The Biggest Loser has been inspiring TV viewers for 17 seasons with tales of weight loss and triumph. But now the show is inspiring science to take a closer look at the longterm effects of speedy weight loss — and there are some potentially disheartening results for contestants of the NBC reality show.

A new study published Monday and highlighted by the New York Times claims that contestants’ rapid weight loss during the show’s production causes a slowing of the metabolism that makes it harder for them to keep the weight off in the long term.

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Study claims to know why most ‘Biggest Loser’ contestants’ can’t keep the weight off