One more thing for Mormons to be proud about…

"My name is Moses. I'm a contestant on The Biggest Loser; I'm overweight, and I'M A MORMON!"

They make up 27% of the contestants on the The Biggest Loser, a show people can watch to either: (1) make fun of fat people, (2) make them feel less fat, or (3) let them commiseratewith fat people! The MormonTimes is highlighting the fact that 6 of the 22 current contestants on the biggest loser are Mormons. I can understand that Mormons are currently in a “Look at us!” phase, in which any attention is seen as good attention. But attention to the Mormon obesity epidemic?

Mormons are, statistically, fatter than are non-Mormons(14% more likely to be obese, per:Twitchell, Jeremy. 2006. A Weighty Religious Issue: LDS Heavier. Deseret Morning News, February 14.). Is drawing attention to your obesity problem good attention? It’s like saying, “Join the Mormons; you get your own world, a harem, and to be obese.” That sounds like greed and gluttony writ large. Hmmm… Maybe this is good marketing.

Suggestion for the marketing department at LDS, Inc. headquarters: your next round of “…and I’m a Mormon” ads should be with these contestants. “I’m _______; I’m fat, and I’m a Mormon.”


I'm a college professor and, well, a professional X-Mormon. Thus, ProfXM. I love my Mormon family, but have issues with LDS Inc. And I'm not afraid to tell LDS Inc. what I really think... anonymously, of course!

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11 Responses

  1. Seth R. says:

    Umm… if the Mormon Times did NOT mention that fact, wouldn’t you be mocking them for not covering it?

    Seems like a damned if you do – damned if you don’t situation.

  2. profxm says:

    Well, I see your point. But, since I don’t watch much TV (maybe 3 or 4 hours a week), and The Biggest Loser is not one of the shows I watch, I probably never would have heard about it. So, the fact that they did highlight it actually brought it to my attention.

    Your point is well-taken, though… Had I heard about it otherwise, maybe I would have thought to say, “Why aren’t they highlighting their obesity problem?” I doubt it, but maybe I would. I still think it’s funny, though. That’s my primary point. 😉

  3. mike d. says:

    Also I would like to point out that Ryan Benson, who won the first season, is Mormon.

  4. Seth R. says:

    Incidentally, the Center for Disease Control figures seem to contradict the Deseret News piece, unless I’m missing something:

    Check out the graphic at the bottom that plays out national obesity rates.

  5. profxm says:

    Sorry, I should have been more clear in my description, Seth. The study was only within Utah, “The study, involving a cross section of Utah adults from different religions over a nine-year period, also found that LDS Church members are 14 percent more likely (18 percent for males, 9 percent for females) to be obese than their non-LDS counterparts. The study was compiled by BYU health science professor Ray Merrill, who gathered the data from figures obtained in 1996, 2001 and 2003-2004 by the Utah Health Status Survey.”

    The CDC info. doesn’t suggest Utahans are more obese. Thanks for pointing this out.

  6. The Other Mike says:

    Drawing attention to overweight Mormons is fine, as long as they aren’t polygamous, too.

  7. Jim says:

    But they aren’t just fatter than non-Mormons they are also smarter and more educated. I think that makes it OK to have an extra piece of cake. MMMM cake. My clean lifestyle is making me crave some!

  8. chanson says:

    TOM @6 — LOL, I think you may be on to something. It does seem like the PR department’s motto is “All publicity is good publicity [unless it reminds people of Mormons & polygamy].”

  9. Derrick says:

    Interesting how this exposes church members and their compulsion to overeat which violates certain principles of the WofW. If there was a television show, say, Intervention, where members’ addictions to drugs and/or alcohol, the church certainly would not call attention to it. Interesting paradox. I wonder if these people who struggle with this are born with a gene that makes them obese or if they choose to be obese. Either way, my heart goes out to them. Ahhhh, the human struggle is so similar on so many levels, the church doesn’t see it.

  10. Idaho Zoe says:

    Don’t be so hard on overweight people and it has nothing to do with the church!!
    I think you need to watch this:

    Anyways, I think it’s great that so many Mormon’s made the final cut of this show this year. Moses Kinikini, Kaylee Kinikini, Rulon Gardner, Justin Pope, Sarah Nitta and Denise Hill.

    The Kinikini’s are very well known in Idhao. Not just are they over weight but another gal from Idaho was recently on a cover of a magazine and on the Dr. OZ show. Jill Knapp at http://getupandgetmoving was 100 pounds over weight until she got the diagnoses of type 2 diabetes. Now she is an advocate and seems to be in the media just about everywhere.

    Good for all of these people. These people are not fat because they are LDS they strugle like anyone in the real world dealing with the thing called Life.

  11. Denise P says:

    I agree it has nothing to do with the church. Blaming the church for peoples own choices to over eat is ridiculous. I loved following that season.

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