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Are Reality Shows That Deprive the Body of Food Healthy?

Reality shows like Survivor, Mutiny, and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here have proved incredibly popular over the years, and the people who join up to these shows experience mental strain. Some of the previous contestants have spoken out about the mental strain, including Eliza Orlins, a contestant on Survivor: Vanuatu, and Survivor: Micronesia. According to Statnews, she said, “Not everyone can handle the stresses of watching themselves be portrayed in a terrible way or the negative comments that are written online about your personality or your physical appearance. People will just rip you to shreds in every aspect of your being. … And if [contestants] are susceptible, it could lead to real problems in their lives.”

But it's not just mental strain but also physical with the limited food intake, lack of sleep, and grueling challenges. We have seen these people lose weight, as well as become sick, but these contestants are closely monitored, and if there was any serious, long-term risk to their health, The Guardian, notes that they would probably be removed from the show.

However, it’s not just the people who have signed up to be a part of these shows that can be affected but also the viewers. Especially vulnerable teenagers who may are prone to eating disorders, as WebMD reports, because they may buy into the cultural ideal that it’s attractive to be thin. Randall Flanery, PhD, director of the eating disorders program at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, spoke to the publication about this, saying, "Individuals on this show are basically deciding that they're going to trade 10 minutes on TV for a fair amount of emotional mistreatment, but they're adults and are welcome to choose to do that. I'm concerned more about the people who watch it because the show's theme that seems to get played out is what is really important in life is how you look. People on this show are proposing they look pretty good and from what I've seen, they do, yet many still wind up getting trashed."

[Image via Shutterstock]

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