Bob Harper Veganizes “The Biggest Loser”

October 13, 2010

Kieron B. emails me:

Last night on the Biggest Loser TV show, Bob Harper, one of the show’s trainers, invited struggling contestants to his house for a meal.

When they arrived he explained that the meal was vegan and this is how he eats all the time. They had four or five vegan dishes to choose from, all of which looked delicious and which all the contestants seemed to enjoy. That segment of the show ended with Bob asking them how they enjoyed their first vegan meal, with sounds of approval from all.

I used to wonder if Bob was vegan or vegetarian after watching several bits of the show where he orders or eats food that had no meat in it, and no other obvious signs of animal products. It seems that he has been long time vegetarian and recently ‘came out’ as vegan. Judging by some of the causes he has allied himself with since, it would appear that while a lot of his motivation is health, some of it is certainly animal rights/welfare related too.

I guess the news that Bob is vegan is a few months old, but bringing it to a national audience on a highly-rated television show, and not shying away from it at all, is a big win. This will reach a lot of people. It may not convert them but it will go a long way to normalizing the idea of a vegan diet, or at the least normalizing the concept of eating vegan food sometimes. There are not many people with as much direct impact on America’s thoughts about healthful living and eating as the Biggest Loser trainers. I think last night’s show was huge.

The show—Season 10, Episode 4—can presently be watched in its entirety here. And here are the recipes Bob featured on the show.

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