Season eight of the hit TV show “The Biggest Loser” has begun. Once again contestants are being screened and treated for obstructive sleep apnea.
“I have put in place a new policy that all contestants need to undergo a sleep study in future seasons,” the show’s medical expert Dr. Rob Huizenga said in a Philips Respironics statement. “The results have been astonishing after two seasons of testing.”
All 16 contestants were diagnosed with sleep apnea during preparations for the new season. Now they are being treated with CPAP therapy. AASM President Dr. Clete Kushida is working with the contestants to ensure that they receive the maximum benefit from ongoing treatment.
Contestants will continue to receive assistance once their time on the show comes to an end. Philips Respironics will help them find a sleep disorders center in their hometown.
In May the Sleep Education Blog reported that excess body weight is a major risk factor for OSA. Treating sleep apnea with CPAP helps some people bring their weight under control.
But research shows that that CPAP alone is unlikely to produce weight loss; CPAP users still need to take an active role in losing weight.
You should talk to your doctor to develop a healthy weight-loss plan that is right for you. For help with sleep apnea you should contact an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center in your area.
Are you at risk for sleep apnea? STOP and find out. You also can answer these questions on SleepEducation.com to learn more about your risk.
Watch "The Biggest Loser" on NBC, Tuesdays at 8/7c.