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Reality weight-loss chronicle is honest, personal.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show's focus is on losing weight for health reasons rather than appearance. It offers an honest look at the lifestyle changes necessary to lose weight, and shows how difficult it is to make those changes. It also examines the way that society in general treats overweight people. The cast is primarily Caucasian; Ruby's trainer is African American.


Occasional mild arguing between Ruby and her friends.


Kissing and hugging are frequent, but they're rarely presented within the context of romance and relationships. Ruby briefly talks about her inability to feel sexy and her desire to have a healthy sexual relationship someday. Potential for discussion about sexual trauma.

Not applicable

Logos promoting Hour Glass Health and Fitness, 24-Hour Fitness, and a few other commercial establishments are sometimes visible. Ruby's trainer is well-known fitness guru Reese Brown.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol is very occasionally visible at social gatherings.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality series chronicles the weight-loss struggle of a morbidly obese woman who's trying to become physically and emotionally healthier. It highlights the need to eat nutritiously, exercise, and identify the emotional factors that lead to weight gain while also looking at the challenges that overweight people face in their daily lives. Some of the conversations about relationships and the emotional issues brought up during therapy sessions may be too much for younger tweens, and parents may want to remind weight-conscious kids that no weight-loss plan should be started without consulting a medical professional.

What's the story?

RUBY chronicles the weight-loss journey of Ruby Gettinger, a sassy, 500-pound woman from Savannah who's decided to face her addiction to unhealthy foods and sedentary lifestyle head on. Faced with the reality of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and sudden death due to sleep apnea, she turns to a team of medical experts, nutritionists, and trainers to help turn her life around. Close friends and family -- like housemate/social services worker Jeff Parsons, nephew Jim Gettinger, and best friend Georgia Thompson -- are also there to support her. But staying on track isn't easy, especially when Ruby's well-intentioned friends enable her to hold on to bad habits. In the end it's up to her -- and her alone -- to find the inner strength to deal with society's unwillingness to accept overweight people, break down difficult emotional barriers, and find the motivation to keep working toward her goals.

Is it any good?


Ruby's overall message is that a person can't succeed at losing weight if they're not doing it for themselves. It also emphasizes the importance of committing to lifestyle changes like eating healthy, exercising, and trying to understand the psychological reasons behind addictive behavior. And it offers a sometimes painfully honest look at what Ruby and people of her size face every day while navigating through a world that isn't designed for them, including activities as simple as sitting in a chair, taking a bubble bath, or putting on a seat belt.

While Ruby and her friends do talk about how and why her weight has soared so high, the show's focus is more on empowerment and change than blame. But Ruby's need to confront difficult issues like childhood trauma leads to some tough moments that may not be appropriate for young kids. Conversations about romance and sex, although mild, are a little iffy, too. But despite these moments, the series is positive overall and no doubt will serve as a source of inspiration for people who find themselves struggling with their own weight loss.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why people choose to feature their personal problems and/or struggles on reality shows. Why do you think Ruby decided to discuss her battle with obesity in such a public forum? Do you think it will help or hurt her chances of being successful? Families can also discuss health and body image. Does being healthy mean you have to be thin? Parents, check out our tips for talking to your kids about their physical health and its relationship to the media.

TV details

Premiere date:November 9, 2008
Cast:Ruby Gettinger
Network:Style Network
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Kid, 9 years old July 8, 2009


great show i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byBornToWin February 9, 2011

Ruby weighs in for all body types!

This show is both informative and inspirational! Not only does it address health issues of being overweight, but it realistically shows Ruby in the struggle, no glitz, no glamor, just an every day person. It also chronicles the well known fact that most eating disorders stem from an emotional/mental space, and addresses that as well. This how does not lead to false impressions of some shows, that once you lose, the battle will be so easy. Ruby conquers things that most of us dream of, such as that Harbour Bridge climb in Australia, that even her TRAINER had issues with. This is a GREAT show for all. Due to some subject matter, that is brought out in her therapy, I would not suggest it for really small children. If you are looking for motivation or just hope to persevere, this story of Ruby provides! 719 pounds, now down to 360 or so, with NO surgery! Who would not be amazed and inspired?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bysuper movie reviewer January 8, 2010
This is one of my favorite shows. Ruby ifeel is a very beautiful person on the outside and ecspecially on the inside. She desplays a positive attitude about staying in shape and losing weight so she will be more healthy and get to do more things. Ruby is a good rolemodel and sends positive messages to tweens about never giving up and u can succed if u try. and in one episode Ruby sends an extremly good message about boyfriend relationships. She said she would never settle for a man who doesent love her unconditionally. Which is a very positive message. So bottom line love the show i suggest all girl tweens ages 11 and up watch it!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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