Jillian Michaels is an exercise and health guru who became famous as one of the personal trainers on The Biggest Loser. Since then she's developed a video game and a reality show on NBC called Losing It With Jillian.
Michaels has selflessly dedicated her life to getting her face on TV as much as possible—oh yes, and also to helping people lose weight. But if her Facebook page is any indication, she's out to lunch on a few common food myths. Let’s set the record straight.
Of course, high fructose corn syrup isn't junk. It's almost chemically identical to table sugar. A recent study that tried to prove otherwise has been resoundingly debunked. Pretending that these two sugars are any different does public health a disservice.
It’s important to get regular physical checkups, of course. But if Michaels’ mercury levels were too high, she must have been eating a boatload of tuna. She reportedly weighs 117 pounds, which means she'd have to eat 37 ounces of tuna (that’s more than seven 5-oz. cans) every week for mercury-related health risks to be of any concern, according to the FDA. The good news, though, is that eating tuna probably loaded her up with heart-healthy omega-3s, protein, vitamin B12, potassium, and selenium.
This is very dangerous advice, especially during an economic downturn. In fact, as Britain's Food Standards Agency determined last year, organic foods aren't any more nutritious than non-organic foods. Not only that, but the organic label can act as a "health halo," encouraging overeating among consumers. Hardly good advice for a public…er…personal nanny…er…trainer like Michaels.
If Michaels truly wants to help her fans lose weight, she may want to take a hard look at some of the products she's put her name on. Take the Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Fat Burner metacaps. These pricy diet pills are just a mix of natural extracts and caffeine. Sure, overloading on caffeine can help you stay awake during a boot-camp workout, but that’s about it.
No wonder the Fat Burner has such mixed reviews. One angry critic even reported that all the extra caffeine made it impossible for him to sleep. (Let’s not forget the direct link between lack of sleep and obesity.)
The best obesity cure remains the one you already know — eating less and exercising more. Jillian Michaels, of all people, should know that. So skip the expensive diet pills and food hysteria. She may not be a TV-show contestant, but right now she's the biggest loser.