Why We Love Fat TV

Zaftig reality stars make us feel better about our bulging waistlines: Dumenco
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2009 2:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – America's obsession with "fattertainment" has become a form of catharsis for an obese nation, Simon Dumenco writes for GQ. Shows like The Biggest Loser and Dance Your Ass Off were at least ostensibly about getting their contestants in shape. But on More to Love, “the participants aren't even trying to lose weight,” writes Simon Dumenco. “Face it: These shows traffic in human suffering."

The humiliated fatty was once a comedy niche, “but with 4 million Americans tipping the scales at 300 pounds or more, it's ballooned into a growth industry.” The media benefit too, racking up big ratings for stories about 1,000-pounders who have to be airlifted into surgery. "If we Americans hate ourselves for being fat," Dumenco writes, "maybe we long to see someone humiliated for our collective sins."