat.
Jasmin, the winner of the contest, never had her body fat numbers revealed on the air. According to Abel's blog, Jasmin lost "13% body fat." Since Abel makes the same math errors that Shaun T makes, we have to assume that Jasmin lost 13 percentage points. Since we don't have a starting or finishing number, we can't compute Jasmin's actual body fat loss percentage. It's extremely odd that the winner would be the only contestant to finish where those numbers aren't provided.
From Abel's blog:
"My contestant, Kurt started at 352 pounds and 52% body fat. He finished at 265 pounds and just 30% body fat! So Kurt lost an astounding 22% body fat in 14 weeks …"
So much wrong with those numbers.
In the Week 7 weigh-in, Shaun T told us that Kurt went from a body fat percentage of 51.8% down to 29.4%, Shaun T told us that was a 22% drop. Uh, no. Make that a 56.8% drop in body fat. Depending on Jasmin's numbers, that drop almost was as big as the other 3 contestants combined. At that weigh-in, Kurt weighed 295 pounds and had a body fat level under 30%. Those numbers are rather unbelievable; the wild diet talked about burning the fat. And then some.
Here is where we are really confused. At the final weigh-in, Shaun T made a big deal that Kurt started out at "about 52%" and ended up at 30% body fat. Everyone made a big deal out of the same statistics from the Week 7 weigh-in.
As we noted on Friday, Kurt lost almost ⅔ of his weight before the experts left. But he lost 30 pounds on his own. Yet according to the numbers, Kurt didn't lose any more body fat in the last 7 weeks on his own.
The numbers were very specific in the Week 7 weigh-in; the numbers were very vague during the final weigh-in.
So Jeff and Kurt, the two men in the competition, lost zero body fat in the 7 weeks without the experts. Latasha lost 41.25% of her total body fat loss after the experts left.
The numbers are theoretically possible but rather difficult to explain. It would help if they understood math.
Shaun T mentioned to us that Kurt had won more weigh-ins that any other contestant. That was true, but let's break down those numbers.
Only 3 of the 5 contestants won a weigh-in: Kurt, Jasmin, and Jeff. Kurt won 3 weigh-ins while Jasmin and Jeff each won 2 weigh-ins. Not much of an edge, but that was technically true.
Jeff won his weigh-ins early in the competition in Week 2 and Week 4, but didn't come close in the other weeks. In fact, Jeff came in 4th even with those early victories.
Jasmin's 2 weigh-in titles came in Week 5 and Week 7. While she did well early, barely losing Week 1, and even have the overall edge after 4 weeks, her momentum allowed her with 2 very strong weeks of the last 3 with the experts. In weight loss, better to have momentum later rather than earlier.
Latasha didn't win a single weigh-in and only came close late in the competition, yet finished third. She had the worst initial plan and stayed way too long. Once she got momentum, Latasha took off and did very well to finish 3rd overall.
The show got too caught up in short-term wins. Those who want to lose weight in the long haul would be wise to not think in terms of short-term wins.
"My Diet Is Better Than Yours" was consistent in the TV ratings. The show scored poorly compared to the other broadcast shows, though Thursday is a competitive night and expectations from ABC weren't especially high.
The first week had the best numbers; the final week had the worst numbers. But Week 3 was better than Week 2. The numbers were close enough to be factored into the margin of error in the TV ratings.
|Date||Adults 18-49 Rating/Share||Viewers (millions)|
|Numbers via http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com|
Full disclosure: I know Dawn Jackson Blatner in real life.
photo credit: My Diet Is Better Than Yours/ABC