Biggest Loser Heralds Age of Manly Dieting
Competition makes weight loss socially acceptable
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2010 8:17 PM CST
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(Newser) – Season 9 of The Biggest Loser debuts today, and given the show's immense popularity—and mixed-gender contestants—it's fair to ask if it isn't indicative of a new, male-oriented take on dieting. "Not long ago, after all, the whole enterprise of weight loss was a girly pursuit," writes Jessica Grose. Now it's socially acceptable for men to diet, as long as they do it in a manly way.

So we have products like the "Neadrathin" diet—hunks of bacon and pizza—and Pepsi Max advertising that it's made of "wolverine spit" and "scorpion venom," Grose writes for Double X. Biggest Loser makes weight loss manly with its its competitive format and appeals to provide-and-protect mentality: “I can’t be a family man and be 430 pounds," says last season's winner, explaining his main motivation.