With the premiere of Extreme Weight Loss Season 4 tonight, May 27 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, Wetpaint Entertainment talked to star Chris Powell on his thought's about America's obesity problem — and all those exercise and diet fads running amok.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Are there any differences you see in Americans' relationship with food and exercise from when Season 1 aired to now?
Chris Powell: Oh, gosh. You know, the one thing that I'm so grateful for is, there is an increased awareness, at least being out and about. We travel everywhere. We've hit just about all 50 states. And there has been in an increase in awareness. I see, by and large, America is addicted to processed foods. This is something that the majority of us really do struggle with, and I think in order for there to be turnaround in this trend in obesity, we really do need rehabilitation … The psychological and emotional components need to be addressed in order for people to change.
People often just want the quick fix and the easy solution. Are there any diet or exercise fads that are especially concerning to you?
Any time that you're going to have a diet fad where someone's going to remove one of the necessary macronutrients — like a no-fat diet or a no-carb diet — that's always going to raise red flags. Because we need those balanced macronutrients in our bodies just to nourish us. So those are always necessary… As far as exercise fads go, we see it all. We've seen pilates and yoga … and all that stuff. I dig all the fads that come through because… with every fad that passes through exercise, you get a culture of people who are actually passionate about it, and it gets people moving that otherwise never would have moved before. So I'm cool with exercise fads.
Diet fads do concern me … There's a lot of these surgical solutions now — like the lap band and gastric bypass and whatnot. And look, I'm really not for or against it at all, but so many people see that as the end-all be-all. They think it's going to cure them of their problems. And we have worked with a plethora of clients who have gotten the lap band and gastric bypass, and they gained the weight back because they never took care of the real problem.
Like I said, it's not a diet and exercise problem. You could do a Google search and find a thousand different diet and exercise programs that will get you good, honest results. They'll get you where you want to go. But it's the emotional and psychological aspect of it. I think that if you can't take care of your head and your heart, your body's not going to follow. A lot of people look to those surgical solutions as the end and it really isn't. It's a painful lesson a lot of people learn, but it's the reality of the situation.
Extreme Weight Loss Season 4 premieres tonight, May 27, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.